One week. One week, and I’ll be landing at Detroit Metro Airport. I would be lying if I said I’m not scared. After all, I’ve spent a year on this continent and nine months in this village and apartment. Austria no longer feels foreign to me; it feels just as normal as Michigan. It has become my home away from home. And, if I’m allowed to say it, I’m nervous to go back to my “real” home, my parent’s home, in Rochester Hills, Michigan.
I’m afraid the normal will feel foreign. I’m afraid I will be foreign. I’m afraid I’ve changed so much that I won’t be able to fit back into my old roles: daughter, sister, friend, Michigander, American. I’m afraid I’ll have a travel comedown involving irrational behavior, extended moping around the house in pajamas and a lot of chocolate.
I’ve been preparing myself mentally for the last month or so for my departure. I’ve made my bucket list for the summer and told myself I’m going to have a good time. But what will happen after the novelty of being home wears off?
I remember the last time I came home from an extended trip to Germany. I was 17 and had been there a month (up until last May, this was the longest I’d been abroad). Upon my arrival back in the US, I remember quite clearly hating everything about Rochester and constantly singing Germany’s praises, while simultaneously bitching about the United States. My mom still likes to remind me what a little shit I was at this point in my life. I’ve matured about 5 years since then, so I can only hope I won’t be a heinous, complaining bitch this time around. But I had gone on the trip with 36 of my classmates, and we were able to miss Germany together. Now, I’m the only one that’s been abroad and had these experiences.
All Photos by Cia de Foto
I’ve read countless of blog posts and articles about keeping the feeling of travel alive, doing what I want before it’s too late and what not to do when I return home. I feel prepared and ready to go home and have a good time, but it doesn’t change the fact that I’m nervous for my homecoming.
Maybe when I get home, it’ll be easy and great, and I’ll wonder why I was so nervous. But, for now, I’m scared and I don’t know what to expect. And I think that’s OK when one is on the cusp of such a huge change, a new phase in her life.
What do you think? What is coming home like for you? Let me know in the comments.
Until next time.
PS, I’m holding off on updating about my trip to Berlin until I get the pictures developed. But don’t worry, I have a lot to write about