Tuesday, August 24, 2010

5 Reasons To Feel Homesick

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE TO TRAVEL. There's something thrilling and exciting about finding myself lost in a foreign country, trying to make my way around, learning about the language, people, food and culture. Still, (and I think most travelers out there will agree with me) once in awhile I feel a pang of homesickness creep in, taking hold just when I least expect it. I could be walking into a national museum, taking a ferry across to some small, remote island or searching for a local restaurant to eat dinner when BANG! I long for something simple and familiar. Something to remind me of home.

Other times, the life of a constant traveler can get frustrating and the creature comforts of being home is like a beacon calling me back to "normal" life.

Here are the top reasons I start feeling homesick while traveling.
  1. Hot showers. It's pouring down with rain outside (hey, it IS monsoon season in Thailand) and I just want to take a hot shower. Okay, it doesn't even have to be HOT, a lukewarm shower will do. Just not another cold shower!

  2. Soul food. There's only so much pad thai or döner kebab or dhal fry or insert any country's national dish here that I can eat before I just want something home cooked. More specifically, something cooked from my mother's house. I think this is really a testament to my mom's cooking that I can travel to all these places with delicious food that I love and still want to eat something my mom can whip up for me in 20 minutes. Or maybe not because I'd kill for an In'N'Out burger right about now as well.

  3. Friends and family. I love meeting new people when I travel. I like the back and forth between two strangers meeting and the camaraderie one feels with a fellow traveler but on certain days it can feel forced. Am I just spending a day exploring ruins with Jorge, the gun-loving, recreational drug user from Colombia, who I have nothing in common with just for the sake of having company? I don't know but sometimes, I just want to go out for a beer with one of my best friends and have a gab-fest about silly things like Joaquin Phoenix's bizarre career change or debate about who, in fact, was Papa John.

  4. Unwrinkled, clean-smelling clothes. I'll be the first to admit that I'm no clean Jean. Household chores are just that: chores I try to avoid at all costs, but for some reason I have always loved to do laundry. I love the clean smell of clothes fresh from a wash. I haven't experienced that smell in AGES since I started traveling. Being crammed into my backpack, no matter how nicely folded, for days on end, getting thrown and bashed around on trains, planes and buses, not to mention hanging off my sweaty back for hours, has left my clothes smelling...well, less than clean, let's just say. With my moldy, wrinkled clothing, I look more like a hobo these days than a traveler. I just want to look and smell decent, is that so much to ask for?

  5. Space. My home consists of a backpack. I'm essentially a turtle, treading through life with my home attached to my back. Oh to have a room of my own again! No more living out of a smelly, dirty, tossed-around bag. Things would be there because I wanted them to be there! How utterly blissful that sounds...
Traveling is great, no doubt. And "home" is ultimately where the heart is. Even though sometimes I do long for the old familiar things, I wouldn't give up this life of travel for anything in the world, even if it means taking cold showers, smelly like mold and sweat, settling for Skype dates with loved ones and giving up the notion of personal space. To me, travel is worth those sacrifices.

**When do you feel homesick during your travels? What do you to do cure it?**

© Connie Hum 2010


  1. I've never traveled long enough to ever feel homesick... :(

  2. i usually feel homesick when i'm browsing through pictures of my family and friends. i feel homesick when the whole fam calls me on birthday and im away. but hearing their voices usually cure it. and sometimes a nice cry helps... yea i'm very emote. i was away for the past 5 yrs living in a suitcase (gnd, uk, ny) and now i'm in 1 place...it's so nice to be home and have everything settled...well at least for a year then it's off to another new & exciting place!

  3. I just want to say, so you DO get it! What you are feeling...is how I feel about being a world traveler. I love my comforts of home (but I am no princess...lol) and every now and then I get a slight pang to want to travel. I have an itch to explore all of WA, many places in the U.S....but few places worldwide. I'm the yin to your yang. LOL -Amie

  4. @Pim: Hopefully you'll come out to Thailand soon to visit your family! I promise to meet you there no matter where else in Asia I may be at that time!

    @Andi: You have traveled for long durations, if you haven't felt homesick yet, THAT'S A GOOD THING! =)

    @Mi-An: Coming home is always nice! I remember the feeling of contentment I had when I visited home last year.

    @Amie: Travel isn't just about exploring foreign lands. It's about exploring yourself in the world. It's about making new discoveries. It's about encountering new challenges every day. You can do all this anywhere, even in your own hometown, just keep it fresh and different by continuing to challenge yourself daily!

  5. I heart your blogs so much Connie! I'm finally going to completely re-work mine over the next week as well. I definitely felt homesick when I lived in Wales! I missed California food (In N Out, fruits) and California weather!

    To deal, I just went to sunny places -- like Italy lol! And lots, lots of skype calls when necessary.

    I loved my time in Wales though I can't wait to go back!


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