We were all 18 once, our heads loaded with wild dreams of the perfect life for ourselves. We all wanted to finish school and leave home. Whether it was to go off to college or to go traveling or even to get a job and stand on our own two feet. To go out and discover the world for ourselves. And we all get excited when the time comes when we can actually do it, we can leave.

So off I went. I left my friends and family, my country, and my home behind, to go to college to study and get myself a degree. I left my home behind to experience life on my own. To make the mistakes that I had to make so that I could learn from them. To grow up and mature. To become the person I am today.

I made new friends, college was great, I was doing well and I even got myself a new boyfriend. I was having fun and enjoying my new life in a new country. Beginning to make something for me here.

But as I spent more and more time away from home, I started to miss things. I started to miss my family and friends that I had left behind; my old life, the good and the bad bits about it. I missed the simple things like waking up in the morning and saying ‘good morning’ to my parents. I missed not being able to come home and have someone to talk to without having to call them or a meal waiting for me on the table. I mean, is a house really a home if your loved ones are not around?

Getting out there and living alone is an amazing experience but it can take its toll on you. You may feel alone sometimes or get stressed even over the little things. But you learn to get through them. And the thought that you can always go home helps a lot. The truth is though, I left for a reason. I left home because I wanted to experience life for myself. I wanted to make it on my own.

But some things come to an end sooner than others. I got tired of being out on my own. I got tired of things that I couldn’t change, I couldn’t make better for me. Tired of the same, day after day; getting up, going to work, coming home, cooking for one, maybe going to the gym if I wasn’t too lazy. There definitely is no place like home. I am ready to go back. Back to my family, my country, my home!

I am excited, happy, and sad at the same time. Sad for leaving some amazing people behind. Some people with whom I spent many quality moments and experienced this part of my life. And leaving some parts of the life I have created for myself here. But I am excited to go home and settle back in. Happy to be surrounded by my family and loved ones again. Happy that I will be in my favorite place in the whole world.

It’s an experience I would never give up. I have grown into my own person. I have developed my own thoughts and opinions about the world. But I have also lived that college life, with the early mornings and late nights, the parties and the friendships that will last a lifetime and those that faded away as soon as we finished the course.

Don’t get me wrong though, it won’t be long before I get the ‘itch’ and want to leave again but I will be going off traveling so that should settle that. Everyone, always, wants to leave. But they all come back. And lucky for me, I know I can always find my way home!

Author: Demie Charlotte Chioni

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