There’s always been one thought that has plagued my travels: the feeling of never feeling at ‘home’.
When I think of home, I think of my childhood home. I think of the big garden full of flowers and the sound of the decking as I walk to the back door. I think about my dogs who have always been excited to see me…and my cats who haven’t forgiven me for the first time I moved out.
I think about London and my flat. Having a space to call my own, the independence that comes with living alone. I think about the material things I own, the ability to travel, work and study all at the same time. The luxury of London that comes with financial stability.
But it’s weird because London didn’t feel like ‘home’. And home became an unfamiliar ‘home’. It always felt like some weird transition, waiting for my time to be called and for me to pack my things and start all over again…
I remember so many times during my first year at uni that I’d get upset with this constant feeling of being unsettled and I’d escape back to Wales thinking I was just missing my family. Until I’d get pissed off after a week and be like sayonara bitches. But this feeling continued to follow me no matter where I went. I actually went to Asia hoping to fill this feeling, that typical white girl goes to Asia to find herself thing. Coming back from that trip I was still unsettled, spending a week at home in Wales before deciding I missed London once again. Wow, writing that out seems so all over the place…
It’s been two months since arriving in Norway and I’m still searching for that feeling. How can a place that’s been home for so long not feel like ‘home’? It’s so easy to pick holes in places and people to keep the distance, to justify why it’s okay to say, ‘it’s not working out, I’m leaving’. I miss my friends, I miss the independence, I miss home.
But what difference would it make? The place I created in my head existed, and even in reality it wasn’t enough.
My friend and I went job searching in Hemsedal (spoiler: it was unsuccessful) the other week and I told her what I was feeling. She told me something that clicked in my head. Finally.
We’re all 20 somethings going through a weird phase. We’re going from being our parents child to being an adult in our own right. We all try to find the comfort in something familiar when we’re in unfamiliar territory, and she was so right. I don’t shy away from stepping out of the comfort zone, but I certainly don’t embrace it with open arms. Calling friends often, not adjusting to changes, isolating myself. I always just thought it came with solo travelling, but actually it’s probably more the fact that it is easier to keep myself closed off.
Stood in Oslo, the sun shone down. That was literally the first time in so many years that I truly felt like I had nothing, nothing at all to think or worry about. And it was so easy to just enjoy the moment, the freedom of being in another country and the privilege to have been able to spend so long here. So I’ve really tried to make an effort to just chill the fuck out and be more genuine with the people and the opportunities that are here.
It’s a work in progress but at least I’m not checking Skyscanner every few minutes.