I've been "home" from my visit home for 3 weeks now. January is flying by. Crazy. My visit home was great, but even with 3 weeks of course I didn't manage to see everyone I wanted to see and go everywhere I wanted to go. That being said, it was lovely and (almost) felt as if I'd never left. I wasn't quite sure what to expect, but there was no crazy culture shock or whatever else I may have anticipated. Maybe I wasn't gone long enough for that.
I think returning to France was more emotionally difficult than leaving the US the first time. Of course I was excited to come back and continue my adventures- but I was also leaving home knowing that this time it's for the long haul, and I won't be back for quite a while. The first time I left was almost like a trial run, and I knew that no matter what I would be seeing my family and friends in less than 3 months for the holidays- so those goodbyes were difficult, sure, but not as intense as the second round. During lunch before my flight, Josh said I seemed a lot calmer than the last time we were having lunch before my departure. I hadn't noticed, but I guess that makes sense. I wasn't leaving for a foreign, unfamiliar land- I was returning to a place I now know well and the little life I've built here. Home. My other home.
Adjusting seemed a little harder than before, but maybe it's just always hard. 3 weeks was more than long enough to grow re-accustomed to having a partner, to not sleeping alone, to having my someone there next to me providing comfort, warmth, security, all those things that just wrap around you like the most soothing blanket ever. Between the distinct, painfully obvious lack of that blanket, and wrapping my mind around the fact that that was going to be my reality for the rest of the year...that first week back was a rough one. I blamed "jet-lag" for my inability to sleep for the first two weeks, but I'm sure it was a combination of those things- and all that Netflix binging wasn't helpful...
It's been interesting (in that challenging, not always fun, but definitely valuable way) sorting through my feelings/thoughts throughout this experience so far. Some things that I expected to be easy have been anything but, while other things I was so nervous about I now do without a second thought. As cliché as it sounds, I've learned and am continuing to learn a lot about myself, in a way I'm not sure I could explain without seeming long winded and cheesy. I'm pretty sure it's one of those things that's inexplicable, but if you know, you just know. You know? ;)
I'm excited to spend 2015 traveling as much as possible- my first few months here I was settling in and learning my way around trains/metros/etc, now I'm determined to make the most of this year. Next weekend I'm going to Barcelona with Nadalee, my first trip to Spain! It will be a pretty quick trip, packed full of places and things to see and do and not nearly enough time to do them. I'll be spending nearly two weeks in Thailand next month- which doesn't even seem real yet- and who knows what comes after that! Not a bad start to 2015.
Here's to traveling and blogging and doing both consistently!