Week 28: It’s “goodbye”, again
I will be flying out to Boston tomorrow for a study trip at Babson College, a requirement for graduation.
Despite preparing for this trip for a while now — applying for and obtaining a visa for entry, making a list of things to pack, actually packing — the anxiety of travelling again did not reduce. Two and a half years after the pandemic began, I’m starting to feel its effects on me.
I used to be so very unafraid of exploring new places, or hopping on a plane and leaving the country. Because I knew that I would always return; home will always be there, waiting.
But when you’ve experienced being stuck in a country as an “immigrant”, being unable to return if you ever leave, it changes things. You become fearful for the life you have built, fearful for the future you have envisioned.
What if I leave this place and can never return?
I know what you’re thinking. Logical me is thinking the same. “The chances of that occurring is slim, if not 0.” The fear is irrational.
Maybe it’s a curse all nomads in the world face. In a “normal” world, we’re free to live in other cities, countries, while holding a passport issued by another. But throw in things like a pandemic, suddenly that luxury is stripped away, and that lifestyle you’ve been living and building suddenly isn’t available anymore.
This time round, it’s the same thing — “immigrant” in Singapore (that’s starting to feel a whole lot like home) and voluntarily leaving the country — and I think that’s what’s triggering this irrational fear. Also, add on the increased (real) risk of contracting COVID-19 from sitting hours in an aluminium cylinder with hundreds of other people for 20 hours…
Whilst I wish I had the answer to making this fear go away, unfortunately, I don’t. I guess all I can do is learn to manage and conquer these waves of fear as they come. And also be open to the experience and the little life nuggets I’ll pick up along the way.
After all, it is an adventure, and the humongous spider is just in my head, isn’t it?
I packed up 8 years of my life in Melbourne in December 2021 to move to Singapore to be closer to home and also to explore the world outside of what I already knew. This is a year-long series of weekly reflections on #myvoyagehome. Thank you for being a part of my journey.