Why Being Back Home Feels so Great

When you leave your home country to travel the world at a very young age, your definition of  “home” changes eternally. Being a nomad for many years makes you feel like you have no home anymore or you call home many different places where you felt good or something good happened to you. I left Poland when I was 18 trying to make my dreams come true by travelling and studying abroad. Since 2008 I had been constantly travelling and settling down in one place was almost impossible. I was always thinking about my next move, next place, next adventure and next destination.

That is Zagan - my hometown where I was born and raised
That is Zagan (Zagan Palace) – my hometown where I was born and raised
Typical Zagan buildings
Typical Zagan buildings

 

While studying in UK for 3 years I visited my hometown twice – during the winter in 2o10 (two-week stay) and during the summer in 2011 (one-week stay). Then I set off for my first China experience in August 2011 and never came back until now. Travelling in Asia made me realize how much I missed my family and how important they are to me, although I was never a “family person”. I hardly ever spent Christmas with my family, never got on well with my brother and sister and often complained about my father who left us when I was a little girl. The only one person who had been supporting me and my travels is my mom – my biggest fan and my biggest love.

Why am I back home?

So happy to explore my home town one more time
So happy to be exploring my home town one more time

 

During my Asian travels I interacted with many Sri Lankan, Thai and Cambodian families who became my role models. The way they supported and respected each other was incredible and I was slowly, but surely learning how to do it as well. When I was finally ready, I booked my flight back home without telling anyone, said goodbye to Cez, got into a plane and flew to Poland.

Why does it feel so great to be back home?

 #1 Family reunion 

My younger sister named Dorota (on the left), me and my older brother named Dominik (on the right)
My younger sister named Dorota (on the left), me and my older brother named Dominik (on the right)

 

It turned out that going back home was one of the best decisions I have ever made. Although everyone was surprised to see me, they were all blissfully happy. My brother was speechless, my sister couldn’t believe her eyes, my mom was crying and my dog was jumping all over the place!

Me and my biggest fan - my mom named Barbara
Me and my biggest fan – my mom named Barbara

 

The first question I was asked by my mom (after she said “Oh my God!”) was “Where is Cez?” and then “Are you hungry?” so I couldn’t stop laughing. When I told my mom I was staying home till early January she was over the moon. My mom always follows my travels, keeps her fingers crossed for me and calls me every day asking “Where are you heading next? You should go see….”. Words really can’t describe how supportive she has been since my first day away from Poland.

Me and Klaudia - our little princess
Me and Klaudia – our little princess

 

I was blown away by the changes made in my family. My younger sister was no longer my “little sister”. She grew up, got engaged and gave a birth to a wonderful baby girl, my niece. I just couldn’t take my eyes off, although I was not used to holding babies and playing with them. My brother has finally found a woman of his life and my room was no longer my room, but my niece’s bedroom.

Klaudia - our angel. Isn't she cute?
Klaudia – our angel. Isn’t she cute?

 

When I unpacked my backpacks, everyone got some small presents I brought from Cambodia, Thailand and China. Everyone, including my dog called Max. He actually seemed to be pretty excited and happy. Just look at him!

My dog loved his new t-shirt
My dog loves his new t-shirt
Let me try in on!
Let me try in on!

 

#2 Exploring my hometown

I was born and raised in a very small town with 27.000 inhabitants called Zagan. Here I went to my primary school, secondary school and high school and met my first friends.

Zagan Palace.
Zagan Palace

 

It is located in western Poland and its name is being translated as the “Place of the burnt forest”. To be honest, there is not much to do in this place apart from playing football at the stadium or swimming at the swimming pool, but we are proud of the Zagan Palace, Town Square and the history of our town.

Zagan Palace

Zagan
Zagan Town Square
Warszawska Street
Warszawska Street

 

It felt so good to be exploring my home town once again. I was strolling down the streets recalling all good moments from my childhood (I will be posting a separate note about Zagan soon).

#3 Catching up with friends

There is nothing better than having a coffee with a huge piece of chocolate cake with your friends, agree? It was fantastic to meet some of my best friends, hang around with them, laugh a lot and talk about funniest stories happened to us when we were kids.

All of my friends and colleagues are so mature nowadays, some of them started families, settled down and work. They often made fun of me saying “I am the one who is still a kid using the world as my playground” (which is kinda true ;-)).

Having a dinner with my best friend  Paulina in a Vietnamese restaurant in Wroclaw
Having a dinner with my best friend Paulina in a Vietnamese restaurant in Wroclaw

 

One of my best friends Paulina really wanted me to cook some Asian food for her. However, we couldn’t find any Thai or Chinese herbs and spices in a supermarket so we went to Hanoi – one of Vietnamese restaurants in Wroclaw where Paulina lives. We had a yummy Vietnamese soup and some rice with meat!

The other night I partied with my friend Paula and her mates. What a night!

Funniest people ever - Marek, Paula and Magda
Funniest people ever – Marek, Paula and Magda

 

#4 Craving Polish food

After eating a bowl of rice every day with some fried vegetables, I was dreaming of Polish food (here you can read my guest post on 10 of my best Polish foods to understand why I love Polish cuisine so much). I knew once I got home my mom will be cooking all my favourite Polish dishes. I was right – she did, she does and will be cooking till my last day in Poland.

I wake up in the morning to have a delicious piece of cake or cookie for my breakfast.

Traditional Polish croissant cookies with a strawberry jam filling, a hot eclair and strawberry cake
Traditional Polish croissant cookies with a strawberry jam filling, a hot eclair and a strawberry cake

 

Then I taste my favourite Polish dumplings and finish my day with a huge plate of herring in oil with onion (mmmmm I’m getting hungry now!)

A plate of Pierogi (Polish dumplings)
A plate of Pierogi (Polish dumplings)

 

Although I left Poland for nearly 3 weeks to travel in Europe, I am already back and ready for Christmas. Me and my mom are working really hard to make this Christmas special and unforgettable. Simple can’t wait for it!

Almost forgot. Have I already mentioned how much happy I am to be back home? ;-)

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42 Comments

  • There is something so special about coming home when you’ve been away for so long. It makes you appreciate the little things don’t you think? Your hometown is charming Agness, and it makes me miss mine!

    • Yes, there is something special about coming home indeed, especially when you travel the world and don’t really get back home very often like me. Yep, I appreciate every little thing and I even love taking my dogs for a walk or do some cleaning now which I hated doing before! Thanks Sarah :) Hope you can get back home for Christmas!

  • Another fabulous post Agness. You all look so happy and your niece is exceptionally cute and very smilie.

    There is no place like home for Christmas. After all it is all about celebrating with family and friends. Clearly you’ve made the correct decision to take time out to come home for a while.

    Have a fabulous Christmas, I know you will.

    • Thank you, thank you, thank you! That’s so true. There is no place like home for Christmas :):):). Can’t wait for Christmas to be honest. I’m so excited! You also have a wonderful Christmas and hope all your dreams will come true :) P.S. My niece is super cute, so glad you like her :)I hope she can be a traveler like me one day :)

  • So glad you are enjoying home! I think those of us that travel for long periods of time always appreciate the time we have at home a lot more :) It’s also nice to know that wherever you’ve been in the world, there’s always someone and somewhere to return, even if for a short while! Have a fantastic Christmas with your family! :D

    • Oh Sarah thank you so much! I absolutely agree with you and I’m happy to be back home where someone is waiting for me and I can finally spend Christmas time with the love ones :) You also have a wonderful time in New Zealand. Merry Christmas to you babe and bon voyage!

  • What a beautiful post! Great photos as well, you have a great family.
    Your niece is a beauty and your dog is really cute :-)

    I love to see the world but I also love going home and see my family.
    Great you enjoy being back home and wishing you a wonderful Christmas and a great start into the New Year together with your family.
    Merry Christmas and I will be for sure following your travels next year

    • Thank you ever so much Freya! I’m the same now, used to be different. Now I still want to travel the world but get back home twice a year to see my friends and family. You also have a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year. I hope you will be celebrating this amazing season with the loved ones! Have a wonderful time and wish all your dreams will come true x Bon Voyage!

  • In the words of Dorothy, “There’s no place like home”! And it must feel really exciting to return to a new baby in your family!

    It’s so good to read more about Poland, because bar Krakow it doesn’t get that much attention which is bad for someone like me who has a bit of an addiction to anything Polish. Seriously, there must be magic in the Pierogi that leaves me wanting more and more.

    My boyfriend loves Poland too, but for an entirely different reason…. the women *cough*

    • So glad you hear you are enjoying Poland. Pierogis are so addictive, huh? Once you start eating them, you can’t stop!! LOL Most of guys like Polish girls :):) so be careful and keep your eyes wide open while having a good time in Poland. By the way, Dorothy was absolutely right!

  • I could feel your happiness about being home in every word! Great post! Hope you enjoy your time at home and spend some amazing holidays with your friends and family!

  • One of the best things about traveling is getting to go home when it’s over!

    Max looks adorable (especially in his stylish Thailand shirt).

    Happy Holidays!

    • Max loves the “I love Bangkok” t-shirt ;-) He puts it on sometimes when going for a walk. Poland’s freezing now so it warms him up :)

  • Wow! Great post Agness. I remember coming home, we did the same thing, didn’t tell anyone and tehy were all so shocked! I really relived that experience through your post. What an amazing aaahhhh, don’t even know how to express it. Congrats on having a niece! I’m still waiting to get one! Also liked how you mentioned the Asian families how they are so family oriented. I think that’s partly why we had such a great time traveling the world. Local people really admired that we could do it together as a family.
    Welcome Home!!! Enjoy.

    • So glad you liked the post. You should have seen my mom’s face – she was blown away ;-) – PRICELESS! Thanks, my niece is such an angel ;-). I agree locals always stay close with their family and friends. You also enjoy being home and happy 2013 :):)

  • Make me so happy to see family reunion. Your niece is so cute and happy! Cez is not diligent as Agness writing blogs :)

  • Visiting home is amazing after being gone for a long time isn’t it? I was ecstatic the whole time :) Glad you had such an amazing time reuniting with your family and visiting friends!! xx

  • Coming back home is a great feeling after a long holiday or journey. You have a lot of things to share with your family as well as your friends. You are looking superb in front of Zagan Palace. I also like Marek’s hat and your dog. Nice clicks :)

  • Well Zagan is very pretty isn’t it!

    Certainly compared to my nearest town centre, Croydon…

    Though I have to say that your dog looks eeeeeevil in that shirt. Some kind of zombie dog trying to play cute just to gnaw on my brains.

    Nice homely, comforting post.

      • LOL! What are you doing on my blog right now?!? You should be out and about with your girlfriend! It’s Valentine’s Day, c’mon! Be romantic!

      • Haha, well I’m at work and so is she! It’s my last two days in my current job so I’m just tidying up loose ends, and that means I have a very important task to do – surfing the internet… :oD

      • Hehehe, nice, don’t work too hard ! :) Hope you both will have a wonderful Valentine’s Day. Any future travel plans after you leave your job?

      • Oh no, I won’t. Don’t you worry. And yes, we will!

        Yeah we are in the process of house-hunting at the moment, but as soon as we’ve moved into our new base we will be looking at our next travels (probably more Spain, and Turkey for the first time). I think this year will include a lot more long-weekend city breaks than longer trips but we should be able to see loads all the same. I hope your travels are looking like lasting a while yet?

      • Awesome plans, keep it up! I’m based in China, heading to Japan and South Korea soon and then Brussels and Amsterdam in August :)

      • Well as you might have guessed I can’t recommend Japan highly enough, it’s simply amazing. And I have been to Amsterdam tons of times so that’s another top place. Sounds exciting – you keep up the good work too!

      • Awesome! Our next travel destination is Japan and the Philippines so I will get back to you to ask some questions regarding cheap accommodations and food recommendation in Japan. I’m back in Amsterdam in August for Robbie William’s concert HA!

  • I definitely can relate to this! I haven’t been back home in nearly two years! I think I am going this summer, so I hope I have as good a time as you seem to be having here! I’m glad your homecoming was so great!

    • I’m back in China already but being home is always amazing! Hope you don’t miss your family too much. Sending my love x

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