On my 16th birthday, my favorite teacher surprised me with the Dr. Seuss book, “Oh, The Places You Will Go!” I remember reading it, picturing my future as I turned each page. All I saw in my path was studying, work, family, friends and familiar places. This was all that I ever knew. 6 years later I realized that I hadn’t actually gone anywhere. I spent 4 years completing my bachelor of English degree, escaping only to the fictitious landscapes of literature. By the end of my studies, I felt an incredible urge to move far, far away, and I had no idea why. It frightened me, that I literally woke up one morning and felt as though I didn’t belong where I was anymore. I didn’t fit in with my surroundings, the very surroundings that I had dreamed of years before, filled with friends, family, love.
Those are the reasons why I left Canada, if nothing more than a gut instinct to flee. But what I have learned so far in my year and a half in Australia, it’s that some things in life never move; your friends, your family, your home. Of all the places you will go, you will never be without them.
I still spend a great deal of time wondering why people leave home, for even in my own case I still can’t explain it. It leaves you lonely and homesick, but you stay anyway. I think part of us likes that loneliness. Maybe it reminds us of everything we’ve left behind. Maybe we come to love it all more. Maybe that is what they mean when they say people travel to “find themselves…” For when you are lonely, it’s only just you.
Whether you like it or not,
Alone will be something
you’ll be quite a lot. -Dr. Suess