Reflections of returning to Poland.

Being back in Warsaw, which was my home for over a year, is just… surreal. It just feels strange being here…. wonderful, but strange…

Many have said that when you travel you learn a lot about yourself, and that couldn’t be any more true. I realize, only now, that even when I travel somewhere I consider home I feel like I should not consider myself on vacation but I should be off doing something productive. This morning when I woke up and realized that I was in Warsaw, I felt like I shouldn’t be on vacation. I feel that I should be running to be with a student or to teach a class or something like that, which was generally my life when I lived here last year.  I cannot help but feel like teaching is what I should be doing since I am here in Warsaw. It’s actually a nagging feeling inside. It’s the same that when I’m in my hometown, San Francisco, I can’t be home for more than a few days without thinking I need to be working or doing something productive.  I don’t really consider myself that much of a workaholic. I know people who make zero time for friends and family; they are always in the office or otherwise occupied in the pursuit of making money.  But I’m not like that. I always make time for doing what I want to do or to spend time with people I find important in my life. Yet and still I feel like being idle is a bad thing when I could be doing so much work here and did for over a year.

I just realized last night that this is the first time in my life I ever returned to a city (not counting my hometown) where I spent at least a good year of my life working, building structure, and a community.  Ever since leaving, I have not yet been back to New York, Istanbul, Izmir, or Salerno, where I lived and worked before now, but I have a feeling if I did, my heart will pull me back to the same type of routine I had before.  I guess I must be happy working? I guess I am blessed to work in education where going to work to me is a joy, a privilege, though challenging as well.

The bug to work is so bad I’ve even contacted some of my old students here and arranged meetings (unpaid, of course) with them where I can check in on them to see how their English is progressing… today I’m meeting one former student at his office for a half an hour chat, meeting one tonight as well… just for a catch up chat, and will be meeting others too. Am I obsessed with my old life?

My year in Poland was definitely one of if not the best of my life, and I guess maybe psychologists would say I’m just feeling nostalgia and yearning for this year and time back, and now that I’m here again I feel like I should be doing the same things now as I did then. I probably will feel the same way every time I visit Croatia, after I leave, or Izmir or Istanbul too.   I feel like I’ve come back home after a long extended vacation and my working schedule should continue as normal…. Crazy. I need to snap myself out of this and just enjoy myself and have a good time on vacation but I don’t know if I actually can.

Does anyone feel the same?  If anyone has ever visited a place again after they lived many years there, how was it? How did you feel? Did you feel you should have the same or a similar routine again that you did when you were there? Did it simply feel weird, strange, or surreal to you?  What changed?  What stayed the same?

I’ve decided I want to live in Poland again, at least for half a year at a time. I am just so in love with Warsaw. The city is really amazing. One day, one day…. somehow I will.

More to come.




One thought on “Reflections of returning to Poland.

  1. ha! that’s what a lot of people say about poland. it gets into you somehow. even people who come here and say they hate it and complain constantly about the people, the food, the weather, the service etc. etc. end up back here. you’re stuck now! poland has you😊😊😊

    Liked by 1 person

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