Familiar yet Foreign

Sixteen thousand, five hundred and thirty-two kilometers from where i should be

I’m not entirely sure of what to think about being home . It was just so unexpected and for someone who plans major things (like traveling to the other side of the world for example) a long way ahead it was particularly bizarre. Seeing so many familiar things that id grown up with that now look completely forgiegn and ‘new’ is a strange and somewhat unsettling feeling. But-

It’s not my home town Brisbane thats changed. It’s me.

Physically it didn’t take me long to adjust to the lovely heat and sunshine of Brisbane and I didn’t suffer jet lag that badly. Mentally however it took a while to take in all that had happened and though I was home, I felt like I was viewing it with a tourists eyes as there’s no sense of permanency (I’ll be back overseas as soon as possible) and im in a travelers mindset. Driving to my house I noted to myself – what a nice little suburban area, and thought of the type of people who’d live here until remembering – I did. Weird.

Mum also commented, isn’t there a safe familiarity about being home? But it seems like just another travel destination, another chapter of my journey. I’m now very flexible with the term home and in each place I’ve settled I’ve made my living place – my home. I’ve just become so used to uprooting and settling and becoming comfortable in new, amazing places that familiarity isn’t something I seek. That said I’m definitely making the most of my time here to enjoy it, regroup and re organize before I set off again. Amidst organizing visa’s and far too much documentation, booking and altering flights and updating my contact list aswell as various other ‘must do’s’ im spending a fair bit of time at the glorious beach. ITS ALLL SO WARMM!!! Apparently London has been having shocking weather since I left and the spiteful side of me is saying HA!

Though my nicer side is concerned for my roommate who I literally abandoned and my selfish side is hoping the weather improves if I return!

I’ve also made the most of the surprise value of my return, especially with my best friend, Hannah. When I knew I was definitely returning to Australia I sent her the following message “I’ve sent a special surprise thats waiting for you at home, let me know when you can go get it so I can tell mum to be there” to which she replied that she was “busy with uni and can’t come until Wednesday ” (and I returned Monday). I egged her on, “oh you might want to make it a bit earlier if you can” and then “trust me, you’ll want to see this” until she eventually conceded she’d go to my house on Tuesday night at 5:30pm. 5:45 came around and then, out of the kitchen window I could see her!!!!! Mum and I snapped to attention and both barely able to contain ourselves, I excitedly ran to my room as Mum went to greet Hannah. I heard the footsteps round the veranda and Hannah tentatively approached my door, not knowing what to expect. I held my hands over my mouth about to burst with the suspense as i heard her talking to Mum who was impressively calm. She opened the door and then, unable to comprehend what was in front of her, her bright blue eyes widened and she SCRREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAMMMMMMMEEEEEDDDDDDD and launched at least a few meters into the air

until she came crashing down on me – luckily the bed took most of the impact!!! It was SO great to see her again and like home, it was so bizarre whilst so normal and familiar. As i need to regroup a bit and get alot organised i havn’t let many people know im home yet and am just letting word trickle out. I’ll see as many people as possible but my priority remains getting back overseas and making the most of my remaining time before i go to University.


Initially it looked like i was facing 3 years before i could get back to the UK. However, upon further investigation i was technically ‘refused entry’ and not ‘deported’ – which makes a HUGE difference. It seems that my best option now is just to go there with a large amount of documentation and evidence that i will be traveling not working and hope to God that they don’t send me back!

For those of you who’ve met me overseas and have since been following my travels – im looking forward to showing you a little taste of my life in Aus. Unfortunately I left my camera cord in England (along with all my other important belongings!!) so you’ll have to wait until i buy a new one to see all the photo’s of i’ve been taking.

Much love from your criminal traveller. HG



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3 responses to “Familiar yet Foreign

  1. Lynn

    Welcome home, away from home.
    When I come home (I left just after I turned 18), after two years away, it took me at least another year before I started to sort of settle.
    It is very true that you view everything as a tourist, and count the days before going back to the other side of the world, your second home.

  2. Margaret Biggs

    Dearest Hollie, You handled yourself admirably. One day we will laugh about this & your children will want to hear your adventures.Ring me if you want a cuddle & a chat. It will work out. Much love Margoo xxxooo

  3. amy hubbard

    As sad as i am that this has happened to your beautiful self…. selfishly i was pretty stoked because i got to see you hahah 🙂 all the best hol, keep me updated on your situation. xox

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