Why You Will Never Settle In One Place After Travelling (And Why You’ll Never Feel Completely At Home Again)
“You will never be completely at home again because part of your heart will always be elsewhere.” That is the price you pay for the richness of loving and knowing people in more than one place.
I had spent the last eight years of my life in some form of education and with a PLC in Nursing under my belt, I realised I no longer wanted this as a career choice. After a lot of thought, I decided to do a diploma in Media Moving Image followed by a Degree in Film and Video. Travel was always on the cards and I wanted to see the world, with a degree under my belt I decided to take flight.
My summers were spent in a range of countries: Greece, Malta, Scotland, and Wales. I met friends for life and learned valuable life lessons along the way. I fell in love more than once and I worked in jobs that would make anybody laugh. I spent most of my summer breaks from College on an island or a boat. I didn’t mind as long as life presented a challenge.
That’s when the idea of Australia came into play. Visiting the country was just a dream for years until I finally made it happen. After a year of hard work and saving up, I was ready to take the plunge and move to Australia. I chose the perfect travel companion: my best friend Marion. We’re both as laid back as each other.
I loved the idea of summer all year round (or so I thought – Melbourne is freezing in the winter!) and I loved moving to a new city every couple of months, finding new jobs, and doing things I didn’t think I was capable of. Becoming a butcher for six months was one of them but that is a story for a completely different blog post! Australia was the best time of my life.
Every day was an adventure and I will never forget the friends that I made along the way. There will forever be a place in my heart for the small town of Gingin in Perth. I felt like a local by the time I left and will never forget my time there.The kindness that the locals showed me will stay with me forever. It is these moments, such as a small community from the opposite side of the world that made me feel like I was a part of their home, that make travelling worthwhile. People you meet while travelling usually become some of the most valued friends in your life, giving you points on the map to visit later on. These friendships, at times short lived, give you a glimpse outside your hometown circle of friends, forcing you into new and refreshing perspectives.
I met one of my now best friends while travelling. We met in the first couple of months in Australia and we have travelled together ever since. Similar to myself and Marion, with a positive and laid back attitude, we have Island hopped around Thailand and are currently planning our next adventure.
I can remember the day clearly. I had just returned to Australia after a three-week stint at home in Ireland. I had gone home for Christmas and had an amazing time with my family and friends. I enjoyed the hustle and bustle of Ireland at Christmas and the cold air was nice for a change. It was quite hard getting the flight back to Australia as I wasn’t ready to leave just yet. I was clearly jet-lagged after a 30-something hour flight. I was feeling sorry for myself as I was shattered. I began thinking of my time at home.
I longed for ten minutes of Irish weather. What did I miss? I had missed my family a lot more than I realised, the previous three weeks with them had been amazing and refreshing. It was the second time I had met my nephew and I have three other nieces and nephews who know me as the Auntie who is never at home. I like to think of myself as the “Cool Aunt” who sends awesome presents home from far away lands. Ahem…. Ahem! I realised I had only seen my family for about three weeks in a year. There were some of my best friends who I hadn’t seen in years and I had to actually ask my mother at one point who the President of Ireland was, as I didn’t have the foggiest!
I couldn’t get home out of my head and I still had another year left on my visa. I was incredibly surprised by my feelings as I had never had a desire to live in Ireland. Don’t get me wrong, I love Ireland, I just always thought that a hammock on an exotic far-flung island was a more obvious lifestyle choice for me. However, the more time that passed, the more I became conscious I wanted to go home and see if I was ready to live in Ireland or even to see what my home country had to offer. I was also aware of the economic crisis in Ireland and could understand why there were, and still are, so many people emigrating.
At times though when I saw groups of Irish people drinking in Irish pubs wearing Irish jerseys, I get the picture that everyone was on their way home. I believe that it just takes some people longer than others to realise what a home is for them and that you need to travel to recognize that. I am not saying this is true for everyone, but all of my travelling – and there has been a lot of it – has rather strangely directed me home.
I arrived home in April and I am loving it. I have not hung up my travel boots in any sense at all; for now this is where I want to be in the world and until I get itchy feet again, Ireland is stuck with me. Travelling changes you and forces you to grow and get out of your comfort zone. Every now and again, it will completely baffle you by revealing things about yourself that you didn’t know. In my case that was a desire to move home. I am unsure how long I will stay in Ireland this time and you never know when the travel bug will strike. One thing is for sure, once you get the itch for travelling, it never goes away.
Travelling is refreshing and makes you a more well-rounded human being. It has changed me and I feel all the better for it. So, my advice is travel the world and put yourself out there even if it’s only for a short time. Have faith in yourself and your decisions and see where you are guided. Sometimes you will face difficulties not because you are doing something wrong, but because you are doing something right. My family has won this round, but don’t be surprised if a homesickness for Australia creeps up on me. Anything is possible if you have enough nerve. Dreams come true – If you want to travel now you’ve probably always wanted to. You imagined it, daydreamed about it, contemplated it. Guess what? Now’s the time to do it. Why travel? Because you can.
Some people travel to find themselves and some people travel to lose themselves. I simply travel because I believe the world is small enough to get around once and big enough for it to be a challenge.