That First Trip Back Home…

As you might know by now, I have managed the impossible and landed myself a pretty nice job here in Manchester. As I didn’t have to start right away, a crazy idea of hopping on a plane to Riga started to seem quite realistic as soon as I got the job offer. And so I did! Bought the tickets on a Tuesday afternoon and boarded the plane three days later. I got one week time and so much I wanted to do! How did it all turn out?

The Surprise Trip

When I first got this idea of going back home for a week to visit my family, cats and friends, I couldn’t sleep because of the excitement. And as I was still waiting for the offer to come in (or not), the anxiety was unbearable. Eventually, my long efforts and patience while job hunting was rewarded, and I felt that the perfect way of celebrating it was to do it with the people I love the most.

We’re gonna drink some sparkly tonight to celebrate this,” said my mum during yet another WhatsApp conversation we use to have so often. I had already bought the plane tickets but wanted to surprise her. Therefore, instead of replying with: “We’re gonna do that together Friday evening!“, I replied with something casual. Little did she know that on a parallel WhatsApp conversation I and my dad were plotting how to keep this a secret until the moment I arrive.

Despite the very late flight, we succeeded, and she was completely unaware and surprised to see me. Though to be fair, my excitement about the trip and surprising her might have been even bigger than hers.

Botanical garden in my hometown Salaspils, Latvia

Botanical garden in my hometown (Salaspils, Latvia)

Emotional Rollercoaster

Even though a week might seem long enough, it felt as if I had too little time on my hands. But that’s the reality if you want to visit your relatives, see your friends (now I appreciate of having a small bunch of them!), make some appointments, and just chill at home with your folks and the cats.

I truly enjoyed my visit and surprising my loved ones, however, it started to feel quite depressing towards the end. As the day to leave approached, I couldn’t help but feel homesick while still being at home. And I somehow couldn’t face going to Manchester all alone… again! I knew how it felt the first time, and it seemed stupid to go through all that again. My nerves were speaking up, and I even managed to fall ill right before leaving.

There were no other options – I had to be brave all over again and board that plane. I couldn’t get rid of the gloomy thoughts and emotions the whole trip, but somehow returning home in Manchester managed to turn things around. Here I was – still on the first pages of my new life. I had forgotten how hard I’ve worked to get here and to have that first day at my new job to look forward to!

And the reasons why I left my old life in Riga were still there. Sure, it would be so much easier to return to the comfort zone, but what fun would that be?

Cher - my favourite companion on long walks in the forest I grew up in (Riga, Latvia)

Cher – my favourite companion on long walks in the forest I grew up in (Riga, Latvia)

Home

I still get confused whenever I call a place “home” because I don’t really know where my home is. If my home is where my heart is, it’s definitely with my family – and that’s wherever my mum, dad, brother with his wife, and my cats are. (At the time of writing this it’s in Turkey and Latvia.)

However, I have started a new life here in Manchester, and I am trying my best to make this my new home. One step at a time… I have big goals and things I want to achieve. Therefore I am here. We will see how all this turns out, but for now – I am here to stay. And I will do my best to travel back home as much as possible. Hopefully, it will be emotionally easier with each time.

Cotton candy sky on my flight back to Manchester

Note: This post originally appeared on Expat in MCR (expatinmcr.com) blog which has since been renamed to Dream Chaser (dreamchaserwrites.com).

9 thoughts on “That First Trip Back Home…

    • Laura says:

      Putting on my brave face again and pretending it’s all good :) Naah, it’s not that bad to be fair! Sometimes it just feels that it would be so much easier to return to the comfort zone.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. rdesaintpern says:

    I understand how tough it is. I’m an expat in Jordan, and I’ve got the comfort of living with my fiance and his family, but I don’t speak the same language and I get very isolated. I came here for a holiday, and somehow ended up staying (I still can’t remember how that happened and it was only three months ago!), so I didn’t have the torment of having to say big goodbyes. I will go back to the UK for Christmas but that’s sooo far away, and I’m already worried about the day I have to return here and say the ‘big goodbye’. But just like you say, it’s always one step at a time, and I just try and take each day as it comes. Some days are harder than others, but it’s rewarding in the end, right?! Thank you for sharing, and I look forward to reading more about your journey in Manchester! :)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Julie M says:

    We’ve been gone from our home country for almost 6 years now… and on our second country abroad. And yet, I still can’t define exactly where is home. I agree, it’s my comfort zone and my family and friends and yet, I love the challenges and experiences we’ve had being abroad and can’t imagine going back to our old lives.

    Like

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