Leaving Poland after my 3 months had finished and returning home to England wasn't something I was really looking forward to, mainly because I had enjoyed my experiences in Poland so much and I wasn't ready for them to end yet. But all in all it has been a highly satisfying 2 weeks, but not really the easiest.
I have been abroad a few times and have always coped well with culture shock, and it’s true what they say that when you return back to your home country, the culture shock is always worst, and this time was no exception. Coming back to England 2 weeks ago was the biggest culture shock yet, and at times I felt out of my depth when meeting with people. It's hard sometimes to talk about your traveling experiences with people and not think you are sounding obnoxious and arrogant, trying to impress people and make out that you are living a better life than them. I really hope I didn't come across in that way! I also feel a lot of my priorities have changed in the past 6 months of traveling. For example I used to be into fashion and music in a huge way, especially when living in London, but now these are two interests that have taken a back seat, as they aren't really as important when money is at a premium. Don't get me wrong, I still am very passionate about both fashion and music, and I like to think that I dress well, but they are just not important to me as much anymore, and it was hard coming back to England where both music and fashion dominate a large percentage of social situations.
It was nice getting to catch up with everyone again, and I saw almost all of the people that I wanted to see, getting to go to London, Birmingham, Leamington Spa, and Stoke-on-Trent in the process. I have to say that London is the only place that I would be willing to live if I ever return back to England and it has to be my favourite place I have visited so far, although it's not that I have a lot of places to compare it to!
I think the hardest thing about traveling, especially this time when I am going away for 15 months is saying goodbye to people, both friends and family. With some people there is the chance that this goodbye will be my last goodbye as I may never see them again and for me that is the hardest part of traveling. When you say goodbye to someone very close in your life and whom you love dearly, knowing that there is a very good chance this could be the last time you ever see them, it's a very hard thing to do and plays havoc with your emotions. I suppose it's just one of the prices you pay for choosing this kind of lifestyle.
The highlight of my time back home would have to be seeing my new niece Janie for the first time, who is absolutely gorgeous, and I have new found admiration and respect for my brother for the way he has coped with the situation he has found himself in. I am sure it is not easy to be a father at any age, but to be a father at the age of 21 and to show the levels of maturity that my brother has shown, he deserves all of the rewards that come his way. I am really gutted that I won't be able to see Janie grow up, as the next time I will see her, she will be walking and talking, and she won't have any idea who I am!
So now I am all ready to be going back to America and back to my girlfriend again. I am very excited about being able to spend a little bit of quality time with her again, and I think the last 4 months apart has definitely made our relationship stronger. It will be nice as well that I have a lot of free time, after finally completing my Masters degree, as I handed my thesis in last week. It is such a relief that I have finally finished it after 3 years, but I don't think it will be the end of my education as now I am this far down the line I might as well get my PhD! I should find out my final grade at the end of May and fingers crossed I manage to get top marks, as then I’ll graduate with top marks overall. I'm not really convinced though that this will happen, but at least I tried my best!
Well, that's more or less from my 2 weeks back home. On Tuesday I fly to America to start the next part of my travels, and I am one very excited male indeed.
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