Home is where I feel a little strange

Darius, my housemate, irritated me this morning and it inspired a post, hooray! He asked me what I was up to today, and I told him I was applying for jobs.

Darius: ‘But, you’ve already got a job.’

Me: ‘Yeah, but I’m a bit bored of teaching and I’d like to do something more fun. I really miss being outside.’

Darius: ‘Well I think you need to learn to be more adaptable, you’ll be off to Latin America volunteering again in September.’

Me: ‘Yeah, but if I can find something I enjoy more, why wouldn’t I do that?’

Darius: ‘What’s that quote about happiness waiting to meet you, you just need to put out your hand?’

Me: ‘Mmm.’

And then I pretended I had something to do upstairs…

*

I instantly warmed to Darius. He’s intelligent, loves talking about world issues and best of all, he’s incredibly honest. So what pushed my buttons?

Well, he was right. I absolutely need to learn to be more adaptable: I’ve always been very emotional, finding it hard to accept that with highs come lows and that makes life much more exhausting than it needs to be, for myself and others!

Again, he was right: true happiness can only come from within, we’ve all heard / read / seen that, and hopefully experienced it, perhaps just momentarily. It’s definitely something I’m trying to get used to.

But equally, why wouldn’t I do something that makes me happier given the opportunity? Yes, I’m blessed that my work have taken me back, but doesn’t it make perfect sense to find something more enjoyable?

I think that’s one of the strangest things about day-to-day life: we seem to struggle to do what we actually want to do. “Isn’t that selfish?” Well, if we deny our own hearts, aren’t we capable of a lot worse to others? From a young age, we’re taught to tick boxes: Get a job, find a partner, buy a house… The monotony makes me feel sluggish and uninspired. I don’t find living for the weekend, craving goodies, fulfilling anymore. Though it would be easier if I did.

Yet when we travel, we’re forced to live in the present: we’re constantly moving, people come as fast as they go, it’s so rich, unpredictable, alive. “But you can’t do that for long, surely it gets dull too?” Yes absolutely, most long-term travellers I’ve met avoid tourist spots, choosing volunteering instead: it’s cheap, we share, we learn, we feel like children again, it’s utterly magical. Others get so into it they get paid work!

*

Feeling like an outsider here in the UK lead me to travel alone three years ago. After that eight month trip, I tried to get settled at home, but ended up leaving again for another five months. This time, I’m embracing the fact that I don’t need to fit in anymore. I’ve met so many people like me, felt so positive and strong, I know I’m happiest floating around for now. “When you’re not?” I’ll figure that out then.

We are animals. We are free animals with a divine spark, we’re not in a farm or a zoo or a theme park, we’re free. We’ve forgotten that we’re free. There’s so much to do, so much on TV, that we’ve forgotten that we’re free.” – Russell Brand

Whatever life we choose, we should do what feels right, surely?

Even if we think it’s going to shock / hurt our the people we care about most, pretending we’re satisfied is essentially bullsh*ting, and that never works out for long. Even if making changes makes us feel isolated and scared initially, it’s so worth it. Ultimately, if we don’t listen to ourselves, do what feels right, we suffer and our loved ones do too, a lot more than we might think.

So thanks Darius, here’s to being honest with ourselves and with each other.

 

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33 thoughts on “Home is where I feel a little strange

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  1. I so agree with you. You live once and should do what pleases you.

    I feel travel does not mean same for everyone. As for me I like coming back home, sleep in my own bed, cook in my own kitchen before I leave for another adventure 🙂

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  2. I think you are right… as much you as you need to be adaptable, why wouldn’t you make a change if you can find something that makes you happier? I love teaching but I know that as soon as I don’t anymore, I am out. Nothing worse than that old cranky teacher who wishes she was doing something else instead of teaching. We are not trees, we do not have roots stuck in the ground, we are capable to move freely and do as we see fit.

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  3. Adventure, success, accomplishments…all of these are fleeting. Leaving an impact to the world is something big and fulfilling that we can search within ourselves. You are blessed to have this opportunity to reflect because not all are given this chance. Go sprinkle your gift to the world – all the best!

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  4. I love how honest this post was. Feeling out of place really sucks and I think that if you can do something to try and counter balance that then… why shouldn’t you!

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  5. I feel like these are endemic pushes and pulls for the traveler. I used to think that I should shut up and be happy in my career. “You can’t travel all the time, that’s a hobby, not a passion.” My family would say. Belittling what I loved KILLED me on the inside. But you know what? You can’t FORCE happiness, and what I realized over the years is that my career is what was causing my unhappiness. So I say explore what makes you happy. Of course you can’t just be running from your life constantly, but you CAN build a life that brings happiness. It’s taken me 3 years of constant change to set the foundation for the life I want. It’s different for everyone, and that’s ok. So do you, figure out what it is that you want out of life. Then make it happen. The ladder part will be filled with trails and tribulations. Hard work, dedication, and most of all, risk. But whatever that is for you, have the courage to chase it. ❤

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  6. I can totally relate to that. I think society wants us to have a stable job and settle down but in our nature is to travel and explore the world. I also don’t feel comfortable being in one place for longer. Even getting away just for a weekend makes me get more energy than sitting at home.

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    1. I can’t tell you how much strength it gives me to know there are people out there like me, thank you 🙂 and yeah when sometimes we can’t go on a long-trip, just a few days can make a huge difference.

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  7. I’ve felt exactly the same. Now, that it’s been less than a month since I came back from a month-long trip, I already feel bored and forget about all the things I enjoyed back their, being abroad. I like what my boyfriend reminds me all the time – it’s not about the place/city/country you are in, it’s about the people you are with and you attitude.

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    1. Aww that feeling is difficult isn’t it? But yeah like your boyfriend is saying too, that’s when you have to remember what you do have (great friendships, love etc) and that we’re blessed to have the experiences we have. And now you know how much you like travelling, you could plan another trip 🙂 thanks for commenting Maria.

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  8. I feel you!! I feel like an outsider in my home country (Finland) as well. Even more ever since I got back after living in USA.
    All of my friends have steady jobs and nice apartments. But I feel like I’m suffocating.
    But thankfully no one is stopping us from seeing the world. I don’t care what people say about me and my life as long as I’m doing what makes me happy 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww thank you Serena, what a lovely lovely message! I’m working on writing more blog posts at the moment, but who knows what could happen in the future hehe. Thanks again 🙂

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  9. I love this! A new environment is extremely refreshing. Honestly, what’s getting me through this stage in life of having to work while my husband finishes his degree is our summer trips and our plans of a rtw trip. I feel like I’m always longing for a new place. Thank you for sharing your heart!

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  10. this Darius person sounds really smart 😊 Personally, I think travel serves different purposes for different people. I travel often but also appreciate coming back to my place

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    1. Yeah he is Ro, and I agree – we all travel for different reasons. I think we can both agree, the most important thing is to feel comfortable and positive wherever we are. Thanks for commenting 🙂

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  11. “This time, im embracing the fact that I don’t need to fit in anymore.” I love that sentence. I’ve come to realize, no matter what one does, someone else (somehow, somewhere) will find some way to criticize the decision. Just because I love to travel and I plan to incorporate that into my life, doesn’t make me selfish. We all have one life to live, so we should try to live out our dreams, yeah? At least that’s my take on it! Love the post!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Absolutely Larissa! Thank you for your comment, I can feeeel your positivity 🙂 I think it’s definitely important to remember that people criticise because it’s easier than listening to themselves / looking in the mirror. But equally people questioning us can help us figure out what we like / don’t like & gives us different perspectives. So I guess we have to be grateful for everything and learn from our experiences. Waffle over 😉

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  12. Yes Lula! Agree with everything here and I love the way this post is written. Also, that Russell Brand quote is spot on! Never thought Russell Brand would be the one to sum up my feelings about being back home after travelling, but it’s very well articulated! We’re animals with animal instincts. For some of us, that means finding shelter, a mate, security. And some of us are wanderers and hunters, always looking for something new, something better. Of course, a mix of both is nice, but for me, the huntress always wins out…

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    1. Aww thank you for your lovely comment 🙂 Couldn’t agree more with the huntress still winning! I know, it’s from his book Revolution, read it a few months ago but the quote stuck with me. He’s actually really good at describing how strange / uncomfortable humans can feel, particularly without obvious reasons.

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  13. Wow – such a relatable post for me! I’ve just returned from 15 months away and am settling back into my life as a teacher (currently doing supply work as it gives me a bit of freedom!). I’ve realised that my heart just isn’t in this line of work and I’m thinking exactly the same as you – why can’t I do something I enjoy more? I think we’re all brought up amongst these cultural norms that sometimes its just not easy to have the courage to step outside the box! But I definitely plan to 🙂 I hope you find what you’re looking for too!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh wow very similar indeed! Yep I agree, it feels like a lot of effort / something scary but imagine doing something you don’t like for years & years, that’s a lot more effort right?! Hope you find what you’re looking for too and thank you for the comment, really appreciate it 🙂

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  14. Great post. I’ve just returned home too. It’s funny, I don’t know how I feel about it yet. Its a bit strange, but on the other hand it really feels as if not much has changed. I still get along with my friends, and it really is as if time stood still here. I am curious how quick I feel like leaving again…

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