I’m missing Lyon.
Have I really only been back for two weeks?
It feels like time has both slowed down and sped up. Days are slowly ticking by. Trying to keep busy, but not having a schedule or my own space is making me feel pretty lost. It’s as though I was never even gone and it makes me think whether I really was. Just back to the norm.
The first couple of days were the strangest. Waking up in my bed in the morning, rolling over expecting there to be a wall to the right of my bed, which was no longer there causing me to nearly fall off of my bed in my confusion.
Hearing everyone speaking English again has taken time to get used to. In Lyon as we were so used to hearing everyone speaking French whenever we did hear someone speaking English, whatever their accent was, it was hard to tune it out. It was like some sort of radar- I could be mid conversation with a friend and out of the blue we would hear others speaking English and we would both stop mid conversation upon hearing our own language. The first couple of days home I felt like I could hear what everyone was saying. It’s gradually began to tone down but it’s still there, now I seem to notice people’s accents a lot more and how people communicate with one and other.
It’s a very strange feeling.
(And not doing la bise every day of course).
Other than this new super power and what I would like to hope are improved language skills I feel very plain now. In Lyon I was someone different, it was like a fresh start- for a little while anyway- where I could talk to new people and be totally open about things. Now, I miss those I got to know.
I’m no longer considered one of les anglais which is something we were often called at university in Lyon. It often made me smile as it made me feel like I was part of something. I know it sounds stupid but it was nice to feel different- like we were these strange erasmus students. Yeah, there were days where I felt like an outsider too, but this is something I learnt to accept and take in my stride.
Now I’m just me again, like it always has been. Back in my small town with no car, no job, no accommodation sorted and limited opportunities. Already all of this is making me want to pack up my bags and go- see what more is out there for me. But, unfortunately this next adventure may have to wait until I’ve eliminated the nos from the above list. Some people are lucky enough to have all of these items checked off their list, well some of us aren’t so lucky.
In the meantime, as I try and check these items off, I’ve began volunteering again. Volunteering is something I enjoy and helps to keep me busy whilst in the process of looking for actual work before uni starts again. I feel like people look down on those who volunteer in charity shops and wonder, “why don’t they do something better with their time?” Especially for younger people like myself. By volunteering you gain experience and communication skills whilst meeting new people and helping a good cause (it also looks pretty good on a CV).
A lot of people who come into the shop ask me if I’m new and I normally tell them no, I’ve just been away.
I don’t know what I expected when I returned. I felt like I was kinda just thrown back into the mix again and had to adapt to that. I felt almost selfish thinking people might have actually missed me, but people have their own lives to get on with.
A couple of weeks ago my auntie asked me whether I would be happy to be home or whether I’d have caught what is known as the “travel bug” and in one sense I feel like I have. Being home is making me feel rather isolated and making me want to get back out there again. There’s so much in this world to see after all.
Why stay in one place too long?
There are places I’ve always dreamed of going and the past couple of days I’ve been looking at photos of all these amazing places and wondering when/if I will ever go. I think the next on my list would be a trip back to Spain either to Barcelona or back to Valencia as I loved it so much there and to the Netherlands to see a friend there and explore somewhere I’ve never been before (Duolingo is already helping me learn some Dutch). Of course, like many I dream of going to Bali and feeling like a glowy sunshine goddess stepping through wild jungles. However, that dream may have to wait a little while longer to become reality.
Life back home is different but still very much the same.
Although my year abroad is over I will be continuing this blog (y’know, as long as people are willing to read it) as my journey does not stop here. The journey never ends. I was thinking of writing posts about trips around the UK too for my non British readers wondering where to visit in the UK as although it rains here a lot there are some places worth seeing.
So, until next time my readers. Hopefully I will have some better news for you and will maybe even be writing from a new home.
(If you haven’t already you can check out the first part of this post here: https://atlantisisfalling.wordpress.com/2017/05/30/life-back-home/ ).