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IMG_3110How true is the phrase, ‘You don’t know what you have until it’s gone’?

Well, it’s become reality for me, that and reverse culture shock. Yes, reverse culture shock actually happens. Weird how you spend most of your life in one country, you move away for 3 years and then you come back to your home country and suddenly you can’t cope.

Why? You’ve only been away 3 years, compared to 25 years in your home country. Why do you feel so out of place? I’ve come to realise that it’s not about the amount of time you spend in one place but about how well you adjust to the culture you are living in. I obviously enjoyed my lifestyle in South East Asia a lot more than I thought. However, I didn’t know this because I was too busy thinking about my family, friends and things I missed from England. I was always wondering if living in Indonesia was the right thing for me. I took advantage of living in a hot climate and a relaxed culture. I was too focused on other things that involved my future. It made me blind to the lifestyle I could be leading with some amazing people. It stopped me from making connections with those who I could have become closer to. Coming back home to England has made me realise what I had out there.

I started living abroad because I wanted to escape the person I used to be. I wanted a new beginning, I wanted to go to a place where no one knew me and I could start again. It was exciting and it wasn’t hard work. But I kept going back home to England because one thing that I hated about living overseas was that I missed my family and friends. I was so far away from my loved ones. I was so far away from those who know me best.

That’s what kept bringing me back. But every time I came back I had itchy feet to get back out and leave England again. I wasn’t happy in England. But why? It has taken me years to find out and I am still trying to get the right answer and I don’t think I ever will. All I do know is that, yes immigration is difficult and it is hard to settle in to a new culture, but being back home isn’t where I belong anymore. I don’t seem to fit into the puzzle pieces that I left behind. Being where I belong is something I’m willing to work for.

Don’t get me wrong, it has been amazing coming back home and being with my family and friends again. They have been so supportive and it’s definitely what I was missing. People who have known me for years have helped me put things into perspective. But it’s not enough to keep me here. Firstly, I am sooooooo cold! It stops me from wanting to go places and do activities. I would rather stay indoors, all snuggled up, watching TV. On the other hand, when I was living in Makassar, Indonesia, I missed having those nights in, sat in front of the TV. You can’t win either way. You will always miss something, so you’ve just got to focus on the positives of each place you are in. You’ve got to stop thinking there is something better. The grass isn’t always greener on the other side.

Never the less, no matter where I live, my little village called Brough, in England, will always be my home, even if I believe my life is somewhere else.