Travelling is always played as this beautiful, fun and worthwhile exercise. And while all of that is true, it does hide the rather dark and gloomy side.
For me, that side is homesickness, loneliness and an ever growing feeling of being lost. Not the nicest feelings to dwell on, but I think important to address and acknowledge.
I thought homesickness would only be brief and passing but unfortunately it seems lingering and consuming. You end up missing the simplest of things, like celery sticks. You never even knew they were important to you, but suddenly you can’t find them at a supermarket and you get an overwhelming feeling of needing to go home, and how much easier things are at home.
You miss family and friends and even though you meet people who you end up adoring, they don’t quite hit the same spot as a chat with your bestfriend or your mother. You want to tell them about your everyday stresses, about painting your toenails, about buying a snickers bar, about seeing something funny on the street. And you can’t. You are 13 hours apart, and have to wait till early morning or late at night to speak, and obviously you are too busy at those times of day for a proper chat, and the time you really need them is at 1pm when you are bored, stressed and lonely.
You need to make basic decisions, like which pair of jeans to buy or whether to reply to someone’s message, and yet you can’t get the response in time.
Overwhelmed and lonely, those are the prevailing feelings you get late at night or while walking around in the afternoon after work. You don’t have anyone to call to vent, you don’t have anyone to drop in to, you have to take comfort in scenery and yourself, but they can’t always consul you.
So travelling, as great and wondering and adventurous can also be lonely and hard.