I often get asked if I’m homesick after traveling for so long. Good question!
The short answer is that I don’t get homesick often. I have gotten homesick maybe once or twice in the last six months. It usually happens when I am in a situation that is awkward, terrible, confusing, or difficult. Like the time I got attacked by an old man with a cane outside of a grocery store in Amsterdam. Or the time my new friend Matty and I had to wear only a sarong for three days straight. I could not make this stuff up.
The long answer is…. no, I don’t really get homesick. And this is why.
I have too much going on to be homesick. I am busy exploring, making friends, enjoying new cultures, and doing my thing. I worked so hard to save up to travel and live my life on my own terms. Now I am finally doing it, and it feels just as good (maybe a bit better) than I imagined. I spend my days writing, reading, spending time with friends, trying new cafes, riding my bike, walking around the Old City of Chiang Mai, walking around Nimman area (a wonderful area full of co-working spaces, boutiques, and unique cafes). 99% of the time that I’ve been traveling, I’ve been busy doing things, seeing things, making friends, creating memories.
Another reason I don’t get homesick – I am at a stage in my life where for the past five to seven years, I’ve moved around. A lot. I went from college dorms, to apartments with friends, then living with a boyfriend. I disconnected from living at my parents house, and never really had a home base, if that makes sense. I was always moving or always planning a move. I’ve never really been settled down in one place for more than a few years since I’ve lived at my parents house.
Some people tell me that they could never travel like this because they are so close to their families. Well, guess what? My sisters and my mom are my best friends. I was worried about leaving home because I am so close to them. But I had a choice – I could either stay home and hang out with them, or I could leave for a bit and live my life and follow my dreams and then come back and hang out with them. So, I left. The first time was hard. Three months in Europe alone was scary, at first. But then I met good people and saw things I never thought I would see and just had so much FUN.
I do miss my family. But I’ve learned that home isn’t necessarily where you grew up. Traveling has taught me that home can be anywhere. Home can be a person, a place, or home can be inside of you. My home now is the beach, the ocean, the jungle, the city. My home is Berlin, California, Thailand, Amsterdam, Paris, Costa Rica. My home is myself.