ADJUSTING TO BEING HOME
As most of you know last year I spent about 10 months in Nicaragua. Being there, away from the comforts of home, away from my friends and family and everything else I know, taught me a lot about myself. It was quite the life changing experience. I don’t think you can help but come back from an experience like that with a new perspective on life. The question I get asked the most is “how does it feel to be back home?” Well for all you who are wondering I’m going to go into detail on how I’ve been adjusting to being home.
Adjusting to being home has been exactly that, an adjustment. Some parts have been relatively easy, on the other hand most of it has been a challenge. Let’s start with the easy part. The hardest part about living in a foreign country is being away from family and close friends. It’s for sure the biggest sacrifice I had to make. Thanks to technology it was easy to keep in touch and see each other but seeing each other on a screen and being in the physical presence of others are two very different things. While you’re having your very own adventure you still want to be part of the adventures of your family and friends. Coming back and rejoining them is easy. They’re people you know will always be there for you through thick and thin. Plus no matter how old you get there’s a certain comfort that comes with being surrounded by the love and affection of your parents. Another aspect that has been easy is returning back to the comforts of home. Hot water, driving, Target, MY BED, my much needed hair products, going on unnecessary Target runs, etc. The small things that make the biggest of difference to make your life a little bit more comfortable. Of course in the grand scheme of things you don’t need those comforts to live, because that’s exactly what they are, comforts. Even though that’s the case it’s been nice to have them back in my life.
Now let’s get down to the dirt. You’re probably thinking my list of “easies” was relatively short. And you’d be right. It hasn’t been a super easy transition for me. The day after I got home I was full of anxiety. It was so weird! I couldn’t sit still. Couldn’t stay in the house. I just needed to move. It’s a totally different way of life at home. One thing that’s been a real challenge is not having constant companionship. For the last year I was always with my roommate. I always had someone to talk to or even sit with in silence. Even if we were in our separate rooms the fact of knowing that someone was in the house was a reassurance. That isn’t the case at home. When my parents are at work and I’m home, I’m home alone. Sometimes I’m totally fine with that. Who doesn’t love having the house to themselves from time to time? But one thing I learned about myself while in Nicaragua is how much relationships mean to me. Having close bonds and people around me are super important. So learning to adjust to not always having someone there has truly been a challenge for me. On top of that one of my very close friends got married and another one is now engaged. Please don’t get me wrong. I’m EXTREMELY happy for both of them, but it’s definitely an adjustment figuring out that dynamic. If you’ve ever experienced that I’m sure you know what I mean…..
As a mentioned before being home with family and friends is great. The thing about leaving for a year is that when you come back home you don’t really know where you fit in anymore. At least that’s how you feel. Like being a fish out of water. You’ve changed so much and you view things so differently now it can be a challenge to fall back into to the way things were before you left. You’ve led a different life and your family and friends continued on with theirs. Because others haven’t experienced the things you’ve experienced, it can be difficult for them to understand your mindset and why you view things the way you do now. Neither way is wrong. Just different. But it can be challenging for both parties to handle such an adjustment.
One final challenge that I’ll mention is getting back into the routine of being home. In Nicaragua I was focused on my volunteer work. I’m still doing that work here but as you can imagine it’s completely different. I loved what I was doing in Nicaragua so to have to leave and come back and pick up my routine at home has been a bit challenging. It’s just motivation for me to plan for next year though! I think I might have it figured out. I’ll let you know when/if things are definite.
Adjusting to being home has definitely had its challenges but it’s had its upside too! As time goes on I’m sure the adjustment will get easier…..until my next adventure hehe.
WHAT WAS YOUR EXPERIENCE TO ADJUSTING TO BEING HOME AFTER A LONG TRIP? WAS IT EASY FOR YOU OR WAS IT A CHALLENGE?