Seventeen months have passed, and it’s Summer Break. I am finally returning home. Many students studying abroad must have shared the same mixed feelings as I have: joy, excitement and worry.
Joyful, as it’s finally time to return home to where I’ve grown up for the past 20 years, to experience the familiar surroundings once more. Excitement, as you can finally see all your friends and family, and can’t wait to bombard them with your experience abroad, and question them about what you have been missing out on. Worry, as you will be wondering what’s in store for you, and how much things have changed, and whether any of your friends or family would still welcome you as they have used to.
Prior to departure, one of the many worries students would face, whether they are going home or moving out from one place to another: STORAGE. Deciding on whether or not to throw certain personal belongings, regretting your (impulse) buys throughout the year that has added to your baggage, how to store or arrange your items, etc. So lesson learnt.
Also, what to bring back home. Summer clothes? Winter clothes that you seldom wear? Which personal valuables? Any excess baggage?
An additional woe would be: What souvenirs would you buy for your loved ones back home? Personally, I find the gift of items imprinted with the country’s logos or landmarks, such as keychains and pouches from souvenir shops redundant. It would be more relevant if those gifts are for yourself, or those who have ventured into the particular countries. Giving them a keychain from Germany, or a pencil box with Australia’s country imprinted, may not be of much relevance to them unless they requested for such gifts from you. It may feel as if you are flaunting your ability to travel to such places where they may have less ability to venture to. However, ideally, the local delights, such as Swiss Chocolates, or French wine, would be a better choice for them to enjoy. Yet, from the UK, we were stuck for choice, as there weren’t many local delights that we could bring back. I, however, ended up buying clothes from brands such as Tim Burton, and Hollister, which Singapore did not have; scented candles from White Company; Body Shop, originated from the UK itself. I felt that these were better gifts for my loved ones, and perhaps more relevant too.
But… who’s to say, one may experience many more worries than mine?