Travel Log 15: “There’s No Place Like Home? Rites of Reincorporation” – Alexandra Holmes. Pine Bush, New York

“Post Abroad Depression” is a term that I have heard time and time again. Every time someone comes back from abroad, they discuss this newfound depression. I always thought that they were exaggerating. There is no way that coming back could be that bad. But, I soon realized how correct they were. Integrating myself into my community has been extremely difficult for me. I find myself under stimulated and bored constantly. Life is so different when your only decision is should you go to the beach or pool. Or, which country should you travel to next week. I have entered back into the “real world” and I am definitely not prepared.

I decided to share with my boyfriend my Reincorporation Letter. Considering the amount of time that I spend with him, I figured he would be able to spot the differences in myself and how I now take on life. I also chose him because he had the opportunity to visit me in Australia. It is easier for him to relate to my experiences because he saw them first hand, even if it was only for one week. A quote that I chose was by Terry Pratchett. He said, “Coming back is not the same as never leave.” This stuck to me because it demonstrates how even though you are coming home, things have changed while you were gone. Things may have not changed to your home community but they definitely changed in you. I look at where I live and the people around me with completely fresh eyes. Being away for four months really makes you appreciate some things while opening to your eyes to others. After sharing my letter with my boyfriend, I also decided to share it with my parents as well. I wanted everyone who I spent most my time with to understand the differences in me. My parents and my boyfriend were extremely welcoming to the new changes. They were pleased at how I had been able to find a new comfort in myself. They have always been concerned with the amount of pressure that I put on myself and were relieved that Australia had allowed me to take some of that pressure off.

I plan on spending more time alone with myself. I already feel myself going back to my old ways where I am scared to spend more than an hour alone. I plan on embracing all of the changes that happened in Australia and not letting them go. I also learned how easy it is to meet new people while abroad. Everyone is a stranger at some point in your life and I want to keep remembering that as my life moves forward. I want to continue to be open to new friendships because I never know what I will find.

Mark Twain once said “ A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval”. This is a quote that I want to remind myself of everyday. Before Australia, I never seemed to approve of myself. I always thought I was never good enough which resulted in my fear of being alone. Australia has given be the confidence to be myself. I learned that the world is a big place and there will always be people out there for you. When one door closes, another door opens. I hope to continue to “approve” of myself. I hope to take this newfound confidence and help other people who are struggling like me. I want to make a difference in other peoples lives as much as possible. I plan on being open with my struggles with the hopes that I will find people who are struggling in the same way so that way I can help them, the same way Australia helped me.

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