What is “it?”
Many RTW travelers get it at some point on the road, but I never thought I would be a victim.
I grew up being a very independent “tough cookie” (as my dad always used to say). In college I studied abroad in Barcelona, Spain and never got the itch to return home….
So why would I get it now when travelling the world with my husband?
It has been 6 months since we left the states to travel the world, which is the longest amount of time I have ever spent away from home. I considered that as the reason to why all of the sudden I became nostalgic, but I think my sadness had less to do with me being far from home (for an extended period of time) and more to do with a void missing in my new life as a nomad.
More than anything, I miss the connection I have with loved ones from home.
It all started yesterday when Tony and I got into a silly argument about something incredibly random (and probably too embarrassing to mention)… Trust me, when you are with your partner 24/7 travelling the world, these mini bicker fests happen A LOT.
But afterwards I needed to blow off some serious steam and found myself unable to do so. I wanted to talk through it with someone other than Tony (whom I was currently mad at).
I had a burning desire to hang out with my girlfriends and sister from home.
Sure, I could of Skyped my mom or sister to chat, but what I longed for was an in-person interaction.
I have loved having Facebook, Skype, and Twitter available on the road to stay connected with friends and family from home, but what I miss is the ability to curl up and relax on the couch or go out to brunch with my girls and have honest conversations about our lives.
Every connection that I have had with friends and family back home since we left has been “catch-up” conversations discussing what each person has been up to in the past X weeks. These conversations are lovely, but they really just scratch the surface.
So here I was in Berlin, 6 months into our trip, feeling lost and longing for my life back home.
I felt horrible when Tony was trying to cheer me up, because as much as he was trying to help, he was making the situation worse. What started off as me just wanting space from Tony turned into me just going down an entire rabbit hole of “wants”.
I started to want and miss all the things I used to have back home:
- Living with two of my girlfriends, Jackie and Hilary, in our crap “character building” apartment in Boston and shamelessly watching Bachelorette on Mondays together after work
- Weekly dinners out with my friend, Brit, where we would exchange funny stories about work and life as married women
- The thrill of coming home to Miami on Friday nights after being on the road for work and jumping into Tony’s arms like a five year old after not seeing him all week
Unable to be consoled, I ended up going to bed last night utterly depressed and moody.
However, I came across a quote this morning when I was browsing through Pinterest (my guilty pleasure outlet!) that put everything into perspective:
(People) always see the past better than it was, the present worse than it is, and the future less resolved than it will be. ~ Marcel Pagnol
This quote was spot on.
Whenever we have a bad day, we often think of the good ol’ days from the past and draw comparisons. Last night when I was homesick and thinking about my life back home, I wanted to throw in the RTW towel and hop on a plane back to the US. I was being completely irrational in my thought process. I was only remembering my life back home when everything was peachy.
But what about the days when I was travelling for work Monday – Friday and miserable to be living out of a hotel and away from Tony?
What about the days when it was nearly impossible to coordinate a girls’ night out with my friends with all of our busy schedules?
What about the days when I wanted to hang out with my sister before realizing that she lived across the country from me? I probably have just as good of a chance seeing her now as I did when I was back home!
Once I put everything into this context, I felt much better about my situation. I agree, it was a low point of mine on our trip that I am not proud of… After all, we are having the adventure of a lifetime and I am so grateful to be travelling the world with my best friend!
But I think it is important to not beat myself up over feeling this way. Not every day on the road is all glitz and glamour and it is completely natural to feel nostalgic about home every now and then. It happens to the best of us… At least that is what I am telling myself!
Your turn: Have you ever been homesick on the road? What got you through your “low point”? Any stories and tips would be greatly appreciated in the comments section below!