The Discomfort of Comfort
It hasn’t been easy being back ‘home.’ And it has nothing to do with the post-travel blues.
Sure, there’s nothing like being able to wake up in a new city every few days or the sheer thrill of non-stop adventures. But I always maintained that this past year had little to do with the travel side of things.
And in the same way, returning back to Sydney this time has not been the same as coming back from any other trip.
In reconfiguring what home means to me, I forgot to also rethink what the place I had always called home fit into this new mindset.
I don’t know what the role of Sydney is to me anymore. There’s nothing really that ties me here - except for my dog and sadly, that isn’t a joke anymore.
The people that are most important in my life are mainly overseas.
I barely see my family and I swear I spoke to them more in a week while I was overseas than in the whole month I’ve been back.
I’ve never felt so alone - and this is after a whole year of travelling to unfamiliar places where I knew no one alone.
I’ve got nothing to distract me from the negativity that’s starting to dominate my thoughts.
When I think of going on a spontaneous adventure or even just a wander like when I was abroad, the thought of how much money it would cost me or the effort to leave this godforsaken suburban area undermines any point in pursuing it.
Sydney was the place I grew up and yes, it has shaped who I am today and I proudly identify as Australian, particularly when I’m overseas.
I knew it as the place I went to school, the place I started my career. But with that came the place where I felt a lot of those growing pains.
I felt lost here, I didn’t know who I was; a state I reconciled by leaving and running away from the troubles that grew here.
So it was no wonder that I’ve felt so lost being back. This year has been so monumental in feeling comfortable in the discomfort of new and unfamiliar situations.
But in a place which is both comfortable; and not, I’m scared at how much I’ve lost all the progress I felt like I did over the past year in just a month.
To put it bluntly, I’ve lost my mojo.
And while I thought I’d managed to figure out ways around this that were location independent, all I can think about is planning my next escape.
I don’t really know where to go from here. I’ve often turned to this blog when I’ve come through that dark bit and come to some sort of epiphany about how it’s making me better and moving forward. But right now, I can’t seem to get out of it and I’ve found that I’ve relied on the extreme discomfort of my surroundings to still push me further.
So maybe it is about seeking discomfort in another way - of also rethinking what it means to be in a familiar situation; of how I can find the drive to push my own limits further when my living situation isn’t doing it.
Location independence isn’t just about getting used to places that were unknown to me before, but those that just feel unknown to me now.