I’m sitting here waiting to board my plane. I’m heading home. Finally. When I go to sleep next it will be in my own bed, in my own room.
It doesn’t quiet feel real. None of it does. Not the fact that I’m coming home, or that I’ve been gone for a year and a half; over 500 days. I know when I get home it will feel like I never left, I’m already starting to feel it. My best friend told me after returning from her travels, that life goes back to normal and you just fit back in to a world that is largely the same. That, sounds like the biggest tragedy of all.
I know I can’t stop travelling now, but there’s places closer to home I’ve yet to explore. I’ve never been to Ireland, I’ve barely been to Scotland. There’s places in England I’ve never been – the lake district, the peak district. The list is endless. I’ll probably spend the rest of my life exploring this planet, just in smaller chunks. Now, I’ve got all these memories to keep, keep me happy, keep me focused on life and what really matters.
I want to be able to write this blog and reflect back on my trip, tell you how amazing and life changing it has been, give you the highlights and lowlights. But I can't squeeze 500 days into one blog, however long it is. To explain my trip would take 500 days. Some of you will hear stories over the years and assume you know all there is to know and then 10 years down the line I’ll tell you something new. That's how it works. So when I pause after being asked “tell me all about it!” its because I can't and sometimes just processing that questions takes me back to another time or another place.
So since I can't tell you how I feel adequately, I'm going to do what I need to do. Say thank you. Because, boy, there are a lot of people to thank.
To those who made it possible to leave. My parents who were so encouraging before and during, who encouraged me to spend all my money and enjoy my trip. To my friends who pulled me out of the darkness and into the light, I'd never have left without them. To the friend who was there with cuddles and food and wine and who followed me into Asia and beyond. And thank you to everyone who stayed in touch while I was gone, you were fewer than you think.
While I was gone there were hundreds of people I connected with, some for a day, some for a month; but they all meant something. Thank you to every single person who made their story part of my story, because monologues are boring. To those I never knew before, to those I've known forever but rarely get to see. To the family that became friends and the friends that became family. More than a few people welcomed me into their homes and I wish I could thank them individually, because after months in hostels a home is something not to be taken for granted and I for one can't wait to get back to mine.
As my plane takes off I'm not sad to leave, I'm excited to see what life has in store for me, because, as my Cambodian tattoo says: it seems to me we have a lot of story yet to tell;