Can you ever go back?

Can you ever go back?

Can you ever go back to a familiar place after a long experience away from it?

Can you ever go back to the same routines, same faces, same streets and alleyways?


It feels surreal to be back home in a house after all that has transpired in the past ten months. Much has changed, a lot has stayed the same but overall everything just sits uncomfortably with me right now. It’s all too familiar, yet different…

I know this is the process of grieving for loss that I’m currently experiencing and there’s much to grieve for – independence with the van, the freedom to chose my sleeping location, the vanlife quirks and challenges, the discovery of hidden areas in deep woods, on sandy beaches and on steep mountainsides, the new locations I found… yet the feeling of not having progressed when in actual fact I’ve progressed further than I would have expected myself to do so when I was younger is lingering within me.

I’ve just hit reality with a bump; the washing needs doing, the carpet needs hoovering, the dog needs walking, the adult politics need sorting, the bills need paying, a job needs applying for, a car needs to be obtained and the demands of the family need addressing. Adulting isn’t the romantic adventure of childhood dreaming we all once thought it would be… the time spent in North Wales did give me that opportunity to step away from ‘adulthood’, just for a little brief while. It was liberating.

The chapter is over, yet the story hasn’t finished.

I know over time these feelings will dissipate as I find focus elsewhere and I’m grateful to have had those 10 months to myself but I can’t help but think that I will go back to the ‘Cinderella chores’ dreaming of wearing those glass slippers again and longing for that freedom from ‘adulthood’ some more!

For now, I’m smiling because it happened, and I’m grateful for those that helped me every step of the way!


– Just Joanne

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