Remember the opening scene in the Hugh Grant film ‘Love actually’? Where they talk about the arrivals hall of Heathrow Terminal being one of the loveliest places to be, since it’s somewhere you rarely see hate… only love? Well, I was recently on the receiving end of an airport pick up, at Sydney Kingsford Smith, International airport, when some friends arrived from the UK for a week of sightseeing in our gorgeous city.
It was an interesting perspective for me, since I’m normally the one on the other side of the gate, but that hour or so in arrivals had my mind and heart in a flutter, as it brought back memories and feelings of the countless times I’ve both departed and arrived at Sydney airport.
As I waited I couldn’t help but be moved by the love that I was witnessing in Sydney. From the little boy who sprinted out of the arrivals gate, into his grandfather’s arms, to the embrace of a couple who were reunited with a lingering kiss, and the exchange of a single rose.
These moments reminded me of the joy you feel when returning home after time overseas, and it highlighted that as much as i loveeeee to travel (duh), returning home and getting that ‘coming home feeling’, is often one of the greatest rewards of travel itself.
It got me thinking…. Sometimes you need to go away, just so that you can come home again.
So, what is that ‘coming home feeling’ that I speak of? Well, for me it is mix of gratefulness, appreciation, a chance for new beginnings.
1. You feel more grateful for where you’ve been, and what you are returning to!
For me arriving home after a trip overseas always leaves me feeling pretty damn grateful. Not only for the time that I’ve spent overseas, but grateful for the things had I left behind. It doesn’t matter if my trip was a week, a month, or a year long, I always get that same feeling as I look out the window and watch us coming into land over Sydney.
There are those simple things like a familiar bed, a good healthy meal and cuddles from your partner (cat, dog, whoever!), to the amazing friends and family that you have in your life, who are easy to take for granted when life gets busy. Even though things at home may not have changed all that much, the familiar faces in our lives make coming home special.
2. A new found appreciation for home itself!
Travel opens your eyes to a variety of cultures, landscapes and varying ways of life, so when returning from travel I always find that I have a new appreciation for home itself and see things a little differently than I did before.
We really do live in the lucky country, with no hour long treks for fresh water, no war, no famine. There is an abundance of everything and if you are in a good enough position, then life is relatively easy in comparison to other countries around the world. When you are stuck in the routine of day to day living we get caught up in our ‘first world problems’ and forget that it really could be so much worse.
We also don’t think of home as an adventure, but in reality Australia offers so much variety when it comes to recreation, entertainment and sights to see. It’s easy to forget that our home (Australia) is a destination in itself, and when we look around us there is so much to offer.
I always feel like coming home from overseas can open our eyes to what is right here on our doorstep, so it’s nice to be reminded of that.
3. A chance for new beginnings!
Coming home from travel is also kind of a new beginning. You are refreshed and relaxed after time off work (hopefully), so I always find that I start setting goals for myself and deciding on things I want to achieve now that I’m at back. Work, lifestyle and fitness always seem to be common themes, with work life balance being a big one. (Still a work in progress, but I’m getting there!)
I find the clarity that time away from real life brings is pretty powerful and you need to listen to those thoughts, so I love keeping a journal when I’m travelling so I can make notes of all the random thoughts and ideas I have. Re-reading those notes is a way to get back to that head space I was in, when I was free from life’s stresses, and I feel inspired to transfer some of that new found insight into my real life.
Having these goals also help to beat those back to reality blues and the transition of merging back into real life if you’ve been away for a while
4. An opportunity to plan your next adventure!
If you’re like me and have caught the travel bug BAD, then coming home from one adventure gives me the opportunity to plan the next. It’s funny how the more you travel the more you want to see, and while I have gained all of this new appreciation for home by being away, I’m always ready to plan the next trip.
It allows me to get focused, save money and have something to look forward to. Travel breaks up the monotony of life, and for me it IS so much a part of my life, that I can’t imagine not having a trip planned or something to look forward to.
So … that’s the ‘coming home feeling’ and why it’s sometimes the BEST reason to travel.
Life is so short, and it’s so easy to take our everyday blessings for granted. Go away, just so that you can come home again and be reminded of just how lucky you are to live where you live, be surrounded by the people in your life, and be proud of the person you are!
Do you get that ‘coming home feeling’ or do you long to stay on the road? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
Thanks for reading!