I've been home nearly two months after living in Hong Kong for ten months. Whilst I'm glad to be home, I can't wait until I graduate so I can experience more of the world but I'm over the shock of being home.
After returning home, I found it difficult adjusting to the cost of things, not having people to interact with 24/7 and society in general. In Hong Kong, I could be on the Subway in five minutes whereas in Birmingham, I have to wait for the bus (I swear public transport in England is always permanently delayed) and have at least a 30-minute travelling time into town.
However, 'adjusting' is nothing in comparison to the shock of just 'being home'. I spent my childhood between Birmingham, Essex and Cambridgeshire so I haven't really felt attached to one place. This has its pros and cons but as a result, I can't imagine staying in one place too long. My year abroad in Hong Kong has only increased my need to travel and experience the world.
Before my year abroad, my university said you are likely to experience 'reverse culture shock' when you arrive home. When I first arrived back home, I couldn't wait to see everyone and while I realised how much I have missed out on while I was away, I realised how much I have changed. Yes, I wanted to see everyone but I had just gotten used to travelling in South East Asia and with one plane ride, it suddenly stopped. Yes, I admit that travelling and living in South East Asia wasn't always perfect but there are things that you learn about yourself that you can only learn while travelling. I care much more about environmental issues and I have learnt to take each day as it comes.
I'm acutely aware it can sound as though I don't like being home. The more I go on about travelling, the more I feel like a broken record. But when I was in Hong Kong, my two sisters came and visited me and they both now want to do more travelling so it's nice to think my experiences have inspired others in a way.
While I'm in England for the foreseeable future, there's nothing to stop me having my own adventures. There are some lessons that you can only learn by travelling but this shouldn't devalue other journeys. Some of my closest friends have graduated and are embarking on their careers, my younger sister is hoping to have a house in a few years and my youngest sister is now so grown up. I can't wait to see how everyone's lives develop.
As for me, I can't wait to graduate and see where it takes me whether it be in Birmingham, London or a different country altogether. The main thing I've learnt from travelling is to appreciate each and every moment. There are so many different adventures I can't wait to experience and the best part is there are some adventures I'm going to have that I haven't even imagined yet.