All you’ve heard people say about travelling is ‘how amazing it is‘ and how ‘you’ll never regret it‘, right?
Something a lot of people aren’t so quick to share about their travels are the moments in which they struggled and the moments in which they just wanted to book a flight home. Trust me, even as a seasoned and very experienced traveller, I still have moments on my travels where i’m like ‘i’m done, i want to go home’.
Feeling homesick can mean something different for everyone. For some it’s missing the comforts that home life provides, for others it’s missing family or routine. For me often it’s missing my gym routine and regular sleep schedule.
Whatever it is that you’re feeling… please know it’s okay to feel like that. It’s normal. Please don’t panic.
The first thing you must do if you feel homesick or like you’ve made the wrong decision is to take a big deep breath. Go on, do it now for me.
Okay, I’ve got you. Let’s work through this together…
Whether you’ve just touched down in a new country, you’re out of the honeymoon period and you’ve been gone a few weeks or the feeling has hit 6 months or a year in. It makes no difference to the validity of your feelings. Feeling homesick can come at any given time.
Chances are you have thoughts like…
‘I’ve just saved all my money for this’ ‘I should be enjoying this’ ‘They are having the best time on Instagram why aren’t I’
…running through your mind, all of which are putting an incredible pressure on you to change how you feel. The more pressure you add and the more guilty you make yourself feel, the worse it’s going to get.
Things to avoid:
What to do instead:
Taking deep breaths and bringing yourself into a calm space is a very important stage of over coming homesickness. Mainly because when you’re in a panic or when you’re upset you might be led to making rash decisions that don’t necessarily reflect your best interests. Chances are you’ve invested a lot of time and money in your travels and the last thing you want to do is waste it.
Once you’re feeling calm, bring up your notes on your phone / grab a pen and note pad / do this mentally.
Gosh, this is such a normal thing to miss, particularly if you’ve traded your fresh bed sheets and comparative luxurious home set up for hostel life or for living out of your suitcase. Home comforts are something you definitely compromise when you’re on the road but the benefits of travel far outweigh what you temporarily leave behind.
Things you could do
You have got this. Loneliness is such a common feeling people face when travelling and it’s here in these intense feelings that you are forced to dig deep and grow. You’ve left all you know behind you and you’re out their navigating your dreams on your own, of course you’re going to feel lonely. But don’t give up at the first hurdle. Get to know yourself, push through the discomfort and find strength as you step out of your comfort zone…
Things you should do:
Have you been working abroad and working some intense hours on your travels? Have you been travelling for a while and (naturally) are you feeling tired from the constant changes in climate / location / language / culture? Again, SO normal. I’ve been backpacking on 4 occasions and I can usually move around hostels and countries for 8 weeks max before I need routine back. At 8 weeks I’m usually craving some serious gym, sleep and work routine.
If you’re feeling tired / over worked, it might not mean that you need to go home, it might mean that you need to:
Listen to your gut, always.
Similar to the above section of feeling over worked / over tired, if you’ve been away for a while it might mean that you need to change things up a bit. If you’ve been away for a while travelling, perhaps it feels right to come home? Or if you’ve been away a while and have spent time building home somewhere, feeling homesick might actually mean that just like any one of us does from time to time when we outgrow our current circumstances, you need a challenge?
I truly believe that there’s no such thing as a wrong decision in this life. If you want to go home, it doesn’t mean your decision to travel was wrong. At the time it was exactly what you wanted and if now going home is what you really want, that’s okay too. That’s the right decision for you now.
Of course if you’ve spent years saving to go and live in Australia and then you arrive and it just does not feel right – it’s going to be an expensive lesson to learn. But if there’s a desire in you to go and do something, the risk you take by following your dream is way less than the risk you take by denying it.
In this example, you’d never regret the move to Australia because at the end of the day it would have taught you that Australia is not for you. That’s just as important as a dream going ‘how you thought it would go’.
Going home doesn’t mean you’re failing. If you’ve sat down, really considered the pro’s and con’s of staying / going home and going home feels right – then that is what you must pursue.
Travelling requires you to take on and persevere through an emotional rollercoaster. A rollercoaster you have to be ready to belt in for. It requires you to fall down many times and it requires you to be willing to find the strength to stand up again. It will push you so far out of your comfort zone, you won’t recognise yourself and the decisions you’re making from one day to the next.
Travelling is the opportunity to expose yourself fully to the world and most importantly to yourself. Travelling forces you to look inside yourself, to see your flaws gives you the time, the space and the inspiration to build yourself and your life however you desire for it to look.
If you’re feeling homesick, I just want you to know that it’s normal. Feeling homesick for 99% of people is part of the process. Think about the bigger picture. This is most incredible journey you’ll ever go on, the journey with yourself.
Love as always + happy adventuring,
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