With just four days until I go home, life is starting to feel a little weird. What will it feel like to not have to muck a barn every morning? How am I going to re-adapt to driving on the left hand side of the road? (Sydney, consider yourself warned.) How am I possibly going to survive without my Rock – my new four-legged best friend, the horse that has seen me through so much, and that brings so much happiness to my life? All of these are questions that I have to wrestle with, at the same time that I consider how excited I am to go home and see my friends and family again.
You see, the thing about travelling and living abroad is that it changes your sense of home. No longer do I have just one home, and one family, I have several. No matter where you are, you will always be missing one of them, and the more you travel, the more you experience, the thinner you spread yourself. You never stop having to think about what timezone you’re in, or what slang you’re using, because one or more of your families are on the other side of the world. Inconvenient, no?
Although it is heartbreaking to leave another family behind, it’s the sadness that reveals how much they have changed me, and how important they are to me. I will miss the humans, yes, but also the horses and dogs that have made every day a joy to experience.
I started this journey with a sense of anticipation, and I was anxious to answer one important question I had for myself. After so much time away from riding, would I still love it as much as I once had? Or had I already succumbed to the all-too-common teenage affliction that results in horse-crazy young girls losing interest and pursing other things in life, like a normal social life? Without even realising it, I have answered that question for myself ten times over. I still have the drive and the passion for horses, as much as I ever did. I lived, breathed, and slept horses for the past year, and loved it. Although I felt like a little bit of a gypsy this year, living out of a suitcase, I know now I had one true home all along, and that home will always be in the saddle.
P.S – Here’s a video of my show jumping round from Full Gallop Horse Trials, having a blast on the Rock.