Home… sweet home?

“Go to foreign countries and you will get to know the good things one possesses at home”. – Goethe.

I used to believe that before I traveled to foreign countries. Well, I don’t anymore. It’s true that when you visit other countries and live there, you get to know the good things and the bad things that country has and in some occasions you will see certain aspect is better in your native country, but not always.

I won’t go into social, political or economical aspects here, that’s not the point of this post. I want to note instead that the more I go to foreign countries, the less I appreciate the things there are at home.

And here comes the hard realization. Do I consider my native country as home? In some ways I should: it’s familiar, I feel protected (too much), my family is here, I was born here and spent here the majority of my life. I have everything that should make my native country my home. However I don’t feel that way and I still feel guilty about it.

“To be fully alive, fully human, and completely awake is to be continually thrown out of the nest.” – Pema Chodron

It’s curious how leaving home and living abroad had lead me to discover my real home. And this home doesn’t mean a specific place. I felt at home when I was living in Clermont-Ferrand (France) and I felt at home while I was living in Cork (Ireland). Leaving both cities ripped off my heart… and I’m still recovering from the last.

Only when I am away from my official home I feel alive, I have the capacity of enjoying every single thing, whereas whenever I am here I feel numb. Everything is so familiar that doesn’t cause any reaction in me. I don’t have the feeling of progression and growth, therefore I feel suffocated and lost. The first words that come to my mind when I think about stay in my native city are “suffocate” and “whiter”.

On the other hand, there are people I love here, people I don’t want to hurt and people I’d love to carry with me and that are the main source of breathing.

In any case, every day I spend here is a day I found myself more deflated, less motivated, more procrastinator.

“Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy”. – Dale Carnegie

That’s why I made a big decision. I am leaving home in three months, after I defend my thesis. Haven’t decided where yet, but I still have time to do it, and, honestly, the destination is the less important matter for me right now.

You could say: “What does it make this such a big decision? You left your country before”.

The difference here is that this time would be the first one I leave without a legitimate reason. The first time I left my country was because I got a job in a school in France and I couldn’t miss the opportunity. The next one was because I followed love and my love led me to Ireland.

This time, I have no job, no love, no excuse, only the intuition of being the right thing to do in order to keep my sanity and avoid numbness.

Why do I go public? Because I know that if I don’t I might be carried away by doubts and fear and stay, even though deep inside I know that I won’t be able to be happy by myself if I do.

I feel very scared just by telling my plan out loud but my gut tells me I’m right,… right?

15 thoughts on “Home… sweet home?

  1. No podría estar más de acuerdo contigo, en un momento dado uno necesita alejarse para poder ser uno mismo. Muy buenas reflexiones en tu blog.

    • Hola Azucena!
      Antes de nada, muchas gracias por leer. Y sí, para mí no ha habido nada mejor que salir de casa para crecer como persona, conocerme y expresarme sin limitaciones.
      Un abrazo 🙂

  2. Hi ! Maria, how´s it going ? I love her name. I´m son of the Maria, have a sister Maria, my wife is Miria and now looked a good blog of Maria 🙂

    Congrats for the frankness telling your plan about the life.

    I loved listenning your opinion about left the native country and what we feel over that.

    I think the happyness are where you are, then you have only looked it.

    No worry, no scares, good things will happenning in your life, I believe you will be there.

    See you soon.

    • Hi Placid, welcome to my blog, another Maria around you! 😀

      Thank you for your nice words on my blog.

      I agree with you, happiness is where you are, but more than that, happiness is what you do to achieve your dreams wherever you are.

  3. I haven’t spent more than a few weeks at a time in any other country, but I agree with a lot of what you’ve said. The biggest thing I notice when I return home from any trip abroad is how bland and sterile life in the US seems in comparison. There are of course plenty of things I appreciate about living here, but I do tend to compare different aspects of things after seeing them in a different light somewhere else. Even after my time in Spain I came back home and was frustrated by the lack of “cafe culture” here in the States. Even here in San Diego where the weather is perfect, a lot of life gets pushed inside, which doesn’t seem to be the case in Spain and a lot of Europe. That’s just one example of something I’ve learned to appreciate in most other countries which you can’t find much of here. I suppose it’s just one of those things where the grass always appears greener on the other side of the fence!

    • Ah, yes, the grass is greener on the other side problem!
      When I wrote that post I was desperate for leaving Spain. Now, 8 months later (unbelievable how fast the time flies) I am back after my first experience travel alone in another continent. And I feel the same: “I feel alive when I am away from my official home”. I felt at home while I was in Dharamsala (India) and I didn’t want to leave Istambul after 2 weeks full of discoveries about myself. I’m home but I don’t feel that way.
      Thanks for commenting “again” Russ. It’s a pleasure to have you here. 🙂

      • One interesting thing about “home” for me, is that even though home now is California, it’s not where I was born. I grew up on the other side of the country on the East Coast and spent my first 22 years there, but interestingly when I go back to visit my family, I still say that I am going “home”. I’ll always consider that home even though I haven’t lived there in over 10 years and likely will never again. It’s like the home you know and love, but can’t go back to you because you don’t really fit in anymore. Perhaps that is like Spain for you. Even growing up I knew I’d leave, and once I did I grew beyond it, to the point that when I visit I know that I’m going “home”, but know that I likely would never be happy going back for good. A little different than what you’re talking about because it’s all still the United States, but being such a big country it’s almost like another country! A lot of different things that home can really mean.

      • I think you’re right. I call Spain home even though I know I wouldn’t be able to live here. I think that we need to have a place to call home and the place we grew up fits the bill easily as long as we don’t find another place we can call home, …and even then. Home is our hometown, home is the place you feel at home, the place that gives you shelter or/and the place that makes you feel safe and sound. One can have different homes scattered all over the world, can’t I?

  4. Hah don’t I know how you feel…and especially that fear of getting stuck in the low energy and not doing what I know I have to do (move on). I am so excited for you that you’ve decided, and of course you can trust your instinct, it’s never wrong 🙂 I guess you have to accept that you’re a nomad at heart…..

    • Exactly! I have just followed my instinct in the last moves I made in my life in the last times and I don’t regret any of them. I’ve learnt to move away from the low energy moments and walk straight to my fears. It’s been working well so far… Can’t wait to know about your next move. Nepal, girl!!! 🙂

    • Aww, thanks so much Bernardo! I really appreciate your words. I am thankful to know you too. Thanks, thanks, thanks! 😀

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