I’m back in the United States for the foreseeable future and it’s strange to think that just over a month ago I was living on a completely different continent.

Now that I’m back in the country, I decided to move back to Richmond, Virginia, a city that has and will always have a special place in my heart. My choice to move back to Richmond wasn’t a surprise to anyone, really.

It has been really nice being back as I’m now much geographically closer to my support system and I genuinely enjoy living in this city.

But to be honest, sometimes it feels as if I never even left. It feels as if there was a small Paige-sized hole when I left and when I returned, I managed to slide back into my rightful place. Sure, some minor things have changed. For example, one of my favorite people isn’t living here full time and some friendships don’t feel as strong as they used to be. But, overall, things are the as same as they were when I left. Oddly enough, I find comfort in that.

Although there are many upsides to moving to somewhere new, the challenges cannot be ignored. Since moving back, I’ve had to start over once again – surprise, surprise. So far, the major difference between moving to Richmond and moving my life to New Zealand and Australia is that although I didn’t have work or accommodation lined up, I do have a loving and close support system that I can more easily access in Richmond.

But even with a support system within arm’s reach, getting settled in hasn’t exactly been easy. I knew it wouldn’t be a piece of cake, the lack of responsibilities and immense freedom lost its appeal after two or three weeks of being back. I think the challenges arose when I started having more financial responsibilities again (such as paying rent) when I still hadn’t found a stable job.

These experiences have taught me that there is certainly a difference between being used to something and being an expert at handling something. Because although I am familiar with the emotions and feelings of uncertainty that are tied to moving somewhere without a plan (place to live, job, etc.), this does not mean that I am, by any means, a pro at navigating the unknown. I’m not immune to depression, feeling directionless, or any other emotion attached to entering the unknowns in life.

Since I’ve been back, many friends and family members have asked how I’ve been acclimating and well, this blog post, is my response. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed being back home with friends and family and especially back living in Richmond, but that doesn’t mean that this adjustment period has only been filled with up’s as it has also had its down’s.

Another thing these experiences have taught me is the importance of focusing on the journey and not the destination. I’m not an expert at this yet either, but I am working on being more aware of it so that I can appreciate the up’s and down’s of life. Because hey, that’s just the first step to living a more mindful life.

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