This time two months ago, I had just landed in Los Angeles. Before then I had been in Queenstown, New Zealand, which is possibly my favourite place in the world. While there I’d visited Milford Sounds, which was possibly one of the best days of my life. And then I spontaneously chose to fly to California because it was (kind of) on the way home, so why wouldn’t I stop over for a few days? I’d had this carefree attitude for half a year. I’d had the freedom to spend my time exactly how I chose, doing exactly as I pleased. Every day was new and exciting and exhilarating. Travelling was dancing and snorkelling and climbing and partying and exploring and small-talking and flying and deep-chatting and reading and scuba diving.
And suddenly the plane is touching down in England. And in some ways, nothing has changed. My town is still as grey as I remember and the postman still comes at 11 AM on the dot. Yet there are differences that stop me from shrinking back into my life. My friends have new friends. And new homes and new jobs and new schedules. And I have to fit myself into their lives because they’ve grown used to being without me. And I need a job, but suddenly all my ambition has faded as I’ve realised bigger dreams that don’t involve sitting in an office for eight hours a day.
Except, all the big dreams that had seemed achievable while I was away suddenly seem less possible. I wanted to work on a boat and spend my days on the ocean. I wanted to live on an island. I wanted to learn another language. I promised myself I would do these things but now I’m building my life at home and rooting myself here. How will I leave again?
I’m not writing this to complain or be negative. I have amazing friends and a wonderful family and I’m so lucky to have somewhere to come back to. But the transition isn’t easy. The problem with living your dream is that returning home is waking up. How do you do that and not want to fall asleep again?