Suffering with Homesickness
Home sickness. Some people get it, some people really don’t…
I wanted to discuss a very personal topic today and I have to say that this has been fairly difficult for me to write and publish. I’ve had this post sat in my drafts for month’s because I feel so silly talking about it and putting myself out there for everyone to see. However, I really do love honest and personal post’s like this and it’s about time I started creating them myself.
A Trip Down Memory Lane
Going back to primary school, I have one memory that sticks out a lot more than the rest. We went on a school trip to somewhere in Wales and it was my first time being away overnight for a few days without my mum – I’m super close to my mum and I hated being away from her, to be honest I’m still like that now!! – and I was extremely nervous about it. I decided to take a diary with me so that I could write in it daily and have something to keep me from feeling homesick.
The head teacher at my primary school knew how nervous I was about this trip and was more than understanding and very reassuring. So, the diary. I wrote in this every day of the trip (I can’t remember how long the trip was now) and documented everything, including how homesick I felt and what I did to try and combat those feelings. I also jotted down all of the activities and fun things we got up to. My head teacher loved the diary entries so much, that she took a photocopy of my diary to help any other future kids that felt the same way as me. I have to say that that made me feel so incredible.
I’d always looked at my homesickness in such a negative way, and I’m definitely not saying it’s a positive, cos it’s not, but this really helped to make me feel less alone. In a way, I knew I’d be able to help at least one person on that school trip – which is an amazing feeling, especially at 10 year’s old!
A More Recent Trip to Bali
Another, more recent, event that took place and really hit me full force with the feeling of homesickness was Bali. A lot of people are shocked to hear this and say ‘but it looks like you were having so much fun from your Instagram’. Don’t get me wrong, I DID have a really fun time, but I also had a really shit time too. I tried to be as transparent as possible with this and touched on my feelings of homesickness in my vlogs. However, I definitely didn’t share it enough and that was because I was too afraid of being called ungrateful, which is a term I hate to associate with myself.
This is the event that actually inspired this post, as I’m 23 and I get homesick. Which I understand makes me sound a little pathetic, but I know there are SO many people out there who are exactly like me and get the same feeling. It all started in Gili T, which was day 5 of our trip (I believe). I think what triggered it, was the fact that my sister was on her flight home, after being out there for two and a half week’s. I guess I was sort of jealous in a way, that she was going home, and I also became aware of her not being there anymore. However, I was with two of my amazing friend’s and I felt bad because I was desperate not to ruin their holiday. I tried to suck it up the best that I could, but unfortunately that only lasted so long.
My homesickness became SO bad, that I couldn’t eat properly, I was constantly crying and I physically felt sick, like I was going to throw up ALL the time. It was honestly horrible and I do not wish that feeling on anyone, ever. I know there will be some people reading this and eye rolling massively, but if you suffer with homesickness then you will completely understand how out of your control this feeling is. I honestly don’t think I’ve ever had homesickness as bad as I did whilst in Bali.
My friend’s were as supportive as they could be, however it’s hard to be there for someone when you don’t understand how they feel and can get frustrated with it. I think this made it worse as well because the only person who could slightly understand my pain was my mum, but every time I spoke to her I just wanted to go home more and more. I actually felt really alone and then I was super frustrated at myself for not enjoying this ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity that I had willingly organised and funded. It felt like I was wasting so much money, I was pissing my friend’s off, acting childish and probably a little selfish, all whilst trying my absolute hardest to put on a brave face and really enjoy myself.
It’s safe to say that I’m now desperate to go back (with my boyfriend this time..) and make amends and really grab that opportunity by the horns! I think I’ll give it a little while though and build myself back up first.
There have, of course, been plenty of other times in my life when I’ve felt homesick. However, it would be even more lengthy to list all of those times. I did actually get homesick in Paris once, which I know sounds ridiculous because it’s literally a couple of hours away.. We had to dash into a Marks & Spencer, just so I could see a little bit of British familiarity – I mean, how ridiculous right?!
But this isn’t a post where I should be belittling myself, but I feel like I need to do it so that no one else can/if they do, well then I’ve already said it anyway! I wanted to write this post to make other people, like me, feel less alone and I think it’s so important to use my platform to voice personal issues like these. I feel like things like homesickness get overlooked, as no one appreciates it being a ‘thing’ that adults suffer with, but it really is.
A Few Tips & Tricks
I have a few tips/pieces of advice, that I’m hoping can help at least one of you reading this right now..
- Make yourself feel as comfortable as possible – whether that’s dashing into a Marks & Sparks like I did in Paris, for a little bit of familiarity, or if it’s ensuring you take a few items that make you feel like you’re at home. You can also try fully unpacking your suitcase and treating your accommodation like your own home/bedroom. Pack that suitcase away out of sight and really make your accommodation feel a little more like home.
- Pre-warn anyone travelling with you; whether that’s your family, friend’s or a partner – they need to know that this is how you feel and you do really need their support. Let them know how you’re feeling and hopefully they’ll be able to make you feel at least a little better.
- Keep yourself busy – try and enjoy yourself as much as you possibly can. Book activities, go exploring and do anything that takes your mind off of feeling homesick. Sitting around and chilling will make you feel so much worse, so putting in that extra effort to keep yourself moving is so worth it.
- Have movies/podcasts/TV series/games/etc. anything downloaded – Keep yourself occupied if you’re unable to go exploring and/or book activities. You don’t want to hear your own mind when you’re feeling homesick, trust me..
If you have any more tips or pieces of advice, please leave them in the comments below for other’s to see! Even though this post has been difficult for me to post and share, I’m so glad to be speaking about this issue openly. Even if this post can help just one other person, then I’ll be super happy.