Leaving home for the first time is a magical journey filled with adventure. When you are far away, you dream about the things you miss; your mom’s cooking, your old coffee shops, the weekends with your friends. When you first leave you just don’t consider the changes that will happen while you’re gone. Your memories of the old town doesn’t change, but the people back home do. The old cafe closes down, your weekend friends have children, you mom moves an hour outside of the place you grow up.

You finally return from all the fun adventures and difficult patches you’ve had over your journey. You see the accumulation of a billion tiny changes that happened since you left. Each person you know is different and so is the landscape around you. You hear the phrase “this place has changed a lot since I was young”… it’s true everywhere.

Nobody really understands the things you have seen and they rarely wish to hear about the new ideas you have found. Everyone refers to your old identity; a person you don’t even remember being anymore. They talk to you as if you still are that person.

All the once unfamiliar things in far away places have now become familiar. All that was once familiar is now strange. You thought you knew them. They think they know you. Everything you once knew well now is now a novelty. You see it all with new eyes. You know yourself better for returning, yet feel out of place and disconnected because it’s no longer home, these are no longer the people who know you.

Bilbo Baggins Syndrome.
The mix of nostalgic longing for a home that no longer exists the way you remember,
combined with the fact that seeing the world changes your perspective of the world.

Frodo: [Voiceover] How do you pick up the threads of an old life? How do you go on, when in your heart you begin to understand there is no going back? …

“It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out of your door,” he used to say. “You step into the Road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there is no knowing where you might be swept off to.”

J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

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