The farthest from home I have ever been

Over the last month or so, I’ve been somewhat missing in action. That’s due to me taking a much-needed holiday. Except it wasn’t really a holiday, upon reflection – it was more like ‘travelling’, and even more like an ‘adventure’.

My boyfriend and I travelled across the world – quite literally. We went from the southern end of Australia to the northern reaches of Scandinavia. I couldn’t have been much further from home if I had tried.

To be honest, I cannot think of anything more scary than travelling far away. To say that the trip itself was amazing is an understatement. I have never seen anywhere as naturally beautiful than the fjords of Norway, and I have never met any one race of people who are as ridiculously friendly as the Swedes.

I had new, strange experiences every day. I battled to understand foreign¬†currencies, and how to pronounce the names of different towns. At one stage, I couldn’t even grasp the difference between milk and yoghurt in Swedish – and we wound up with sour yoghurt in our morning cups of tea as a result.

But throughout the trip, I was also homesick. And it was only when I returned to home, and started reading Lord of the Rings, that I was reminded of why I was homesick. The following scene stuck with me when I originally saw the film, and it was only after travelling so far away that I realised why:

This was the farthest away from home I had ever been. I didn’t actually turn to my boyfriend during the trip and say, “If I take one more step/plane flight/train trip, this will be the farthest away from home I’ve ever been” – but at several points, I was amazed at how keenly I felt the distance between me, and my home.

As a side note, I obviously didn’t travel so far because I came across a magical ring that needed to be returned to Mount Doom – or anything else out the realms of high fantasy. For me, it was simply an urge to see far away places. And yet, when I got there, I just wanted to come home.

I love the Lord of the Rings for one simple reason: everyone has their own Shire. That is what makes it so easy to identify with the main characters. Everyone has a ‘home’, and everyone has people who make it ‘home’. The heart of the story in the Lord of the Rings is that the main characters travel so far away to defend the homes that they left behind. And although I wasn’t in quite the same boat, I had many instances of going further and further away, and just wanting to come home.

It was an incredibly special trip, and one I’m not likely to forget. I’m sure I’ll write a few more posts regarding my trip, but now I’m just glad that I’m back where I begun.

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