*I wrote this post on the plane ride back to Tokyo so please excuse any sappiness.*

I am a mixed bag of emotions right now. Part of me feels like I am going home and part of me feels like I am leaving it. It is an odd sensation which I have never felt before – having two very distinct places in the world to call home.

The past six days of my whirlwind trip back to Sydney has reaffirmed how much I love Sydney and the people I have there. But it has also made me appreciate the new life I have created, on my own, in Japan. That adventure is not over yet.

The whole reason behind this insane short visit was to surprise my mum for her 60th birthday. I think I managed to keep the secret a secret (by telling very few people I was coming home) but mothers’ intuition being what it is, she said she had a sneaking suspicion that I would come back. My sister and brother in law picked me up from the airport, so I arrived on the doorstep of my parents’ place, hiding behind the aura of my two beautiful nephews. So naturally my mum was thoroughly distracted by the loves of her life, which made for a great surprise.

Another reason for my trip back was to squish the gorgeous babies – one of whom I had yet to meet in person. I didn’t waste a single moment relishing in their unbearable cuteness!

The feeling of comfort and contentment that I feel at home in Sydney is unlike any other. To let go of responsibility for just a brief period of time and be the child again was a sense of relief. Life goes on for certain, but some things remain the same. My mum pumping me with home cooked food, acting as though I haven’t eater since she last saw me in July. My dad’s random comments, far and few between. Relaxed chats about life with my sister and brother in law. Reading stories to my nephews and getting lost in their world.

It was amazing to catch up with life long friends as well – where we can pick up where we left off without any awkwardness. While I would have loved to have caught up with many more dear friends, the limited time I was at home was spent with family and attending a friend’s wedding (well timed!)

When I originally left to embark on this adventure of living in Japan on my own, there was so much that was unknown; where I would live, what my job would be like, would I be able to make friends, would I fit in. And the frenzy of packing up my life and moving across the world and the excitement and accompanying anxiety of this new world did not leave me time to worry about what I would leave behind (all that worry would come later after I arrived!) As I leave this time, I am relieved that I am going back to close friends, my little apartment that I have made my own and to a school where I have begun to form real relationships.

Leaving my family and a comfortable secure life certainly was difficult; I don’t think it will get easier. However, I am comforted in the fact that I will see my parents in a month and my sister and her family shortly after that. If the six months I have been away has passed this quickly, I can only imagine how quickly the next one and a half years will fly by!

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