I am currently on a plane bound for Singapore on the weekend before my birthday. In the days leading up to this trip, I swamped myself with work from morning until night just so I could enjoy my quick vacation without the stress of my everyday reality weighing heavy on my shoulders.
This would also be my second trip abroad of the year. I tend to go on vacations in other countries often, as much as I possibly could. To me, it was an escape; a momentary respite from the hustle and grind; a chance to get away from the grim occurrences of my home country that fill me with hopelessness for the future.
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Every time I reach my destination, I’m smacked with the truth that my country will always be lightyears behind. It’s always much cleaner, much quieter, and much more relaxing somewhere else. The people are always much more disciplined too. It always has something I’ve always wished the Philippines had: bigger, greener spaces to lounge away during lazy afternoons, wider food options in convenience stores, a number of museums and galleries to visit, wider roads, and better garbage disposal.
All the while, I sigh: why can’t it be like this back home?
It’s frustrating that I can’t help but compare Manila with cities everywhere else. I hate thinking about it. I hate even admitting it. But when you’re filled with so much happiness and satisfaction in spending your vacation in a foreign place, the thought of coming home afterward can ruin it all in a snap.
I hate thinking about having to go home.
And yet, I can’t stand being away from it too long either.
Vacations, no matter how gratifying, can get lonely. I once spent a week alone abroad (it was a work-related trip) and found myself wishing I was there with my family. I’d chat with them in our Viber group (I rarely did on a normal day), I’d send them photos of my meals, and I’d always make mental notes of places I’ve been to so that I could tell them all about it.
And once I’ve boarded my plane back to Manila, I’d be filled with dread over knowing that my getaway was coming to an end; but, at the same time, I’d be comforted by the thought of seeing my family again.
I guess it makes a difference—knowing you have someone you could come home to.
And so, even though I’m thrilled to get away from work, from traffic, and from so much more, I’ll always look forward to coming back home to be with the people I love in the country that, no matter what, I’ll always love too.
Do you experience this feeling too? Share your thoughts with us in the comments!