Angelica Horvatic

Worldwide Trauma Recovery Practitioner

It’s been three years for me being back to my ‘home country’.

That term ‘home country’ after 21 years of being away from the place, to me doesn’t mean much.

Especially that I have no family, no roots in here since I grew up as an orphan.

Six other countries in which I lived over last two decades equally feel home to me. For me home is where I choose to unpack and stay for some time.

It’s funny that countries in which I stayed for the longest time, at first I didn’t like at all.

Although I was super impressed by many things in London when I first arrived, I just couldn’t stand the weather, obnoxious, cold and rude Londoners, dirty streets, air pollution, horrible traffic, cost of living, crowds… The whole stress of that place was making me sick.

I stayed in London for five years.

Coming to live in Dubai after London, it felt at the beginning like a terrible, terrible mistake.

The heat, mentality of people, wealth inequality, racism, classism, work load, lack of greenery were just some of the things I could’t digest.

11 years later, I left Dubai.

Australia has enchanted me stright away with its nature and wild life but, when I first arrived, I couldn’t imagine myself living there.

For me, it was over-regulated nanny state, where majority of people live their obedient, boring, predictable, ‘safe’, conformed, vanilla life. Fake spirituality, superficiality, lack of depth in conversations have also driven me mad.

I stayed in Australia for three years.

After over two decades I got a strong pull to come back ‘home’.

Although I appreciate many aspects of being here, one big part of me keeps feeling restless.

On one side I feel belonging and connection, and on the other, I feel very much alone and misunderstood by most people here, and that I can’t relate to life in the same monotonous place.

Thinking I need to stay in here for the rest of my life makes me very uncomfortable and restless.

It seems like that would be the end of learning about other lands, cultures – the end of excitement and adventures that I love so much.

It seems I was broadening my mind all those years in cosmopolitan, multicultural places, just to close it all off, and pretend with the locals here that their way of living and thinking is the best, the most important and the only one, while cringing inside.

Seeing the sign ‘The most beautiful sunset in the world’ on one of very avarage looking beaches here, made me want to scream: Not true!

I am really grateful for the privilege of being exposed to many different cultures for all those years but that all starts to feel like a huge burden now, when being surrounded by people who didn’t have that experience.

It seems I need to forget about my life experiences to be happy and accepted by locals here.

I should especially not share my travel experiences, as I got told I am showing off.

Men here especially seem to feel threatened and triggered by a woman from their culture who has seen more of the world than them.

Amongst my nomadic friends it was / is normal to share those same stories and none of us felt we are showing off, we enjoy it so much.

Now it seems I need to burry all those stories deep inside of me. And that makes me feel very sad and alone.

And I keep asking myself:

After seeing the world, can one ever feel content in one place ( especially in their home country ), beeing surrounded by people who lived in that one place all of their life?

Is this restlessness my need to run away, believing the grass is greener somewhere else?

Or is this just a natural twitch for someone who likes to travel?

Or is it a bit of both?

Fellow world travelers, expats, immigrants, emigrants – what is your experience?