Writing this post runs the risk of killing the charade put forward by most travellers who bid home goodbye, fly across the world, land on their two feet and fill their social media feeds with posts about their drunken nights out and the amazing experiences they’re having. I can’t lie, I am one of those travellers too, and for the most part my travels around Australia have been amazing.
This is my first time travelling alone, and though I lived away from home for university for three years, being on the other side of the world with an eleven hour time difference is a whole different ball game. At university, I could go for weeks without talking for my parents, selfishly I realise now. I was fiercely independent, or at least I wanted to be and enjoyed living away from home, I wasn’t one of those people who went home every weekend, though in my final year I began to appreciate going home for a weekend here and there, to go home and be away from university was a great get away.
When I’d come home from university, nothing would have changed, my step dad would get home from work at two o’clock and would sit on the sofa catching up on the cricket or football scores. Mum would come in just after four and get the Hoover out, and if my brother was home there’d be music playing somewhere.
Going travelling I wasn’t desperate to abandon my home town, I just had no idea what I wanted to do and I wasn’t particularly sold on the idea of figuring it out working at a supermarket. I was lucky to be able to save up to go travelling and go. I’ve been travelling for three months now, and there have been ups and downs, when I first started working at the hotel my boss asked if this was the first time I’d been away from home. I felt annoyed being asked that, I’d lived away from home before, coming to Australia was basically the same thing.. Right?
It is my first time away from home completely alone, that’s the difference. I’m making it work, and I’m really enjoying myself out here, but recently I’ve felt homesick. I remember feeling homesick quite early on in my travels, and I felt ashamed, surely I couldn’t feel homesick! I’d only just got here!
This week I was sat in the cafe, I’d ordered a pot of tea just because I felt like I hadn’t had a cup of tea in ages, and yet it didn’t taste right. I was sitting in a cafe in the outback, looking at a cloud of dust flying out from behind a car, when I’d usually be sat in the cafe that my best friend works at hoping to surprise her at work, or I’d be sat in Marks and Spencer’s, sat by the window overlooking Colchester High Street, on a dreary Saturday morning have a cup of tea and a catch up with my Mum. The Musical Fence cafe is a long way away from Marks and Sparks.
Sitting there on my morning off, as Castle on the Hill played on the radio, I felt a wave of homesickness hit me, and I did what I hadn’t done in a long time and rode it out. I don’t think it’s babyish to admit I feel homesick from time to time, it’s a part of travel, and I’m sure everyone feels it.
There’s a distinction between feeling homesick and wanting to go home. Yes I feel homesick, but I’m not done here yet, I’m dead set on getting my second year visa and exploring more of this amazing country. It’s what I want and I’m going to do it, and I’m enjoying my stint in the outback, I’ve settled in here and though I’ll be moving on soon, it feels like it’ll be hard to say goodbye.
I’ve grown fond of this place, even though a couple times this week my mind has drifted back to Colchester, and though this feeling will pass eventually. It feels okay to admit that I miss home.
Travelling alone for the first time? Ever felt homesick? Let me know in the comments below.