Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.” – Terry Pratchett

Traveling the world has given me an increased appreciation and gratitude for home. My hometown. My childhood friends. The staple restaurants that I ate at growing up.

Having been without it for so long, I appreciate it all more than ever.

There is nothing better than seeing my parents for the first time after an extended trip abroad. While living abroad has improved my relationship with my parents, I cherish the time that I can spend with them while I am home and can give them a big fat hug.

I never realized how much I took for granted until I had traveled. How privileged I was and how much I grew up with that others around the world can only dream about.

Take showers for example – I’ve done bucket showers for weeks. Showers that work one day, don’t work the next. Low water pressure to the point that I can’t even wash myself off.  Ice cold showers on a daily basis….Whenever I get home there is no place better than my shower.

Washing machines – holy shit! You will never truly appreciate a washing machine until you have to wash your clothes by hand…and ruin all of them as a result.

Food – While food is amazing in different countries, good bagels and pizza don’t exist outside of New York/New Jersey. I cherish the moments when I arrive home and stuff my face with bagels and pizza.

Air quality – After living in India and breathing in dusty pollution ridden air for nearly two years, air quality is the biggest thing I notice when in a new city. Taking a huge breath of fresh air, and not having to think about the quality of it, is truly a luxury I never appreciated.

Less obviously, nature. I appreciate the change in season where the leaves turn orange and yellow and it begins to get cold out. I appreciate the nearby mountains and road trips more than I used to.

Last year when I came home I was determined to find hiking and nature trails. Turns out, there are a whole slew of parks within a 30 minute drive of my house. I spent every Sunday exploring a new park and I had a great experience doing it.

This year I have become obsessed with Slacklining. I recently discovered a park by my house where I can hook up my line…I’ve spent every Saturday in that park for the last month.

Traveling has allowed me to look upon my hometown with fresh eyes. To see a place that I have seen millions of times before in a new light. To appreciate the things I overlooked or took for granted when I was a child.

Traveling has given me the ability to get a fresh perspective on everything that I grew up around. It has given me a renewed appreciation and gratitude for my roots and how my hometown shaped who I have become. I love home!!!

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