Last week, I told you that I was looking forward to going back to the island. I was, but when the time came to say goodbye and leave Switzerland again, I didn’t feel like going. It was a lot harder to go away again for six months than it was last summer.
Last year, everything was new and exciting, and I could hardly wait to start my new life at the other end of the world. I was taking off to a new adventure and wasn’t quite sure how this was going to turn out. When I got to the island, time went by very quickly, as I was busy getting used to the climate, the people and the new lifestyle. I had to learn so much that I didn’t really have time to think of home much.
Now that I knew what I was going back to – a paradise that I came to love and appreciate very much, but also a place very far away from my loved ones – I wanted to stay in Switzerland and spend more time with friends and family, enjoy the luxury of the civilized world, go to the movies and concerts or just relax on my couch and watch TV. I realized again how much I still love life in Switzerland, even though in the beginning, it was strange to be back. But I got used to it again very quickly. It will probably be like this every time I go back home: I’ll never have enough time to see everybody, never be able to do all the things I want to do and be torn between enjoying Switzerland and wanting to go back to beautiful Pulau Pef, the warm climate and the laughter of the locals as quickly as possible.
Any expat will probably talk about similar experiences and say that it gets better in time. Just as with the goodbyes on the island every Friday, I assume I will get used to going back and forth between my two lives the more often I do it.
Arriving on Pef, I was greeted with much joy from the team, as always, but it still felt odd to be back, as if I didn’t know where I really belonged. OK, I was jetlagged and had a bad cold, so I wasn’t the best of myself. But it only took one day, meeting the guests, tasting the delicious food, watching the Pef band sing their island tunes and listening to the sound of the waves, and I was back also with my heart.
It felt comforting to know that I am able to switch back and forth between my two worlds because I intend to continue doing it for a while…
I never even dreamt of working on a remote island in Indonesia, but life has a way of taking care of itself…