A tinge of sadness fills me as I sit on the tarmac awaiting my departure back to the US. I've just spent 10 days in Scotland with two of my best travel mates. It's been an adventurous trip filled with culture, stunning views, a new appreciation for Gin and Scotch, and loads of memories I'm sticking in my heart.
Travel keeps me grounded, opens my eyes to new perspectives and experiences, and pushes me out of my comfort zone. I'm more present and in the moment. Perhaps it's because my phone is on airplane mode, and I'm not as distracted. Or maybe it's because it's a break from my normal routine. Regardless, I enjoy the disruption.
And believe it or not, I rarely get homesick when I'm away - at least not in the way that others do. Yes, I miss my friends and family, and Whole Foods (obviously), but I don't long to be back in the same way others do. I get more homesick for travel than I do for home. In the past, I would dread coming home and would get upset and not want to face life back home. This may sound a bit dramatic, but it was a real struggle for me. I used to have travel be my escape from reality. I think I adopted this mentality when I was a child. When circumstances at home got rough, I would escape to my mind palace (thoughtfully taken from Sherlock Holmes) and dream of being somewhere else. Travel became a supplement for living another life.
I had a life coach tell me many years back that "travel was my drug" and I wasn't happy until I got my "next fix". This hit me hard. I had two choices - I could shrug off this realization or accept it. Rather than fighting it, I let the glass shatter and chose to accept it. I'm grateful that I did. It changed my whole perspective on traveling and coming home. I don't have to be miserable or longing for what's next. I can appreciate my adventures, transition back to life at home, and plan my next destination (without viewing it as an escape).
Even with this realization, I still feel a bit of bittersweet sadness when it's time to go home. That part hasn't really changed; I just know how to better handle it now.
And when I return home, I will embrace sleeping in my own bed, seeing familiar faces and not eating out every meal. That's my normalcy, I suppose. And after a few days of that, I'll be ready to plan my next adventure whether near or far away. It's a balancing act and lifestyle I enjoy.
Do you get homesick when you travel and find yourself ready to come home? Or are you like me and my fellow nomads, homesick for travel and longing for another jaunt around the world?