It has been over four months since I left the UK. That is quite hard to believe when I say it out loud.
It seems like time has kind of frozen - that if I returned home right now, everything would be as I left it.
I imagine my handsome Dad in the kitchen of his flat in Roath making a beef stew, secretly nibbling on biscuits as the rain throws itself with reckless abandon at the windows.
I imagine my beautiful Mum at the breakfast bar of her house in Tenby, talking to me whilst I pour my cereal or drop tea bags into mugs.
I imagine my nephew staring into my eyes, his own like saucers of never ending love and innocence, his podgy hands and arms held up to me, with a smile spreading across his perfect cheeks.
But the reality is quite different. By the time I get home things will have changed. They already have changed, and I've got over six months before my return.
My Dad is no longer snacking on biscuits but is back into training, and the sun is streaming through the windows in the morning, like a bird spreading it's wings to full span.
My mum has just accepted an offer on her house and is probably starting to pack bits and pieces away into boxes, welcoming in the next chapter of her life. She will be saying goodbye to the home that has housed so many of our everyday yet incredible memories.
My Nephew will have grown inches taller, will have new mannerisms and habits. He will hardly remember me as a physical being, but rather a face on a screen that he is forced to interact with every few weeks. The familiarity that he once associated with me will be so far forgotten by the time I next see him. He will be talking and drawing and doing so much more.
My Grandparents will be a year older, they too might remember a little less or see a little less or hurt a little more, the aches and pains of age slowly but surely growing stronger.
These are the things that scare me the most. The things that I have no control over. The inevitable things that I was forced to consider before I left. The things that didn't stop me from leaving them behind.
And although writing them down (so that they are quite literally staring back at me from the screen) brings that sour taste to my throat and that tingling wetness to my eyes, I know that I have done the right thing in going on my little adventure. It hasn't been easy, but I am really, truly happy now. I have some great friends, and I am starting to see a little more of this beautiful country, that I had no previous interest in before I got here.
I am saving to go to India in August. I will be heading to Rajasthan first, I hope to move around a bit for a month or so and then return to Australia again in October, before flying back home in November.
I can't say that I have loved every second of this journey, or that I would do it all the same if I had another shot at it. But I have found happiness here regardless of the obstacles that have confronted me. And for that, I am very proud of myself.
I miss my family and my truly incredible friends more than I could ever have anticipated, but I know that their love surrounds me and protects me wherever I go.
That's all for now,