The Comfort of Tea

When we leave our homes to escape to a more imminent and exciting world, we feel that we will never be ready to return back to our former lives. 

We say good bye to the lives we once led and swear that this trip will strike something in us so vital, it will cut straight to the core, and there will be little comparison in the person we once were and the person we’ve starting becoming. 

When all is said and done, and the inevitable flight back to your home country is calling out your name to board, we cry with joy and love, with fear and hope, and we try to centre ourselves in preparation for returning to a place that, whilst we have changed immensely, is practically exactly the same. 

I, for one, lack no means for a dramatic home coming. Usually I’ll suprise my friends and family, after having led false pretenses in the previous weeks before my arrival. I’ll be so sad and barely breathing whilst holding so much love ready to give and receive from those I missed dearly while I was gone.

But when it comes down to it I question my trip, I question myself, and I question my home.

Now, you’re probably wondering why this blog post is called “the Comforts of Tea”… And the answer is simple.

Whilst I’ve been busy raving on about before and after mixed emotions of departing one place to arrive at the next; I have been sipping at my hot cup of organic USDA fair trade green tea. These specific tea bags that I bought from a random corner store in Vietnam’s beautiful mountain town Sapa, has a hint of extra spices added. A little bit of ginseng to give the digestive system a boost, a wee bit of ginger to help manage my blood sugar levels, a touch of cinnamon to warm my tastebuds to a taste I love.

For me, back home holds of course a place of comfort. Comforts that are even luxuries, some neccesities. I love my country because I come from a place where humans are becoming more and more aware, more and more conscious; about a healthy lifestyle. About what to put in their mouth, how to nourish their bodies. 

Australia is a realm of mesmerising fertile land and a consciously awakening movement. And when I am away from Australia, I am away from a lot of the “luxuries” I need in my life to keep me sane, happy, and healthy. 

When I left Australia to backpack around India I thought I was about to hit a gold mine… A land of chai, chickpeas and chikoos (a sweet fruit that tastes like dates, abundant in India). I figured my body would thrive in India! That my anemic being could just differ from the vitamins I usually consume, and I would be absolutely fine, better than fine!

But the romantic notions we have in our heads can be naive and, in my case, polar opposite of what you expect. 

I landed in a land of sugar, plastic and poop. 

From one part of Asia to the next. Landing in South-East Asia I was so excited! Vietnam was a safe haven of health for me. What with all the Pho, green vegetables and tea!

Again, my romantic notions detiriotated shortly after arriving in Vietnam and I started realising that my body needed more than rice noodles, a weak broth, and some shallots.

I had a couple of tough days where everything and anything set me off, made me upset, complain, and retaliate negatively to my surroundings. Safe to say my boyfriend was not impressed, and neither was I. 

I found myself craving home. What I would do for just ONE super smoothie I could make myself, or one plate full of my home cooked vegetarian, vegetable-filled nachos. 

On an afternoon after having an episode due to the mattress in my hotel room being to hard for my back (pitiful), I walked into a corner store to buy a bottle of water. Nestled in between the toxin-sprayed Vietnamese tea leaves,  and liptons shitty black tea, was a couple of beautifully painted English Tea Shop Organic green tea. 

English Tea Shop is a brand of tea you can get back home in Australia, I had never been so happy to see the luxurious herbal tea sitting waiting for me. 

I bought it and took it back to my room, which is fully equipped with a kettle and two tea cups. 

Every morning, afternoon, and before bed, I boil the kettle and fill my glass up with a fresh tea bag. I sit on the balcony over looking the mountain and sip at it. And in this I find so much comfort, and so much joy and appreciation at the thought of my home and all the benefits it holds. 

This tiny cup of tea, relaxes me, nurtures me, and gives me perspective of how lucky I am. 

Somethings as small as this (as well as quitting Vietnamese coffee for a while, cause that ain’t good for my being) has helped me so much the last few days. 

Tea is the key, tea is the answer. 

A much younger me use to fear returning to Australia after travel. The older and much wiser, though still predictably naive me, welcomes my home land back to me. 

I no longer fear what my home holds, I no longer see it as just a place I was born and maybe not necessarily my “home”. 

I now truly see it as a magical land of abundance. Of beautiful energy and a land of opportunity. 

I can’t wait for the day I step back on Australian soil, Australian soul. Even though I know I will, like I have so many times in the past, take it for granted, I can still try to vow that I won’t. 

Because amongst all the saris you experience, all the curries and spices, or pizzas and falafel, all the view points and beaches, or all the infatuations and heart break, we all belong somewhere, we all strive towards a certain lifestyle. 

The other day when I was skyping my best friend, talking about these issues, she said to me “I don’t mind leaving my comforts for a while… But I love coming back to them”.

Something in that sentence really stuck with me.

So I’ll finish my tea and try to eat clean in a world of comforting yourself with dangerous comforts to fill the void of your healthy ones back home (ice cream anyone?). And I look forward to the day when I’m established some where new. Where chia seeds and cacao is accessible. Where gluten free pizza is a thing and salads aren’t just a mere piece of lettuce on a side plate… 

And where my collection and obsession with organic herbal tea, has it’s very own place amongst the cupboards of my kitchen. 

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