Coming Home

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Thoughts on returning home after several months away
Thoughts on returning home after several months away

How do you feel when you return home after time away? Are you relieved or disappointed? Does your home look wonderful or does it seem tawdry in comparison to the sights you’ve seen on your travels? The answer may vary depending on where you’ve travelled to and for what length of time, but quite often you may feel some combinations of all these things

I’ve returned to my home after five and a half months away. As enjoyable as the time away was, being back in my own home brings a sense of comfort and being able to relax, much like the feeling of slipping into sweat pants or pyjamas after a long day in dress slacks and a belt. But I also find myself looking at the house in a different way.

I have to think to to remember where things are in the kitchen. Going to a particular cupboard is no longer automatic. A few things have been moved around by the people living in my house while I was away. Some I’ve moved back, but one or two things make more sense where they’ve put them.

I like looking at the personal touches I’ve added to my home – the artwork, the family photographs. But after living quite comfortably for five months with much less stuff, I realize there are a lot of things in the house I don’t need. I have a renewed energy to clean, clear, and declutter.

The house I’ve lived in for almost eighteen years now feels both familiar and foreign. It’s not the house that has changed. And I wonder in what other ways the experience of being away has changed me. It is not immediately obvious and may take time for me to understand.

Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.

Terry Pratchett

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  1. My hubby and I spend the winter in Texas where we live in an RV Park, in a “Park Model”, which by definition is 400 sq.ft. When we come home what I enjoy is having 3 times the space. My adjustment when we come home is establishing our summer routine. In Texas we have alot of organized activities in which we participate. Also all our friends are in close proximity so social interaction is at our fingertips. Back home I have to plan activities and get togethers with friends as they are spread out around the city. Though each location is quite different, we love both and have come to referring to both as home and our Texas friends as our Winter Family.

  2. I remember returning home after short and long trips and seeing my home through different eyes. Everything felt slightly off-kilter. It seemed that everything at home had stayed the same while I had changed….

  3. At this stage of my life I want to go, go, go… Life is too short, and there is too much to see and do. But, with that being said, when we are home, I like to just be home.

  4. I’m always so happy to get home to see my cats. If it weren’t for them , I would probably fixate on how much needs to be done around the house. Thank goodness for my pets :)!

  5. Having been away for five months I’m sure you will have changed a lot –
    It’ll be interesting to see how well you fit back into your old lifestyle – and in what ways your old mold will have to modified to make room for your new self and the personal growth you’ll have experienced πŸ™‚

  6. I’m about to find out how it is returning home after 4 months away traveling for a month in SE Asia and then living in Hawaii for 3 months. This will be the longest we’ve been away from home as adults. (As a child, I did year long stints with my family in Mexico and England and then a semester in Colombia as a college student). Part of me is dreading going home. Our away life has been much less complicated on a day to day basis—the less stuff thing, for sure, as you observed. But, I miss our dog and my mother and I liked our Philly life too, so hopefully, the re-adjustment won’t be too difficult.

  7. We just returned from a 9 day trip and it seems forever. I love to travel, but there’s no place like home and my own bed. As empty nesters, we followed our transient children from Wisconsin to Utah and love living here. I couldn’t return to the place of my birth for more than a few days even though this is where generations before me lived.

  8. I travel approximately 50% of the time. When I open the door, the smell of my home always brings a smile to my face. And then of course, there’s my tricked-out, memory-foam bed…… ahhhhhhh.

  9. There is no place like home. I am always happy to return to my leafy lanes and cozy house. I like to merge in the few new items I’ve collected and to notice afresh the items I’ve not seen for a while. And there is simply nothing as wonderful as climbing into my own bed. πŸ™‚

  10. Donna, for me there are always mixed feelings for the first few hours but thereafter I immerse myself in being home while on some level looking forward to the next journey

  11. The longest I have spent away from home was 21 days in Europe. I was ready to come home. However,most often I am the most sensitive when our children travel with us. As an empty nester, I don’t live with them, but for that short moment in time we are all together again. Mom’s heaven. Thinking of this brought up an emotion I did not realize I had in connection to traveling.

  12. Home for me for the past 13+ years is not really my home. I live in Korea because I have a good job here with lots of time off to travel. I’m usually somewhere else in the winter and summer. These are unarguably the most unpleasant seasons in Korea; cold winters, humid summers. However, I do have a nice apartment here, and coming back to it is always good. Like you say, it’s easier to slip into the PJ’s or whatever. I might be in Korea this summer, and that is going to be different. I wonder what I’ll think of my apartment after suffering through months of humidity! πŸ™‚