I’ve been back in the States for almost two weeks now and to be honest, I’m not as happy as I thought I’d be. I thought I’d get to see all my friends, but most have moved away and those who have stayed have rigorous jobs. I thought I’d love the chance to get time with my family, but lately, I realize that we’re more different than I thought. The biggest shock is that I thought I would only be here a week max, but now it’s looking like I’ll be here at least another month.
I realize that it’s hard for a lot of people to hear the downsides to traveling. I realize that I have been very fortunate to have the opportunities that I do and I don’t want to come off as ungrateful. Still, the lifestyle I’m used to is not what I have here and the transition has been hard.
I’m used to showing up in a random city, surrounded by people who rarely speak the same language as me, but somehow ending up with a life. I found a community, a friend group, a favorite coffee shop, everywhere I went. At this point in my life, more than anything, I just miss my friends.
I miss Erika, my absolute best friend whom I’ve literally known since the day I was born. She lives in Indiana and we don’t often cross paths. I trust her more than anyone else in the world. I miss Diana, my polyglot buddy. We met at a French language school in Brussels and speak French, Italian, and English together. Often in the same conversation. I miss Megan, my beautiful Oxford babe. We were mates in Egypt; we spent every day together. When I sit at my computer and write, I think of sitting on my couch with her, brainstorming ideas for my next article.
I thought I’d like being home, and at times I do. I like hanging with my little sister and my mom, cuddling my dog, and seeing my cousins just a few towns over. I like going back to my old “everyday coffee shop” and getting my old “everyday drink.” I like seeing the ocean, walking along Highway 101, and the Mexican food. But despite being back here, a place that was once the place I felt most comfortable, I feel more alone than ever.
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