After a year of traveling and living overseas I’ve recently returned to the city I lived in for about 9 years after finishing high school. I’ve been back periodically since I moved away from the city a few years ago, so its taken me by surprise how disorientating this return to ‘home’ has been. I’ve had an uncanny sense of deja vu returning this time, as a thousand lost memories flood over themselves, a mix of unremembered thoughts of events overlapping through past chronologies. This sense of personal rediscovery is jolted by the strangeness of renegotiating old friendships, as I emotionally recollect previous relationships, sometimes attempting to remember, and others trying to forget. This weirdness of home seems to be fading as I slip into old routines and comfortable zones, but it still jars against the romantic notions of home I carried while traveling. No doubt the uncomfortable eye-contact with forgotten acquaintances and sudden discoveries of newness will continue for a while, and once these settle I can return again to romanticizing the mythological freedom of travel.
Despite the environmentalist calls to limit global travel our generation seems enamored with long and frequent trips overseas. Perhaps we sense that this remarkable privilege may not continue for much longer. How do other people feel when returning home from travels?