Saying goodbye to home is never easy. But the more I travel, the more I realise that “home” can be in many different places around the world.
I’ve been on the road for 16 months now, mostly in France and Réunion Island, living out of my backpack and staying with different welcoming hosts, from family to strangers to friends.
I spent this summer in Newcastle in the north of England which is where I grew up. Now I am going to spend the next 8 months as an English Language assistant in Réunion Island. When my train pulled away from the platform in Newcastle, I felt excited, happy and of course a little sad to be leaving.
Living on the other side of the world to everything that you know is definitely character building and full of exciting challenges. There is so much to learn from living and working in a place completely different to where you grew up. Before you know it, you have a second home in a different country and what starts as unfamiliar becomes normal everyday life. After a year abroad, coming home can be as exciting as travelling to a new and exotic destination.
It was harder to say goodbye this summer because I fell in love and had to leave my boyfriend behind. He is studying in England. Yet all the while, I knew I had to go. There is something special about feeling sad but knowing deep down that you’re doing exactly what you have to do. That you’re following your heart even if it means leaving pieces behind and risking the comfort of what you have now being changed by time.
I want to experience life in another language and challenge myself by being truly independent out in the big wide world. Home will always be there, in one way or another. After this trip back during the summer, I know that no matter how far I go, I will always stay connected to home. I can’t wait for whatever happens over the next year living abroad, but equally, I can’t wait for that moment when I arrive back home and swap stories with my loved ones.
Have you ever felt at home in more than one place?