After seven amazing months abroad in Sydney, Australia, living the dream and finding the love of my life I had to return and go back home. I admit, 7 months is not really a very long time away – so everything should be the same when you come back home, right? And let me tell you what – it was.

However, what was not the same anymore, was me!

Your hometown rarely change while you're away traveling, but you do! So, what is it like to come home after long-term travel and meet your life-long friends?

Moving to the other side of the world from Germany to Sydney, on my own at the age 20; living in a three-bedroom flat which I shared with ten people from across the globe; starting my career with my first full-time job; and maybe spending too much time in the sun has indeed changed me. Although I didn’t notice it happening at the time.

Once I returned home, thinking everyone would be waiting to see me, I realised how much I had changed. The way I was thinking, the way I deal with issues and the way I behave. My best friend had a new best friend (yes, she found another bestie!!!), we had our first argument in seven years of peaceful friendship and in response I began to replace my ‘best old life-long friends’ with soulmate strangers.

When I finally met one of my life-long friends again, the shock couldn’t have been any bigger. “Hi, oh my god you haven’t changed at all! I can’t wait to tell you about my new boyfriend.” Two hours later after hearing stories about a boy that I knew she’d forget in two weeks’ time, it was finally my turn to talk about my adventure. But the only question she asked was, “And how was it? I guess all was good by looking at your pictures, which you shared on Facebook.” Add a snappy tone of voice to that and you can imagine that the conversation was over. After getting super excited to see my friend again, I was going home disappointed and sad.

However, I thought, that’s just one person - and tomorrow I’d meet another friend who was the most open-minded of them all. But after just two minutes of showing her some pictures on my laptop, she said, “You can show me them all next time, I’m a bit busy today.”

There I was again – deflated by a good friend. I couldn’t believe that not one of my besties wanted to know, hear or even see what I had been through and how much I had missed them.

Why did no one want share my excitement about being home and the trip I had just returned from?

Your hometown rarely change while you're away traveling, but you do! So, what is it like to come home after long-term travel and meet your life-long friends?

After some time being back home, I started to meet new people and became better friends with people I didn’t consider close before I left. These new friends had also been traveling on their own. We shared stories about what it was like on the other side of the world – in freezing cold Canada, or lush and green New Zealand. It felt so good to finally have people who knew and understood how it feels to come back home, when home isn’t home anymore.

Spending time with my new friends made me realise that my old friends simply weren’t interested in the fact that I had been away, or in the person it had made me. God knows why – maybe they were envious over my trip, or gutted they didn’t go for it themselves, or maybe they had hard feelings towards my boyfriend, who moved to Germany with me after only knowing me for 6 months.

What I do know is that it is not easy to return home when you’ve seen the moon from the other side. You have changed; you see things from a different perspective; and that place far away, that seemed so foreign and intimidating in the beginning, has become your other home – the place where you left your heart.

This is a guest post by Kim Melcher.

screen-shot-2016-11-22-at-22-48-22 Kim Melcher is a Marketing and Business development fanatic who loves exploring the world, enjoying the beauty of nature with all Earthlings. Kim has always been driven by wanderlust and a big passion for adventure, to seek out that feeling of being free. Since her childhood it was clear that Kim was going to travel the world, inspired by her grandparents who were big world travelers themselves. Now at the age of 24 Kim reveals her own travel experiences in an honest and inspiring way – with a hint of nostalgia.