The blog’s been rather quiet these last months– I’m sorry for that. There’s never the time, or it’s too late, or I’m too tired. Well, I’m going to try really hard now to post regularly. Not that I have that much going on for an ‘expat’/travel blog…
For the last few years I’ve been captivated by the different and the unknown. England wasn’t right for me- you know the feeling, right? The mundane and ordinary just gets so dull. I didn’t want to spend money on endless nights out or always wanting the next best thing; new phone, new computer, new clothes, saving up for a car, a place of my own, working in a job where each day is like the last.
So what am I doing here back in England? Back at home, to the mundane and ordinary, saving up, working in a job where each day is like the last? Strangely enough, it’s the only place I want to be. Do you ever get that aching to just be home? Travelling and language barriers and cultural differences can get so damn frustrating. In Italy, I struggled to do simple things like ordering a freaking coffee. I felt like an outsider in Sicily, though it was much my own fault as I never tried hard enough to integrate. My heart wasn’t in it, as I explained in my previous post on Seeing Through the Fog.
For the whole month of February I lazed around in my pyjamas, caught up on every episode of the Walking Dead and two seasons of Lost, went to a few pub quizzes, caught up with my family and eventually contacted my friends to let them know I was here. I just craved crappy British television in front of the fire, the simplicity of being able to pay on card anywhere, the regular bus timetables, ordering a coffee without having to repeat myself in a nervous Italian accent three times. Home is safe. No-one would knock on the door, I wouldn’t be expected to do anything- at least for the first month.
I suppose my month of Sunday’s was a bit of a slump. It certainly wasn’t glamorous or enlightening, which staying in a cabin high up in the mountains or turning into a beach bum for several weeks could have been. I slept, I woke, I ate, I mooched around, I ate, I slept, I repeated. By the end of the month I’d maxed out my credit cards and knew it was time to get a job.
I bought a cheap guide book for Britain online and couldn’t believe how beautiful this place is. I decided there and then that before I’m 30 I’m going to explore the place I call home (perhaps walking the coastline, or renting a campervan) and realized that it’s only mundane and ordinary if I make it that way. My life in Sicily was incredibly mundane, and that’s not Sicily’s fault, Sicily is stunning. It’s me, and I realized that change in my life has to start with me. I started a happiness diary, I joined an online yoga study course, I started swimming again, I was reading more and watching TV less, I practiced piano.
So I applied to any and every kind of job in my hometown and made the best of it. I was anxious going for interviews, even just leaving the house, after what seemed like an age bound within the safety of my duvet. But I did it! I’m currently working in one of the largest supermarkets here. How’s that for mundane and ordinary?! And yet, I’m kinda enjoying it. I’m working twice as much as I was in Sicily but the hours pass quickly and there’s nothing to fret over. My body struggles but with a daily dosage of yoga, pain killers and ibuprofen gel rubbed onto my aching muscles, it’s nothing I can’t handle. I find that physical pain is easier to get on with than emotional pain.
This month, next month and beyond?
So I’ve been working quite happily for the last month and simply savouring my time at home. Working abroad you can miss quite a lot of family life- birthdays, parties, a funny moment, the good times and the bad. For now I don’t want to miss out. Home is where I need to be… at least for now!
Any serial ex-pats out there had a similar crisis to me and came home? What caused it? Was it difficult? Personally I’ve had a lot of aggravation from my folks who laid into me for not finishing my contract. They also assumed I’ve quit the travelling life altogether and they were kinda patronizing about it, like as if it was a pipe dream that was never going to succeed. I’ve been stirring with mixed feelings, on one hand, I’m taking charge of my life and directing it in a way to make me happier, on the other, I keep quitting at things. Any help? xxx
“Feeling lost is just a gentle reminder that you are trying to improve yourself every day.” – Unknown.