By Amir Bagheri
Japan: December 2016
It had been about six months since I had moved to Takamatsu city to start a new life. I had been fairly successful in achieving the objectives I had set for myself; self-awareness, inner-peace, solitude, independence, and stillness.
I lived in a cosy loft apartment right next to Aibiki River, with Mt. Yakuri posing for me, every time I looked out of my window.
I was, for most parts, at peace but there were days that challenged my inner core beyond what I could have imagined previously.
Other than in spring and autumn, cycling home from work was never that exciting. In summer it was too hot and humid, and in winter, well, you can imagine; too wet and too cold.
It was one of those cold December evenings. After a long day at work, I was ready to cycle home. The route to home was scenic and beautiful. I cycled over two rail-lines and three bridges, with gentle streams under them. There were Satsuma orange trees on both sides of the road. I loved paying attention to my surroundings. It made me feel grounded and attuned with the land that had offered me a new home.
But that day was different. I cycled home with very little appreciation for all that was around me.
As soon as I got home, I turned on my electric heater and started taking off a few layers of clothing. The silence in my room was overwhelmingly loud. It was me and my inner voice debating about how long it had been since I last had a real conversation with anyone where I could also be emotionally expressive.
After recollecting all my memories, I concluded that it had been about two or three weeks since I had interacted with anyone outside of work.
I felt lonely.
I had become nostalgic for my days in South Africa.
I missed home.
South Africa: April 2020
Here we go again.
My route to work is not as scenic as it used to be. It mostly involves getting out of bed and heading straight to the kitchen where I leave my laptop on the counter. This is my new office. I am constantly bombarded with calls and emails from 7am to 7pm.
I can’t leave my apartment. This is my new normal.
I am nostalgic for my days in Japan.
I miss home.
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