After living away from my hometown for 3 years and never fully understanding what it was like to feel homesick you can imagine my surprise when I found myself crying halfway through a bus ride from Split to Sarajevo.
Being at uni 2 hours away from home, like many, it was the first time I’d been away from my mum and dad for an extended amount of time and it was all very new. I fully expected to miss home, but as much as there were things I missed (fish and chips, mum’s brownie, mum’s cooking in general), I didn’t have the yearning like some people did to go back. Skype, Facebook and all that good stuff made it so easy to keep in touch with people back home and my mum even admitted that when they left me at my first ever uni digs she didn’t cry because she knew I’d be alright. I met some great people that soon became my best pals and Grimsby (although still home) was now my second home…
Fast forward 3 and a bit years…
I had just finished my summer at Camp which was followed by an awesome week travelling the Dalmatia coast with my friends from home. I’m in the process of writing up all the shit’s and gig’s that happened that week but it was long OK!? And I can’t remember a lot of it… that’s what happens when you don’t keep a journal. Anyway we had gotten up early and I was in a foul mood because A. it was 6am and B. my friend that had said he’d give us a lift got hammered and couldn’t drive as, well…he was still hammered. Anyway, I was sad that I was leaving my friends and all that mixed up with the early morning just set my day off to a bad start.
We had a route sort of planned and had booked into a hostel in Sarajevo so everything was under control. It was the start of our adventure, and I was looking forward to it. My camp buddies and I hopped on the bus with a bag full of snacks and some nasty hangovers and got settled in to our seats on the bus. This is where stuff started to get weird…
If you’ve read any of my post’s before you’ll know I’m very open to the fact I’m a bit of a cynic, I (very rarely) do gushy stuff and I just get on with whatever it is that needs to be dealt with. Which is why what happens next sort of hit me like a tonne of bricks.
I was sat minding my own business, munching on some weird Croatian crisps with my headphones in when Home came on by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. As the title suggests it’s about going home. In that moment I decided to text my Mum and my Grandad telling them what I was doing and just giving them an update. I was halfway through the text to my Grandad who loves everything to do with history and old stuff (sorry for calling it ‘old stuff’ Grandad) which I knew Sarajevo is steeped in and literally just started crying. I felt this urge to be back at home… It was so unfamiliar I sort of checked myself to see if I was ok. All of the variables from leaving my familiar surroundings of my friends from home, leaving the place I had classed as home for the last 2 months and going into a country I knew my Grandad would have loved to have seen all just culminated into me yearning to be back at home. I know it’s probably a totally normal instinct and I shouldn’t feel weird about it but I did, I felt silly that I was getting emotional about missing things.
I’d been away for 2 months and been A-OK but one song and a change of scenery turned me into an emotional wreck. I cried for a couple of minutes wrote an uncharacteristically emotional text to my mum and Grandad and read a book. I was snapped out of it almost as quickly as I was snapped into it. I guess what I’m getting at is even us tough cookies have our moments. Writing them two texts helped me get it off my chest and receiving a speedy reply from them both helped me realise home was still home and that it would still be there when I got back.
It took me a while to realise it’s ok to feel homesick, in fact I guess it’s expected. I can easily see how people let it engulf them especially if your a particularly sentimental person but knowing that you’ve got amazing stories to tell the people you miss from home was enough for me to put it to the back of my mind and carry on with my day.
There’s no place like home but there’s also a world out there waiting to be explored.
What do you do when your feeling homesick? Ever felt this way whilst on the road? Would love to hear your own stories.