Homesickness, no matter where you are or how long you’ve been away from home is never a nice feeling.
I think the only other time I’ve had homesickness was when I was away on a Brownie trip for no longer than a weekend! I was only around 10 years of age, but it wasn’t something I wanted on my trip, and it’s always stuck in my mind as one of those random memories your brain chooses to store away for old times’ sake!!
For all the time since then, I don’t think I’ve ever experienced homesickness. I studied at college for 3 years, and didn’t live in any halls of residence or similar during those years. And I think it’s safe to say I’ve never lived from home for longer than 2 weeks… if that!
So coming all the way out to Australia for a whole year was gonna be tricky. I didn’t think I’d miss home that much cause there was so many things I wanted to do out there, therefore, plenty to keep my mind off home!
However, within the first month, thanks to a spontaneous trip up to Brisbane from Melbourne I was homesick for an entire week. I felt horrible. I didn’t know what to do with myself, and being stuck in a city that I didn’t know, I felt totally lost. Of course, you might be thinking; why didn’t she just go out and explore? Well, the truth was, I didn’t want too, I just wanted to have that feeling of being at home with all my home comforts, you know? Not even for that long, just enough so I could feel whole again and relaxed.
I didn’t dare call home though, cause I knew I’d just want to cry, which I figured would just worry my poor mum too much!! Don’t need more of us worrying!!
So I just moped around, and felt sorry for myself… for a whole week. How pathetic!!
Thankfully though after the week was out, and not knowing what else to do, I flew back to Melbourne, which turned out to be the best option for me. Cause, within a week, I met new people and had a whole bunch of new plans set out for the next couple of months. Yay!!
Homesickness was out the window!!
Unfortunately, the nasty beast has returned on many occasion since then. I’ve often found myself feeling really low and not knowing what to do with myself, and after much confusion, I realize I’m just thinking of home!
Sometimes I like remembering the little things I used to do when at home, like;
Telling the cat to stop licking my fingers!
Lighting the fire so it’s nice and cosy at night.
Making a really tasty sandwich or baguette, and not having to worry about how much it costs!
Spending the morning doing some ironing for mum while she’s at work.
Flicking through the numerous channels on Sky tv, only to find theres bugger all to watch!
Having to let the cat out of my room at night, cause he’s snuck in under my bed and now needs let out for a pee!
Watching the stupid birds flying into my window and knocking themselves out!
Hearing the cat meow first thing in the morning, cause he’s wanting out of the kitchen :).
Me and mum going out for lunch to Inverurie and chatting to our hearts content, and often laughing our heads off at really stupid things!
Having my own room!
Spending hours on the phone chatting to friends :).
I could go on and on and on… but that would just be boring for you guys!
Anyways… back to the point! Homesickness has shown its ugly face very often in the past month or so. I think it’s purely down to the fact that I’m not really travelling as such right now, and not meeting as many people as I’m used to. I’m currently settled in Byron Bay with the other half, and whilst the job hunt goes on, there isn’t really much else to do! Therefore… the mind decides to wander… and most of the time it wanders all the way home!!
I’ve realized that homesickness isn’t always such a bad thing though; it makes you realize that your house isn’t just where the parents live, it’s not just somewhere you can get free food, or get some cheap, or even free accommodation. It’s not just somewhere to head back to after a night out, or invite all your friends over too. It’s not all about those things at all, it’s your home. It’s where your family, no matter what you do, will always be there for you. Its where, even through the tough times, someone will always love you and want to care for you. Like the old saying goes, home is where the heart is.
Don’t worry if you get homesick. I know it’s not a nice feeling, in fact it’s horrible. But at the end of the day, home will always be there, your freedom in travelling won’t.
I might not have the best advice in getting rid of homesickness, but…
A good way to stop thinking of home is to take your mind off it completely by doing something you enjoy. Maybe do painting, surfing, watching t.v, or even a bike ride and go explore stuff. You might not really feel like doing something… infact anything that’s merely productive, but you never know, it’s worth a shot.
If that fails, a call home might be a better option. Even just hearing someones voice that’s familiar might be what you need. Or maybe a friend from back home, they’ll probably be so excited to hear from you that their screaming alone will clear your mind of thoughts!!
But if contacting home makes you want to curl up and have a wee cry, then go chat to fellow travelers in your hostel. You never know who you might get chatting to.