Maybe you know this from experience, but when I was a teenager I could not wait to move out of my parents’ house and see new places. I always knew I was going to explore as much of this planet as I could, even though to this day I’m never really sure how to afford it.
Well, this feeling ended in me moving to Munich for a few years, and then to Liverpool, and I am pretty sure that’s not my last stop. And while the physical distance to my family and friends has been tough sometimes while I am in England, and I can more and more imagine moving back to the idyllic Austrian village life some day, I am not done discovering. I love being in a foreign country, learning how the people here eat, speak, love and party. I was even able to experience Brexit from two points of view; my own as a European immigrant and the one of a British person who would prefer to stay individual and independent.
But increasingly more often these days I experience phases of homesickness, and looking forward to my next trip back home is the only thing that will keep me going, and suddenly using most of my holidays on trips to the same old place doesn’t seem like a complete waste at all. When I was last in Austria this summer I realised how little I noticed how important going home is for me, even though I can never wait for the next time I go abroad again. I don’t know if you feel the same way, but I hope some of you travelling souls can see themselves a little bit in this. I think it is extremely important even for the ultra-highest-level, constant travellers to go back ‘home’ every once in a while, and here is why:
- If you still have family or friends somewhere, and you are at least somewhat close to them, coming home is like a reset and recharge button. You see familiar faces and places, you know your way around really well, and you don’t have to explore anything anymore. This place is already yours. Lay back and relax.
- By travelling you have experienced different cultures, food and lifestyles, and you’re absorbing it like a dry sponge absorbs water. You’ve been to Japan, the USA, Croatia and Nepal, and you enjoyed every second of learning something new. But the only way to suffer from a cultural information overload is to go home, dig your feet in the ground and reconnect with your roots. Only the contrast and comparison of your own cultural environment will make the cultures of others stand out.
- Once you have done a fair amount of travelling and living abroad, it’s easy to feel like you’ve seen everything you could possibly see and you might run a little low on travel inspiration or motivation. For me, going home to the place where I had spent most of my life without seeing any other place in the world helps me reset my wanderlust. Also, it helps me remember the feeling I had as a kid when I wanted nothing more than to get out of my save haven and explore and have silly adventures. There is nothing better than that to remember how much I appreciate my ability to travel.
- Being away from your original home will actually give you more appreciation for where you came from and how you grew up (unless, of course, you really hate the place you grew up in. But then I feel like this blog plost is probably not for you).
- The next time you go home try and go for a walk and just look at things you thought you knew. You might be surprised by the amount of new things and places you will find you have never noticed before. It could be a lake, or a restaurant, or a library, or just a tree that looks like the skeleton of a 500 year old man.
I am lucky. My home home is an idyllic small town in Austria with lots of open fields, trees and lakes, and a nice view of the North chain of the Alps. Who would not want to come back here to recharge their batteries? I really don’t know.