BootsnAll Travel Network

Coming Home Has It’s Moments of Grief

I was driving home from work was early afternoon and I was

Listening to public radio

Looking out at the flat landscape that surrounds the area of California where I live

Admiring green fields and the blue hills in the distance

When I was overtaken by an overwhelming sense of grief.

Somehow coming home wasn’t what I thought was. I mean to say, I know I’m home, but sometimes I feel this sadness because even though I grew alot on my travels I lost pieces of myself, too.

Or maybe I just changed so much that whoever I used to be I only get occassional glimpses of. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by just how much my travels changed me and how I will never be able to look at things the same way again, like the way I did two years ago.

It’s difficult for several reasons: one, it’s more difficult to relate to people-at least, the same people I was relating to before. I have seen so many things and my world view is so drastically altered from my previous experiences that sometimes I feel like I’m an imposter inside my own skin. Sometimes the problem is that other people still just see the same old skin, and they don’t look any deeper.

I do struggle-daily- with the fact that being in India and all my other destinations where I lived with very poor people changed me. It changed me so much that I don’t relate to the values of the culture I belong to anymore. I don’t think the things that people here find important are of much value to me-or to the world in general. People are consumed with status and stuff and looking good, looking important. People have so much pride and ego and that seems to be what motivates them many times. Sometimes I listen to people talking and I wonder if they understand what they are saying or doing. It’s almost painful for me.

I find this difficult to relate to. I did alot of things many people would find disgusting or humiliating on my trip in the various volunteer jobs I had, and it chased my pride and ego away pretty quickly. There’s not much space for self in that scenario.

But more than that, I struggle with what has turned out to a loss of myself, my old self. I feel sometimes sentimental about her simplicity and her lack of knowing, truly knowing, what world is like for many.

When I was driving home, I was thinking of my past life and my past troubles and joys and mistakes and I missed her. I missed my old self, the person I used to be. I found myself crying and had to pull my car over to the side of the road. It was just overwhelming.

It’s strange to grieve for yourself–but maybe when you’ve been through so much intensity and seen so many things that many people never will, you have to go through the process of letting go of your attachment not just to way you used to see things, but who you were back then.

But this grieving , well, it’s a lonely business. In the middle of trying to figure out so many things for my future goals, I’m also trying to process all the changes I’ve been through and trying to figure who I am now. I can’t really discuss this with people, because they don’t really get it. People, I think, want things to stay the same–change is scary.

But I’m not the same at all. Not at all. Which can be very isolating.

I think my experiences traveling RTW and especially working with very poor and needy people in Central America and India really altered me so that I desire, want, need totally different things than I ever did before.

In fact, sometimes I feel like even the very insides of my body have changed, that some chemical process has occured.

It’s that drastic.

Being home it’s a very surreal experience. And In the middle of it all, I miss her sometimes. I miss her not knowing, not feeling. I feel like the goals I have for my life now are so big that who she was, well, it wouldn’t work. My new life wouldn’t work with her.

But I miss her terribly, even though I know I can’t go back to being her.

I’m not sure if there is a particular order all of these feelings generally happen in upon coming home–I know that my life was so messed up when I arrived home that it took two months before it finally hit me where I was–back in the USA, driving a car! speaking English! etc.– at all. I have the sense that people that do extreme things and have the desire to change themselves, as I did when I began the journey, often have no idea of just how successful they really have been at changing themselves until they are home for awhile.

I would never want to go back to who I was–even though she was sweet and wonderful. I would prefer to sift through all these trials and thoughts and plans and come out shining, being  a better human being for it.



4 responses to “Coming Home Has It’s Moments of Grief”

  1. baccaratsite says:

    I’ve been troubled for several days with this topic. baccaratsite, But by chance looking at your post solved my problem! I will leave my blog, so when would you like to visit it?

  2. Lucinda says:

    I found your page through an odd Internet search. This essay is excellent skribbl io.

  3. Everyone experiences loss once in their lifetime, changes their mind, and becomes a better person as a result. I am searching for an assignment help service for my brother’s project writing but I am reading through this article and learning about life is not easy.

  4. Your advice is much appreciated. Because I am a total freeloader, my family and I will be riding the train from Brittany to that area early in November to stay a week. I will inform you whether we are able to finish all sixty of your suggestions.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *