All Roads Lead Home
by Tamara Jacobs
I was just talking to my best friend from home. We are currently both living abroad, in separate countries, doing separate things. We have our jobs, our friends, our apartments, our relationships, but still, it’s different from being home.
My best friend and I are an interesting pair. While we find each other to be the most hilarious, entertaining, and reliable people in the world, our opinions and outlooks on many things differ- which I suppose is what makes us so close.
I have lived away from home in different cities and countries since I was seventeen. It sounds cheesy, but I have always considered myself a citizen of the world. Not only do I want to visit every place, but I want to know them. I want to hold a bank account there, I want to have a local coffee shop, I want to know the person who sells me milk intimately, I want to walk the city streets as if I grew up on them.
My friend, loves adventure, she loves challenge, and if reasonable she will try anything. And a few years ago she took a major leap of faith, moving out of her comfort zone and into a very unknown world. And it she has found love, life, beliefs, confidence, and courage.
The ability to move away and really see the world is such a tremendous one. But we both come from a place that is also tremendous. A city that is large but feels small because we know everyone in it and occupy a real place there. We can walk into clubs, have been to every restaurant, and are treated like queens when we walk into the party of someone we haven’t seen since high school because we’ve known them our whole lives and are therefore their family. And I love that feeling. I love knowing something so well. I love seeing my childhood outside of the car window when I drive up to the cottage with my parents. I love being able to walk the streets with my eyes closed and not get lost.
There are so few people who are lucky enough to have friends that at age 100 with still be waiting in their living room when they get off the plane from six months abroad doing whatever, and we are two of them.
So how and when do you go home? The truth is, this isn’t something that you can plan. You set out on your adventure for a reason. To discover something new, to seek international job opportunities, whatever it may be, life happens every night between those amazing days, and in that time you make connections, you build new roots. And if those roots blossom into something that you don’t want to part from, then you shouldn’t. Travel is so easy now, there’s no reason why you would have to stay away from home for too long.
The tough part is accepting that by choosing one thing you aren’t choosing another. And when your worlds are straddled by the Pacific Ocean, it’s hard not to miss one when you’re in the other. But I truly believe that there is a time and a place for every age and every stage, and life will take you where you need to be.
I miss my best friend now, but I know that we will reside in the same city again at some point, and we can take those drives up to the cottage and walk the streets together with our eyes closed.