‘Wherever you have friends, that’s your country. Wherever you have love, that’s your home’ – Dalai Lama
I’ve been in Japan for nearly 3 and a half months and not once have I missed home! You read that sentence and think wow she must be having such an amazing time that she just hasn’t thought of home…well that would be wrong. There have been days where all I have thought about is leaving Japan but the place that I want to escape to isn’t the comfort of my home country. I crave the comfort of California, a place that has my heart and soul. I crave the adventure of Morocco and trekking in the mountains. Most importantly I crave the thrill of getting on a plane that’s going to a place that I haven’t been to before.
This lifestyle that I lead sounds good in theory and 98.5% of the time it’s fantastic but sometimes you can feel so lost and unsettled. Sometimes I look at the lives of my friends and think how incredibly lucky they are to have a life where they are surrounded by family and friends constantly, passionately in love with someone who lives in the same town as them and they love the place that they call home. Over the last two years the longest that I have been in my home town was 3 months and that was with a quick break to Italy. Yes I grew up there, my mum is there and a handful of good friends but I have no connection to the actual place anymore.
If anything it makes me sad because it makes me think of all of the friendships and relationships that I have lost since I started travelling. Some have been more painful than others, some have been heart wrenching and have seen me crying myself to sleep for nights on end. Others further back have taught me the lesson that it is okay to let go of the toxic people in your life. I do look back on my past sometimes and think what would my life be like if I hadn’t fallen in love with travelling? What job would I be doing? Would I be in stable and loving relationship? Would I be thinking of my career or starting a family? Would I still suffer with my mental health so deeply? I’m very quickly learning that asking the question of what if can be the most damaging thing. Asking questions like what if I’d never met that guy, would I be happier? What if I never let go of that person? What if I had never gotten on that flight? Stop questioning and start accepting what has happened.
I’ve learnt so many lessons over the last few months that will stay with me a lifetime. I’m grateful for the opportunity I have been given and will always remember it. But when people ask me whether I enjoyed my time in Japan I will struggle to answer. This country is amazing and so alive, the history and culture will leave you wanting to learn as much as you can and so I will tell people this…I would love to come back and visit but I could never live here again. I urge everyone to visit but I know that it will not be the country that I decide to settle in and that’s ok. There is this idea that every country you visit you will fall in love with but it’s not always true. If I have to face one more appalled face when I say I’m not overly fond of being here I’m going to go crazy. It’s totally okay to not want to stay in the place you’re in, if it wasn’t then we wouldn’t be in a different country in the first place!
One of my best friends once told me that MY FEELINGS ARE VALID and it was one of the most important things that someone could ever tell me. I tell myself this every day and I have accepted that if someone makes you feel like what you’re feeling isn’t valid then they are not worth having in your life. Letting go is ok.
And so I guess from that I have to accept that its okay for me not to feel rooted to one place and that everything will be okay in the end.
‘One of the happiest moments in life is when you find the courage to let go of what you can’t change’ -Anon
Until next time