It is really strange when you are coming back to your home town after many years living abroad. It has changed. All streets, buildings surrounding your home and all friends are gone too, including you. The feeling is that you move back not to your home, but to a completely different country. If somebody asked me, why I came back? I would say THIS IS MY HOME. But is it still my home? I don’t know! It used to be that your home was a prescribed space: where you grew up was usually where you found a job, got married, bought a house and raised children. But as more people immigrate and emigrate, we have been forced to re-evaluate this model, and this sometimes creates a tension. There had been many things about Dublin I disliked: rainy and windy weather, public transport system, every morning traffic jam, driving, people’s manners, the never-ending construction, to name a few, that I gave up my life there with a flippancy I now find shocking. I had spend so long focusing on the things I didn’t like, and on some idea of “home” back to Lithuania, that I had failed to appreciate what I was losing: real friendships and real home I had spent years building. (Picture of Dublin) Many of my friends abroad have spoken of the guilt they feel when they start to accept their new country as home. They feel guilty about missed weddings, new lifestyles and friends but mainly, about not wanting to go back to Lithuania at least not yet. The main reason is money and work. As we know what economical situation is here and what it is in Ireland. But in general, there are plenty things that help me remember why I returned, some glimpses of the home you’ve cherished in memory for so long. An evening walk in the old town of Vilnius, even the smell of air is different and is really good to hear Lithuanian language around you and that felling that nobody will ask you “Were are you from?” As this one was almost an everyday question abroad. (Picture of Vilnius) And of course, there’s family. It’s very freeing to be able to meet up with your friends and family without feeling sad when you leave, wondering when you’ll see them again.
I know setting back will not be easy, magical transition I had imagined, but I also know that with time and big willingness, Lithuania will eventually feel like home again. 😉