Wow... here we are. In 48 hours I'll already be on an airplane on my way home, after 15 months. So how do I feel??
Well, to be honest, I'm not really sure. Every time I think about going home, I have a different reaction; sometimes I get butterflies in my stomach, sometimes a lump in my throat. Sometimes I'm really excited and sometimes I'm depressed and disappointed.
Until recently, I didn't even realize that it has been an entire 15 months since I was last home. 15 months is a long time! A lot has happened over the last 15 months and I'm not sure I can even appreciate it fully until I finally get home and process it all; get some perspective.
I have to admit though, that as excited as I am to finally go home and return to normalcy, a big part of me is really really sad that it's over. It's hard for me not to feel like, "this is it." It's over. I'll never do something like this again. I'll never have 4 months with absolutely no obligations, no place to be, nothing I HAVE to do - just 4 months to exist; to learn new things, see new places, to live life and to experience it in any way I choose. And that really depresses me.
But I have to just keep reminding myself that it doesn't have to be like that. I don't have to go home and get a job and get married and get a mortgage and have kids.............. I don't have to do anything. I think more than anything else, this trip has taught me that.
Life is full of choices - the world is my oyster.
I hope that I get the chance to do something like this again, but if I don't, it will be because I chose to do something else with my life. Something else that makes me feel happy and fulfilled.
But I do hope that I resist the urge to settle too much into normalcy. One of the things that I love about travelling is that it gets you out of familiar surroundings and forces you to think. You constantly have to think about things that you never have to think about in your normal life:
Where am I going to sleep? How to I eat this? How do I get from point A to B? What the hell is that? What should I do today? (with more options than ever possible at home). What is this person trying to communicate to me? How do I communicate? How do I use this toilet??
All of this thinking leads to lots more thinking and before you know it you just spent 15 months thinking; looking at things from a different perspective, learning about other world views, learning about your own world view... just thinking and learning and thinking some more. I never even realized how much of my life was spent not thinking, until I left everything that I knew and tried to survive in a completely foreign place.
Just thinking about all the thinking I've done is making my brain tired!
In the first two months of our travel alone, I read 13 books! Never before did I have this much time to spend on enlightenment. It was wonderful.
So, when I think about going home, I have to admit that a part of me is very depressed about the whole thing. But with home being only 48 hours away, a larger part of me is excited beyond words.