Once upon a time, I was comfortable with life.
I mean, why wouldn’t I?
I have parents and relatives who treated me like a princess and the most amazing friends who have gone above and beyond to surprise me every year for the past 3 years on my birthday. I’m studying at one of Australia’s most prestigious schools and working as a tutor and earning enough to afford high end luxury goods every now and then.
But my life was pretty….boring. I could easily predict what would happen every day and there were no challenges for me because every day was just the same. The same routine repeated a billion times. I go to Uni, hang out with friends and study for bit, go to work, come home, eat, do some homework or watch a new tv show, rinse and repeat. But of course, at the time I was satisfied with it because that was the life of every other person my age, right?
Then I went on exchange, and travelled to 10+ different countries in 8 months and boy, was I wrong about life.
Doing the same thing every single bloody day and liking it became a foreign concept to me. When I was overseas, everyday was different.
Everyday was a challenge.
Everyday was unpredictable.
This was especially the case when I travelled to the US and around Europe. I mean, how do you predict what’s going to happen when you’re not even 100% sure if you’ll even arrive at your intended destination the following day, or whether you’ll have a place to stay in 2 days time?
Sure, you know you’ll be sight seeing and eating food and driving or walking around a lot, but you’re in a foreign country, can’t speak the language and can only rely on google maps for direction. God knows how many things can go wrong.
But you know what? The fact that I had no idea whether I’d be homeless or possibly meet the love of my life the next day was exciting. It filled me with anticipation to discover what awaited me next and I was eager to embrace whatever life hurled at me. It felt like I was taking on the world since I was basically welcoming anything, good or bad, that came my way. I loved the spontaneity of life and the sense of adventure that truly restored my passion for life again.
Now that I’m back in Sydney, I feel like I’m living in a box again. I’m back at Uni and everyday is basically the same. It doesn’t help that so much has changed in the last 8 months. When I talk to certain friends, I feel like there’s a small gap between us that can’t be filled..or perhaps will take a while to fill. It’s just that so much has changed and there’s so much I have to catch up on and so many inside jokes that I’m not privy to anymore. My friends from different groups have merged and become inseparable and sometimes I feel like an outsider watching them banter, all the while smiling politely as if I understand what’s going on. I mentioned to a few close friends that it felt slightly awkward talking to some people the week I got back and for certain ‘friends’, our ‘friendship’ faded over the past 8 months and we had to chat and become friends all over again.
The thought of meeting up with my exchange friends again somewhere on the other side of the world is now simultaneously exciting and terrifying; exciting because I’m eager to see them again and relive those exchange days, but terrifying because if it’s awkward talking to someone I’ve known for half a decade after 8 months apart, what will it be like when I see these exchange friends I’ve only spent 4 months with?
Having said all that, I do love Sydney. My dream right now is to work overseas for several years and then return to Sydney and continue from there. 🙂