Arriving home after studying abroad is an entirely new adventure in itself. I have done it a few times now and am always amazed by how surprised I am by the challenges I face when coming home. These challenges are not easily overcome, but always seem to provide new insights and gratitude for not only the country I just left but the home I am coming back to.
Some say they are surprised by how “everything is the same.” I feel this is accurate on the surface but totally misaligned as soon as you delve into any deep analysis. Your new perspective you have developed overseas adds depth and dimension to the world you left behind - a realization you will only come to upon return. The relationships, networks, friends, family, and co-workers all continued to live their lives in your absence and as you changed and grew so did they. They faced a different set of challenges and life experiences that are not only equally important to your own but serve as a anchor point in which to resume your life. I find this experience so enriching - ‘re-enjoying’ the company of your community where each party can bring a new experience to the table and share something that brings value to the relationship.
After my return back to BC I went on a mini road trip to Tofino with my dear friend Ekaterina. I had not been there since I was about 12 and found the experience exhilarating. Not only was it incredible to revisit this place of true and amazing beauty. I was so thankful to spend time rediscovering part of my home with such a close friend. We are really the sum of our collective experiences and I think it is so important that we actively strive to share those experiences with those we care about.
By: Brendon Dawson