After three months of fast food, partisan politics and unsustainable shopping sprees, I recently returned to Sydney from exchange in Washington DC. However, I didn’t feel like I had come home - if anything, I felt like a foreigner. It is very strange to think that you would associate the word, ‘home’, with a place that you had only spent three months in.
I’ve since realized this is what they call ‘exchange withdrawal’, and it isn’t as bad as it sounds. It gave me the refreshing opportunity to experience Sydney as if I had just moved here – everything seemed new again.
Now I’m not going to lie, it has been a good two months since I’ve returned, but I still haven’t fully completed the transition. Sure, I’ve returned to the usual daily grind and routine of standing on crowded buses and sitting in less-crowded lecture theatres, but something is still missing. I think going on exchange has created an extra home for me, one that I will always be homesick for. But don’t get me wrong; it’s the type of homesick that will always make me smile whenever I reminisce about my time there.