This week, the world lost an icon of fantasy literature, Sir Terry Pratchett. Like many other people, I’d heard a lot about Pratchett but never actually picked up one of his books. After his passing, I decided to take a look at some of his writing as well as his life and I was blown away by both. His prolificacy, the quality of his writing, and the positive way he dealt with his dementia are all aspects of his person that inspire me as a reader, a writer, and a human being.
This week, I thought I would include the following quote from one of his most famous works, the Discworld series.
“Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colours. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.” Terry Pratchett – A Hat Full of Sky (Discworld, #32)
This quotation really resonates with me because I’ve experienced this feeling of seeing your world with new eyes many times. I have been lucky enough to travel quite a lot and to discover different cultures and ways of thinking. When I was thirteen, I went on a 3-month exchange to Canada and the way I felt when I returned is perfectly described in Pratchett’s words. I saw my old reality with a new-found open-mind, what he calls “new eyes.” Added to my old world was all that I had brought back with me, all these “extra colours” that I had gathered. It was a strange experience to feel changed when the rest of my surroundings was the same, but I felt like I had evolved and people saw it too.
Through my different adventures, I have learned that I love leaving home but I also love returning. I love experiencing new places and new people but I also love the fact that there is one place on earth that will never change. I can see my evolution through this one constant. I know it can be scary to leave this place of comfort for the unknown but it’s one of the most rewarding thing you will ever do. You get to learn about others but also about yourself. You learn not to be afraid. Most importantly, leaving makes you appreciate home more; I’ve never been more grateful to be where I’m from.