Tonight, I thought it was about time I wrote a blog post on my experiences with homesickness. The most common question I get when travelling for long periods of time, (after- how do you pay for it all?) is 'Don't you miss yor family?' And 'Don't your family worry about you?'. There are so many other questions I'm asked constantly like, 'Don't you want to settle down some day' and 'Do you work?' But these are topics to be discussed another time!
Many off you know that I left home over 7 years ago for the first time to travel to Australia by myself. I knew nobody in Oz and had no plans nor a job under my belt. I truly threw myself in at the deep end, and that was the point. Little did I know that with the first few days I would spend my evenings crying down the phone to my mam back home in Ireland wondering what I was thinking coming all this way. This was a new thing to me and I had chosen to be as far away from home as possible. I had made heaps of friends and after the first week I had forgotten home even existed or that I had even felt this way days before.
As the years have gone on, I have been home on and off to visit family and friends and spent a period of time studying at home in between travels so it's not like I haven't been home in 7 and a half years. Whenever I returned home I always felt like time stood still (as many other travellers I've spoken to have admitted) and that I no longer belonged in this world. Personally I initially set out to challenge myself and change myself from the shy, small town girl with very little responsibility at the time and that is how it all started. I felt like when I returned home, I returned to that 'old me' and that was the person my loved ones knew, so gradually I felt the routine coming back.
The more I travelled, the more I found myself- as cliche as that sounds but I realised that travelling (no matter where I was) was my home, even if it was temporary, it made me happy. The more I travel, I see things and places that I could never have dreamed of and that I know my family are happy for me to experience. I very rarely get homesick these days because I have met many people that are now my best friends around the world and how can I feel homesick when they are spread out all over the world not just in my home town. Of course I miss my family and friends but staying there to fulfill these relationships at the risk of being unhappy, isn't good for either party and so I know that in their heart they are happy and proud of how I'm living my life.
I have set down roots in places from Australia to Bahrain to Canada and even New Zealand and after a few months of being settled, I feel the wanderlust coming back and before I know it, I'm up and gone. Travelling isn't easy, it's stressful at times and one of the hardest things to experience is bonding with someone and having to seperate from them on the road. As the saying goes 'home is where the heart is', but to me home is just where I'm from, where I have made a lot of amazing memories and where my loved ones are, but my heart is where ever I am and whatever I am experiencing in that present moment. The essence of life, right? Your heart should always be with you.
When life throws you lemons, you have to do what you can to cultivate those lemons and make something useful with them, it doesn't have to be lemonade- be creative. I am living my dream and if that means being away from 'home' then that's what I have to do. On that note, I am returning to Ireland after almost 2 years (the longest I've been away in one go) which will be great. I am excited to see everyone but I know that I will be very excited for the next chapter of my life to start in canada, where I left a piece of my heart a few years ago. My mam has come and visit me many times over the years as I've been travelling which has been amazing and I feel like it is encouraging her to travel more and live her life too. Love u mam!
So for now these are my thoughts on homesickness and my experiences so far everyone is different and some people experience it often and some people don't at all, but that makes us who we are.. Being from a very small family (only child and grandchild) it's easier to be away but if I I had a huge family I can imagine It would be quite a different experience.
Feel free to share your experiences with being away from home, in the comments below or on the Facebook page!
Namaste (the divine light in me honours the divine light in you)
shanti shanti shanti (peace for me, peace for you and peace for everybody in the world)