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On Coming Home

 It may be that the satisfaction I need depends on my going away, so that when I’ve gone and come back, I’ll find it at home.
– Rumi

Coming home is harder than leaving

If you have ever ran away in fear, at some point, eventually you’ll need to return home.

Going home can be terrifying.

Choosing to go back to the place that made you unhappy?

Choosing to return and see everything that you were not then and still are not?

To feel it all again?

All the reminders of anguish, uncertainty, and heartbreak thrust upon you. Inescapable.

Why would you do that?

It was clear that home didn’t cut it then, and you know even more clearly now that home isn’t for you now. Returning to face the familiar space, that doesn’t quite fit anymore, and you know it doesn’t fit. Like putting on clothes you know you have outgrown. Uncomfortable.

But if you never return, what got you to run is now keeping you on the run.

The demon that forced you out of your comfort zone has now exiled you to always run. The difference this time is that when you’ve run for long enough out of fear, afraid of the life you had at home, you need to go back and face that fear. It’s okay to run, but at some point, you need to go back.

So why do it?

You go home when you’re ready to be bigger than the fear that made you run.

Going home shows you that you’re stronger than that fear now. You still take everything you’ve learned and bring it with you home.

You see how far you’ve travelled when you go home.

Returning home with new eyes, a new mind, a new heart. You will see and feel things that were not there before. You will see where you’ve grown.

The lesson of going home

Coming home from travelling, we’re tempted to distance ourselves from others because they ‘don’t understand’ how travel changed us. Many of your friends and family will not share in the new perspectives you gained while travelling. The point of coming home isn’t so that you can distance yourself (metaphorically) even more from your family. The true task of coming home is to find the grace and humility in change. 

In going home, you are also not obligated to fall back into your old life simply because you’re in the same city again. You can choose which people you want to reconnect with, which ones you won’t. You have as many options available to you at home as you do when you travel, they are just part of a different set of options.

When you go home, you must be willing to accept that something you loved dearly, sincerely; still doesn’t fit. You need to create a new place for yourself in such a familiar environment. You have to be stronger than all the pressures, trying to turn you back into the person you were before you left. Let go of who you were in that place. You can accept that you are not that person anymore. You can accept that travel changed you.

You go back knowing now your strengths, and your voice. You go back in your power. The power that got you out of that bad situation. Comes from the same source as your yearning to go home.

Whatever demons you left behind, you go back to face them. Knowing your strength, you can stand firm in who you are. In leaving you are moving forward, there will come a time in your travels, where you will need to confront the life you ran away from. You will need to go back, stronger, wiser.

When you travel; you have no projections from those who knew you. You can instantly become whomever you want, or truly feel. You don’t have any familiar people telling you who you were.

Coming home is challenging, especially after a solo traveling or after your first backpacking trip, but it doesn’t have to be a negative experience. You can learn so much by looking back at the person you were before you left. You can really get to know the person that you are right now. Even if the trip is over, what you learned from it stays with you. This is your chance to apply what you learned from travel into your daily life.

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