This question is something that I’m asked often since I’ve arrived here in Serbia. I think sometimes people fail to realize that I am home, in a different sort of way. I’ve made a home for myself here in Serbia. I have a job, friends, hobbies, plans… I have a life here. I built one for myself and I can’t just turn my back and leave whenever I feel like it. There are too many factors for that and it’s gotten far too complicated to make definitive plans for my future at this point in time.

Of course, I have ideas about timelines and my next move, but who’s to say for sure. The idea of knowing when I’m moving back or even visiting California is such a warm thought to my heart. My desktop screen at work rotates through photos from Cali and places I’ve been and I can’t explain the longing inside my soul when I look at them. But until any ticket is purchased, I try not to get my hopes up because my life is always up in the air.

On my emotionally draining days, it’s extremely disheartening to not know when I’ll be returning to an environment that caters to my comfort. But on the good days, it’s the greatest realization to know that I’m following life’s path with no plans. This year I’m in Serbia, who knows where I will be and what will happen in 2020. That’s something I’ve learned to embrace that I used to let terrify me.

Another factor that I don’t think everyone realizes – it’s not just about me anymore. Nenad has obviously consumed a huge portion of my life and my life decisions and me moving home means he’s leaving his home. Although he feels completely ready to do that, it’s just not something you can prepare for. My experiences versus expectations in moving across the world both times were nowhere near each other.

This past week was one of those where I wish I could see my future. It can be so disheartening to not know when you’ll be near your family again. My mom arrives next month and I can’t explain how much I’m going to cry when I feel her embrace. There’s no way to sugarcoat how difficult it is to live halfway across the world from your family. In many ways, it’s gotten easier and in others, it’s only gotten increasingly more difficult. Sometimes I wonder what I was thinking and others I know I would have spent the rest of my life regretting passing up this opportunity.

It comes down to this: I don’t know when I’m coming back to America – plain and simple. No one wishes that I did more than me though. So far I’ve missed Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, my sister, mother and father’s birthdays, my best friend’s birthdays, and one of my childhood best friend’s wedding – all in the last 7 months. It’s difficult to say the least. Writing is sort of freeing for my soul. Putting these thoughts on paper eases my soul and gives me a sort of strength that no one else can provide for me.

So I take it one day at a time and although it feels like a silly approach it has proved to be the best for me. I’ve come to the scary realization that I might not ever move back to Roseville, California. I moved out of my parents and finished school and really, that was the only thing tying me there anymore. Apart of me didn’t even get to look back and thank my wonderful city for the memories it had given me thus far.

Man, growing up is so bittersweet.