Thursday, 25 July 2013

A trip home (and the reflections that go with it)

I sit here, in bed, on my last night in Ireland. Tomorrow I fly to London for 3 days and then back to Malawi. I had been so looking forward to the trip home, a chance to catch up with people, do exciting things and generally have fun. I had grand visions of day trips, lots of nights out and multiple dinners with friends. Unfortunately the reality was not quite what I expected.

In the past 3 years I've spent a total of 7 months in Ireland and as a result you become more separate from your friends. It's difficult not to. At this point we are at different points in our lives. A lot of my friends are getting engaged, living with their boyfriends and girlfriends and buying property. While I am bumming around the world, being a bit of a waster and generally avoiding growing up. As a result all my friends have other priorities and I can't, and didn't, expect them to drop everything to hang out with me. I cannot expect people who work and have their own lives to slot me in whenever I want. It was a realisation that was difficult to take, difficult to stomach. Now this is not to say that I didn't see my friends, I did, just not as much as I had imagined I would.

Living in the countryside with minimal public transport and a prohibitively high insurance quote for 4 weeks cover resulted in me being at the mercy of the taxi driver that is Christina Lawless. It also meant I couldn't just get up and take off to clear my head/ see places I wanted to visit. I was bored, I sat around the house a lot and quite frankly that is not what I wanted to be doing while I was home. Yes I went to the beach twice, yes I spent a day in Westport and yes I was in Cork for two days but over the course of 4 weeks I was bored.

With the lovely weather we got, I spent a lot of time contemplating this. And so my question is, when you travel a lot and/or move countries a lot, is it reasonable to expect that things will stay the same between friends? Can you stay as close to people when you are at completely different points in life? Maybe in the future, I need to plan my trips home better, do day trips, stay for a shorter period. Who knows. Now, I am looking forward to getting back into routine and actually doing something with my days.