Coming Home

There was a time, one day I was roaming Singapore alone when I felt it, that feeling that I was kind of expecting to feel at some point during the trip.

I want to go home.

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It’s not that I wasn’t enjoying my trip. I did, and I loved being where I am, and knowing that there’s a 50% possibility of me getting lost somewhere. It was even more exciting because I had no internet while I was roaming around, so I relied on good old-fashioned maps and my good sense of direction (that only surfaces when I’m alone). I liked it, and even if my legs were screaming from all the walking, it was fun to go around, go in stores, enter streets where you have no idea where it goes. I loved watching people in the train and in the bus, marveling at the fact that other than the friends I lived with while I was in Singapore, I was in a place where I don’t know anyone, and no one knows me.

I’m going to echo what a friend wrote about the same feeling, because her words captured it beautifully (and because she wrote it while she’s in the city I’ve always dreamed of going):

In New York, I am not needed. I have no expectations. I can be anyone. I can do anything. I am not rooted to the earth. I am absolutely free.

JD Salinger wrote: “I’m sick of not having the courage to be an absolute nobody.”

That’s who I am in New York — a speck in the center of the universe. And it feels good to be here, to listen to the heartbeat of a new metropolis, to sit by the pulse of a different landscape, to dream new dreams, to see new things, to be alive in a continent that isn’t my own.

I am happy, so happy, to be invisible. It gives me what I was looking for. It gives me a chance, quoting Sara Bareilles, to show you how big my brave is.

But I’m going to be honest:

I miss home.

That’s me after I have been in a place for just three days. I don’t know if it’s pathetic or crazy or just…well, real. Perhaps it’s all. I always tend to go homesick the closer I get to the day when I have to go home. When I was in Europe two years ago, I started calling my family on my last day there. Never mind the phone bill I got after that call — I was just so, so excited to go home, even if I loved Europe and wished I could have stayed longer.  In the same way, I loved Singapore and I loved being there and I loved seeing my friends and I loved being alone…but at the same time, I know that I don’t really belong there. I guess I’ve always been just a homebody. I like traveling and seeing new places and staying out with friends and all that, but at the end of the day, I think my heart really just knows the truth: there’s really no place like home.

* * *

I took a window seat on the plane on the way home. I take aisle seats most of the time for the sole purpose of convenience (except when I’m traveling with friends), but this time, I took the window seat because of one thing: I want to see home.

Image source
Image source

As the pilot announced our descent, I looked out the window and watched the city lights. They were tiny from where I sat, but they were bright. They weren’t as impressive compared to other cities, but I don’t care. This is mine, this is home. Allow me to use Coldplay to describe that moment, as I stared and watched as the lights grew brighter and the cars bigger, as I strained to identify the places and roads from my seat on the plane: Lights will guide you home. Yes, my trip was fun, and I needed it…but I still think that the best part of any trip is coming home.

Literally, and figuratively: it is so, so good to be home. :)

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