It hit me today, like two high speed trains passing. It stole my breath, but not like a first kiss does, more like your first heartbreak. Day 64 of travelling through Europe was when the first wave of homesickness struck. I’ve been travelling extensively for over 4 years now and it still hit my just like the first time.
At first I did’t realise, I though I was missing my morning coffee, but then it came like the third wave of the set. Like one of those days at the beach where the waves just seem like a fun ride… until it thrusts you to the very depths of the ocean.
I tried all my usual tricks, my usual comforts, but nothing seemed to work, in fact it made me angry that I had failed at all my usual tricks.
It made it harder to listen to my intuition, it made me want to rebel. in fact it wasn’t until the voice was screaming in my head not to walk that way that I actually listened. I was sick of seeing concrete buildings and the cities business people. I was being quite ignorant to acknowledge I was lost, because my anger had me storming that I knew better, I never get lost. And so I listened to that voice and turned the other corner to find the Reichstag. The Reichstag is a piece of beautiful history and it instantly dropped my temper, suddenly I realised how ridiculous I was being. Homesickness had overcome me and there was nothing I could do about it.
If you’ve felt it before you now it comes in many forms and there’s no real way to describe it. And if you haven’t, I have no explanation for you. Homesickness creeps up on you, sometimes there’s a trigger, other times no trigger at all. I’ve had friends tell me they’ve just cried in a field for hours, others that have eaten their way through their body weight in a day, as for me I feel empty. There’s not a lot you can do when it hits, I have a few tips and tricks, but all in all, you just have to ride the wave. And that’s exactly what I did.
I didn’t want to waste the day so I wandered around in search of some interesting areas, but I hit a wall and it was time to go back to my temporary home. I made my way back to the bus stop and clambered onto a bus, only guessing at where at where to get off. I was meant to be going to my aunties meditation, which in hindsight probably would have made me feel better, but I couldn’t deal with conversing right now. I just needed some creature comforts. So I went and got some pizza a couple of bottles of beer, went home to watch a chick flick and put myself to bed by 7.30pm. There was nothing I could do but embrace the ride of the homesickness wave.
Homesickness is very similar to going through grief. First denial and isolation, “Surely I’m not feeling homesick, I’m a strong independent woman who don’t need no help.” Then anger. anger at everything and everyone. “Stupid pavement how dare you be raised and making my foot stumble .” Next comes bargaining, “I know I’m missing home a little, but I just need a cultural burst to remind me why I’m on the other side of the world to all my loved ones all by myself.” Then comes depression, “Well this is just shit, what’s so special about all these buildings anyway. Oh and now its raining fan-bloody-tastic.” Then finally acceptance, “I’m getting pizza and beer and going to bed.”
I just want you to know that you are never alone, it is perfectly normal to feel this, and no matter the time zone there is always someone to offer a little love! I am more than happy to be that person too, I am only an email away!
When homesickness hits it hits hard in any form, at any time and there isn’t a cure. There are ways to subside the symptoms but everybody is different. I know it’s painful but enjoy the ride, it fuels you with passion to drive you where you need to go. You may simmer for a while, maybe you’ll spend the day in bed, maybe two days, and that’s okay. I’ll be the first to put up my hand and say that I have been there. But I promise you, maybe its the third day, maybe the forth, you’ll wake up refreshed and empowered, you’ll look out that window and think,” Where next?!”
Remember, blooming takes time and growth, you cannot bloom all year round, but when you do start to bloom, it’s so beautiful.