The year is up and its time to go back home.
Home, back to Tokyo.
Today, I took off from LAX, Los Angeles International Airport.
I am on the plane writing this with many mixed feelings.
Firstly, facing the incredibly scary separation from someone that has come to be part of me over the past few months in my trip and in my life in LA. It was a surprising turn of events that lead me to this but I followed my instincts and my heart and everything fell right into place. I had a routine, a life and a home in LA and now that I am leaving to… go back home, it really feels weird. So where is home right now? I’m not sure. So obviously there is a dark cloud above me for this leaving and I expect it only to get worse in this aspect. Ugh.
And then there is the anticipation of all the reconnecting that I will do in Japan. With friends and family I haven’t seen in one year. I am excited to see them and see what has been going on, what I have missed. But also anxious to see how they will respond to me coming back. Will they be interested to know about my experiences and stories? Will they ask the same questions and expect a completely changed me? Will I find different perspectives in relationships and will I still feel at home? I have heard from other travelers that sometimes they feel so out of place initially when they go home. Like time has stood still and you just don’t fit anymore. Let’s see how that goes.
Then, there is the realization personally that the year of my dreams, hopes and freedom is coming to an end. I will probably never be able to have this kind of freedom for a while, if ever, and it makes me a bit sad, but mostly, I am filled with a deep happiness and satisfaction that I was able to do this in my life. Now this trip is something that defines my character and will forever be part of the person that I am. I am proud of it and it will always make me feel good and courageous so though the year may come to an end, it was completely well worth it.
There is also a warm relief and happiness that I am still in one piece, safe, sound, healthy and happy and coming back home. Yes, I’ve lost a lot of things on the way and my luggage surprisingly is smaller than when I started, but I have gained something exponentially much more valuable. “Experience”, to sum it up in one word yes, but it is new connections and meaningful friendships I’ve made along the way. It is the love for learning and absorbing new things like Spanish, it is the exposure and knowledge to so many unknown things that make me think differently and appreciate what I am and where I come from. It is the memories of new challenges like surfing, kite surfing, 4 day hikes, salsa and cumbia, jumping off cliffs, climbing glaciers, laying in the valley looking up at the stars. It is the instincts and skills I gained to protect myself and survive on a budget which gave me an appreciation for the value of a dollar. It is the new appreciation for new foods, new rhythm, new habits and new lifestyles. I am carrying all these with me and don’t have anything to show for it, but I feel much more heavier with happiness and confidence from this all.
So all these emotions are mixing and putting me into a happy, sad, excited, terrified, anxious, calm state on this plane ride, but I think it is in fact a great way to end this one year journey. I am not just on a high with the trip that I am dreading going home or I am not sick of traveling and dying to go home. I have had my fun and feel fulfilled and have had enough time to process it that I feel comfortable to transition back into reality and look at life through new refreshed eyes.
So what’s next? Well I will be back in Tokyo for now and thankfully I am fortunate to have a job to slip back to. I am excited to start up the life again (and make some money for a change!!) and see it in a new perspective. Hopefully I will approach things a bit differently and it will be a new experience.
I also hope that I will continue to pursue the interests and passions I have gained in the year and to keep the momento up in my daily life in Tokyo.
As for the blog I have not been very good with updating all of my travels, so I hope to start working on filling those in. There’s still so much more stories I have not shared!
Thank you for those that have taken the time to follow me and read my amateur blog.
As I sit in the plane, I feel a lot of emotions come and go but surprisingly I am calm and it does not feel bad at all.
I think I’m ready to go back home.