You know those memories that have just stuck, for whatever reason, occasionally popping into your head at random moments. Of course, you know, you’re a human being and you don’t have retrograde amnesia. Let me tell a story that has stuck with me for some time. It’s the 5th grade, and 5th grade Henry is doing his thing. That basically includes going home after school, playing Xbox, and telling everyone else that I have a crush on this girl but not actually telling her. Classic. Anyways, I’m on this field trip where our class stays overnight on Catalina island, sort of like an educational camping trip. They had us dissecting squids, snorkeling and identifying marine animals, and most important of all, I got to see my friend puke his guts out. Its the end of the first night, everyone is just relaxing around the camp fire and all of a sudden my friend Andy starts violently vomiting. It was nothing spectacular, not like one of those 3 a.m. projectile vomits where your whole body rejects every tequila shot that you forcefully threw down. No it was just a run of the mill, walk away trying to get to the bathroom but not making it and showing your entire class what you ate for dinner. Naturally, Andy was super embarrassed and he went and cleaned himself up after explaining that he’s been feeling anxious and uncomfortable all day. When I asked why, he said he simply missed being home.
A few months ago, before I started a trip that would take me around the world in 8 months, I never even considered the thought of getting homesick. I’ve been traveling all my life, with my family, with friends, alone, and its never been an issue. However here I am, 6 months in, sitting in a hotel room and missing the sunny beaches and open roads of the great state of California. This cocktail of emotions includes a shot of anxiety, shot of loneliness, an ounce of melancholy liquor, all mixed together and garnished with a slice of self-wallowing. While that might seem like a bit dramatic, homesickness is something that can cause a seemingly awesome vacation turn into sitting in bed all day and watching Rick and Morty for the 15th time.
So what can you do about it?
The best thing is to talk to someone. Homesickness tends to be associated with the feeling of missing someone; parents, friends, dogs, cats, goldfish, etc. Best thing to do about that is to talk to someone about it or give a call home, simple as that.
Then get your ass out of the house/hotel/hostel/tent/cardboard box and engage with the world around you. Keeping yourself busy and engaged with your new surroundings, this will bring rewards, like new friends that you can miss when your back home. Every year, millions of people get away from the place they call home, whether for a brief time, such as going on vacation, or permanently like moving into a college dorm or moving out of the state because of a promotion. Whatever the reason, do not let the feelings that come with being homesick stop you from seeing the world.