“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 colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving."
I read Terry Pratchett's A Hat Full of Sky in 2006 when I was doing my short, second stint in Korea. It ends with the above quote, and even though I wasn't planning on moving home then (and haven't really been on planning on it since), I fell in love with it, because to me, it meant that "coming back" wasn't a failure or an ending...just a new chapter.
Of course, it doesn't prepare you for how hard coming back can be, and it definitely doesn't make it easier when you leave again. The thing is that when you see people every day, they don't seem to change much, but when you come home twice a year (or less) the little differences add up. And while you may get used to how your parents and siblings change after one year, niblings grow up quick. The Princess (in Mongolian mode this summer thanks to Aunt Becky the Great) turns five this fall. Five! I have this fear that they'll forget me before I come home again, and this is probably why I've noticed that the leaving has become increasingly difficult in the last several years. (Not that this means I'm going to stop, Mom...)
All that said, in spite of how hard it is to leave them, not only do I make a better aunt, I think I like it more. You have the lack of full-time responsibility (like a grandparent) but you're young enough to have fun with your niblings (like a parent). It's the best of both worlds...at least until I buy Dirt Devil his first bow and arrow.