After a whirlwind last few days in New Zealand, I just spent the last 30+ hours on planes, winding my way back to 'home' in the Netherlands.
It's nice to be back, but it's painful too. I'm so glad to be in the space that's mine, in control of my days, and so on, after running around with family and friends for a few weeks. But, damn, does it get any easier to leave?
When I was moving away from New Zealand, I remember feeling desperate to leave. I just wanted to get out of there, no matter what, and see the world. The smallness of it all felt intoxicating, and I thought that I might never go back. Now it's been four years, and all I want is to be there? I find myself surprised by my own yearning, largely because I always thought everywhere else must be so much better than the situation I was in.
It's hard when you grow up in such a small place. There's four million people there, but the country is enormous, and isolated. To see the 'world' you must leave it, but the unfortunate catch: you'll be so far away from your home that it's difficult – and expensive – to just go back at visit. It becomes a vacation you plan for months to do, and it disappears in a moment once you're there.
Now that I live overseas I realize how good we have it back there. It's an island, beautiful, covered in native bush...and you're never more than an hour from either the mountains or the ocean, simultaneously. I didn't realize how great the place or the people were until I left, or how vast the opportunities would be overseas, which makes it all the more difficult to leave.
Thing is, I'm certain I want to move back there one day. I just can't, not for a while, because that isolation brings career compromises, quality of life changes and so on. Basic things like popping to New York for a conference become an entire, expensive trek. It just isn't practical in your 20's. Even still, I know I'll go there eventually.
I just miss it immensely in this jet lagged, sun-kissed state I'm in, and I wish I could accept it all and just be there anyway. ✈️