It is hard to get started, to quit your job or to get rid of the fear of doing your first solo trip.
But after you have conquered this step, there is one step that is even harder:
To stop, to go back home, to go back to your old life.
After being away from home for most of the time during the past 2 years, it is hard for me to return home. It is great for a visit of course, but I cannot imagine going back for a long time. At least not at the moment. When you are away for such a long time, of course your connections with friends at home diminish. But it is not only that but more that you gain so many new friends around the world. It is the fact, that you experience something new every day and that you never know when you meet an awesome new friend. It is the urge to explore, to see and to discover.
I have always wanted to see and to discover something new. My parents told me, that already as a baby, I never wanted to sleep during the day when they carried me around. I’ve always had my eyes wide open and wanted to soak up every place where they brought me to. The wish to travel grew bigger as I became older. It developed to an inherited urge to travel. I don’t know where it comes from. I have great parents, always had pets and dogs when I grew up, had a beautiful garden and friends. It must have something to do with my personality – the deep urge to see new things, to learn something new and to soak up everything from my surrounding. I am curious. curious about life, the world, different countries and people.
So although I had everything I could dream of, I dreamed of something else: To explore this wide, vast and beautiful planet. I couldn’t have been happier after I started my first travels abroad. And the closer the time (my study abroad semester in Australia) came to an end, the more I feared to go back to a “normal” life. To go back home, where I knew everything and where it is hard to change something. I feel, change is much easier when you travel. You can plan your life anew, decide what you want to do and live every day as you want to live it (ok, maybe not everyday as you also have obligations when you live abroad). But it is more interesting to get things done abroad than to get the same things done at home. Simply because you live in a new surrounding that is fascinating and if you want, you can find something new everyday.
Before my semester abroad came to an end, I knew that it would be harder to go back home than it was to start my adventure. I have read about a reverse cultural shock – a cultural shock that you don’t get when you come to a new country but when you return home. I was afraid. But of course, I was excited to go back home to see my family, friends and especially my boyfriend. I could finally spent time with my loved ones everyday. But after the first euphemism diminished, the urge to travel and to visit new places or just to see your newly gained friends at the end of the world again, came back. But yeah, you can’t turn back time. So what I was doing to solve my “Fernweh” (as we Germans call it, comparable with the “urge to travel”) is, I started looking for a new possibility to go abroad. And I found one: Going to China.
The preparations for my new trip helped me to look forward to something new instead of being trapped in my own four walls. I was craving for a change. And here it was: An adventure to look forward to. As I have a curious personality, I need a change every now and then. I need to see new places and meet new people. I need to get out of my comfort zone and escape this “in-a-box”-thinking and just live.
And here I am: I didn’t stop travelling after my time in China came to an end after 6 months. I couldn’t go back home already. I needed to look forward, to aspire something new and there it was: Why not go to New Zealand?