It’s been two years since I’ve visited home—is it weird I’m nervous?
I don’t know why, but as I’m sitting here on the wooden floors of my bedroom with a cup of tea in hand, I’m having a moment.
I’m slowly packing to visit home in November, and found clothes I haven’t worn in two years. Due to the humid and warm nature of Singapore, I stored away my fall and winter clothes I used to don back in the Bay Area. They remind me of old memories I had with people who are no longer part of my life in San Francisco, as well as small reminders that previous life doesn’t belong to me anymore. It’s been such a weird feeling, this feeling of being abroad in Singapore and not seeing people I love for such a long time.
A part of me is worried—I try to shrug them off and call these thoughts “silly,” but as they come through my headspace often, I think they’re valid concerns. A small part of me is afraid of how I’ll react to the changes from the past two years, and there have been many. My friends have moved onto different friend circles, strengthened relationships with others, had engagements and weddings that I was not part of, and I have been just a dotted line through a wifi connection over text or FaceTime. It scares me to witness this other life that has gone on without me, and that I won’t be able to fit back into it when I come back.
Perhaps the scary part is that I’ll feel like an outsider, not someone at home, because I’ve missed so much.
There’s a part of me that is sad that I’ve spent so much time away from people I love — shouldn’t we be with the ones we love? I don’t understand my exploratory nature sometimes; I always want more and always want to be on the move. I wonder if others feel this way. Granted, because of covid, I would have had the freedom to come and go as I please. Had it not been covid, I would have visited home at least once a year, but because of the dangers of flying at peak covid pandemic, I stayed put in Southeast Asia.
Sometimes, I wonder if I’ll be okay growing roots one day and just stop being restless.
I’m also turning 28 in a couple of weeks.
This yearly milestone is another reminder to me that time is moving and depleting. Looking back, I’ve always been so gung-ho after everything I’ve wanted, but once I’ve reached it, I wanted more. While I continue chasing everything I want, is what I really want some kind of stability and independence? Can I have both while having a home base, but coming and go as I please? Can you build relationships if you have no attachments?
I’m sure a few more life crises will hit me again, but I’ve also missed my people and will spend the next weeks discussing my future life plans with my council (family). It’s been hard to be away from my closest friends and family, so going home to San Francisco will be eye-opening and fulfilling.
Emily is a US expat currently living in Singapore to learn about the tech communities growing in Asia. You can watch her YouTube vlogs here. She has worked 4+ years in dev relations, community management, and event marketing within the tech and travel industry. Her time at OmniSci, Google and Booking.com gave her cross-functional expertise. She is the cofounder of Asian Female Nomads, a community dedicated for badass women to live authentic lives while being nomadic.