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Lately, I travelled quite a bit. Yet, there is one place I left out. It’s the place I come from.

 

Whenever I travel there, there is a good chance that someone – a neighbour, a distant relative, an acquaintance – asks me something about being away and coming back.

“Do you want to come back one day?”

“Why are you visiting only so rarely?”

“Don’t you want to be here more often?”

There is a very simple answer to all of those questions. If I liked it there, I would have stayed. I didn’t like it, so I left. No. I do not want to come back one day. Why? Because I don’t like it there. That’s why I left. That’s also why I visit so rarely. And why I do not want to visit more often. It’s really that easy.

Now, this may sound rather harsh, and it feels harsh to write it down. This is because some members of my family still live there. Yes, I miss them. Yes, I would like to see them. Isn’t it ungrateful to dislike the place where they live, and where they have raised me? Isn’t it egoistic to leave? Maybe. But there is one factor that no one seems to think about: My family had almost 20 years to build a place where I would want to stay, or to help me see how I could stay and be happy. They failed at that. So I left. It’s that easy.

 

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