Returning home after a year and a half of travelling and working had been one of the strangest feelings I have had. Upon arrival, my father had been at the airport along with my younger brother whom had shot up into the sky over the past time. In a few minutes we caught up before striding the usual path towards the parking lot. Then, after a dull ride and the usual stop at the restaurant along the way, I saw my house again, standing with few minor changes at the same spot it stood when I had left. The Belgian Shepherds had whined and cried upon seeing me and I shed a near tear when over time their fur had changed significantly and for a split second I barely recognised them. Soon, I gallantly flung my backpack onto my shoulder and marched upstairs on the spiralling stairs to my room. A room barely touched, apart from the swept dust and vacuumed carpet. I had felt odd. Even to this day, I find it hard to believe to have been separated from my family and friends for a period so long at that age. Though the years of travelling have gotten me acquainted with, heartbreaking as it is, saying farewell to many newly-made friends with expectations of never seeing them, it is a different story and feeling when those friends – and family – are the ones from your country of birth. The country you had your childhood in. Despite my school years not always having been the greatest for me, though I have no clue why I had struggled, I was accompanied by a bunch of great friends and in the weeks to come I was to see and meet them and it felt strange.
Strange, because I was unsure about how thick and close these friendship truly were. Eighteen months is a long time and for some moments I had felt further away from them than I wished to feel. Of all of them. I had travelled and worked and along with it bonded through which I created and shaped friendships I never imagined would continue to be. Brothers and sisters in Malaysia, both locals and other travellers, with whom many drinks and tales have been shared, a new family in the Philippines and Aussie workmates turning into everlasting buddies had entered my life and it frightened me a bit to have them at such a distance and that perhaps my riveting ventures had caused a distance between me and my old friends.
There is no shame in it and I wouldn’t have blamed anyone as I had vanished from everyone’s life for what seemed forever. However, despite my disappearance, friends I hadn’t even realised to still have re-entered themselves into my life through a psychedelic experience, my ever loyal friends made time for me and we caught up on stuff in the time we had and I went by train to other towns to view apartments and slurp the end of a cold bottle. A previous co-traveller showed up in town and the same foolery had been present.
It made me grateful of having expanded my group of friends to a broad international one without losing a single compatriot, despite being away for seeming ceaseless periods. It makes me proud to say I have a great set of friends and that is something to cherish in a treacherous world of distrust and wrong-doers. It made me, besides the happiness I got from seeing my family and relatives over the days of the first week, feel glad to be back home and though I got many questions asking if it was hard to return to a travel-less way of life, it felt right.
And I am grateful of you, for still reading these swiftly jotted down tales and thoughts. Up next, I will take you into the world of psychedelics as I go through my own experience.