Conflicting Thoughts on Returning Home

Conflicting Thoughts on Returning HomeThey say β€œhome is where the heart is”, or where your suitcase is, and whoever they are they couldn’t be more right! From London to Lisbon and Bucharest to Bath I’ve left my heart in many a places on this adventure of mine. I’ve felt right at home in cities like York and Edinburgh as well as the small village of Riomaggiore in Italy’s Cinque Terre. Not only have I left a piece of my heart in these amazing places but will forever hold a special part of my heart reserved for them that I’ll carry with me.


But with all that said my true home is in a small town just north of Toronto in Ontario, Canada. It’s where my fur babies are, my large bed with its thick and welcoming pillows, my friends and most of my family. And if this three month adventure of mine has taught me anything it’s that I cherish where I live and probably (never say never) could not live a constant life traveling and always being on the road. This might be sacrilege for a travel blogger but I honestly despise the quote, “if you think adventure is dangerous try routine it’s lethal“. I love the spontaneity and thrill of travel, full of new and changing scenery but I also enjoy the simple life of getting up, going to work and the comfort of a daily routine. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with routine and enjoying a relaxing and simple life, many people live it and that’s all they want – they’re content with it. Not everyone wants to travel, through it makes us richer and broadens the mind it shouldn’t make us judgemental of those who choose not to. Happiness in life is a choice and doesn’t always depend on travelling for many. While I say all this, I do crave a good mix of both, the safety and comfort of routine and the thrill of exploring new places and new experiences, which is why part-time travel is the way for me.

Now with all that said, after 3 months on the road (my longest journey thus far) I’m conflicted about returning home, excited yet apprehensive. Thoughts of fitting back in and finding my place again with friends and family, and getting back into the mix at work are unnerving. Thoughts of staying true to who I am; happy, positive and open, are a real struggle sometimes when you are met with people back home who have allowed themselves to become bitter, ungrateful and down right miserable – it’s hard not to be affected by those strong feelings. On the road you can choose who you surround yourself with, back at home it can be difficult while at work or otherwise. Sometimes being a traveller, especially a solo traveller, you feel more alone – not on the road but back at home surrounded by friends, family and coworkers who don’t understand, share or appreciate your passion for travel. Strangely enough it’s here, in your native country that you can feel like an outsider. I wonder if some long-term travellers keep going for fear of returning to a home that might be the same as when they left but they’re not the same.

Regardless of my conflicting thoughts of returning home I’m excited; excited to write of my travels, to connect with friends and family I’ve not seen in awhile and excited to see where my life will go next. Another thing this EPIC journey has driven home is that anything is possible! I’m content in my mind, body and soul for the first time in a long while thanks to this epic journey and I know I’m strong enough to deal with whatever struggles await me on my return home.

Have you you ever been conflicted about returning home after your travels?

Conflicting Thoughts on Returning Home


I'm a Canadian gal with a passion for wildlife, the great outdoors and travel and hope to inspire others to feel the same way! Travelling mostly solo I love to explore Ontario Gems in my own backyard as well as exotic cities around the world.

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8 Responses

  1. Claire says:

    I really enjoyed this post! I liked your point about having the right balance of routine at home, and adventuring abroad. I think people often imply that there are two distinct types of people; those who like to travel and those who don’t. But that’s not true in most scenarios. Also, as an avid lover of travelling and a young person, I have felt the same mix of excitement and apprehension toward returning home as you described. Because of my desire to wander and experience new things it can be difficult to not feel disappointed when people don’t seem to understand or aren’t interested in my passions or adventures. This is especially true living in a small town, as I find people are more stuck in their ways. What a lonely life it can be sometimes…but my family and friends support me and I wouldn’t trade my love of travel for anything.

    • Stephanie says:

      You’re absolutly right Claire! And it’s true just like everything in life it’s all about finding a healthy balance to keep us grounded yet growing. Thanks so much for sharing your feelings on the subject!

  2. Lauren says:

    I completely understand this! I feel like you change a little bit with every new place that you visit, so I can see how it would be unnerving to return home…yet I also see your side of things – I love being at home, sleeping in my own bed, spending time with my cats! It’s definitely good to have a balance between two things that you enjoy – travel and home life! I think once you get back home, it might feel a little weird at first, but you’ll start telling your stories to your friends and family, and then going through all of your photos and things…you’ll settle right back in, but start planning the next trip!

    • Stephanie says:

      Thanks Lauren, you’re probably right. I’ll get back and get into the swing of things soon enough and pour over my endless photos (oh my goodness, SO many photos LOL) and enjoy the balance of being back at home.

  3. Annie says:

    I totally understand this! I just returned a couple days ago from a six week solo trip through parts of Central and Eastern Europe and I had the same questions and apprehensions about returning home. In many ways I feel like a different woman than the one who left here just that short while ago. I felt like everyone at home would expect the same Annie that left, and I wasn’t sure I could (or wanted to) meet those expectations. My wonderful husband picked me up at the airport and my pups were ecstatic when I walked through the door, putting my fears to rest. l was beyond thrilled to sleep in my own bed, especially with my pillow (European pillows are strangely flat) and have some air conditioning! I’m never excited to see a journey end, but once I’m home, I find myself so grateful for the little things that I take for granted on a daily basis. Cheers to adventures and appreciating the comforts of home!

    • Stephanie says:

      It’s strange how we’re excited for this changed person we’ve become yet are apprehensive of how those closest to us will react and how we’ll fit in now but it’s all worth it! But you’re right I’m thrilled to hug my cats and sleep in the comfort of my own bed with (yes!) fluffy pillows!

  4. Joanna says:

    I think the need to have home/cozy place to return to after travelling is completely natural, kind of innate. It gives a sense of safety and stability which is especially important for women, I guess.

    In the past I was always on the move, changing places of living, flats etc. Now I’m perfectly satisfied with my stable job, part-time travel lifestyle and the fact I’ve been living in one place for a year now πŸ™‚ I even think that travelling is more attractive if you don’t do this all the time – you get to appreciate it more when you wait for it πŸ™‚

    So don’t worry, the need to return home just shows you’ve got nice place to live worth returning to πŸ™‚

    • Stephanie says:

      I couldn’t agree more Joanna! I love my home and my country but my passion for travel is strong and while gone for so long there is a bit of reverse culture shock when I return home.

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