I landed in Bangkok 10 days and have been working my way across Cambodia as I am due to start teaching in Vietnam a week on Monday. I have been getting bad bouts of sadness and seem to be constantly questioning if ive done the right thing. All ive really wanted to do in my life is travel but I am actually slightly wondering if I should go home. I did meet some good people in all the places ive been so far but I miss my mates back home. I think im the type of person that needs a longer time to really build friendships. Also the people I have met have been a fair bit younger than me which doesnt help. Im 32. Hopefully when I start teaching for my 3 month contract il be a bit more settled. After that the plan was to go to Australia and then New Zealand to be away for a year as I have a years career break from work. Hence if I go home id have no job. I really didnt see this coming as I was so excited beforehand. Anyone got any thoughts or advice?
I don't know if you have done any travelling in that part of the world before, but it's definitely one of the biggest changes of scenery from home you can find. I don't really know what helps against homesickness, as I never had any, but what might be worth trying - something which was an essential part of my travelling routine - is to slow down a bit with the amount of things you might try to put into a day, and to find yourself some routines to make you feel at ease. What I used to do everywhere was hole up with a book and a cup of tea. Or are you keeping a blog, sharing photos with people back home? If not, consider starting actively doing that; "bragging" helps you realize you how awesome the things you're doing really are, and comments from friends back home can help you feel more connected with them even at the other side of the world.
Maybe also see if you can find some less-transient people to talk with than those you meet on the road; maybe someone to travel together with for a few days. (Try the travel companions forum here at travellerspoint, though it's a bit of hit-and-miss actually finding someone, especially at short notice.)
Long term travel is a way of living; you need far different habits for it than when you just go vacationing somewhere. The way you fill your days needs to be sustainable; something you can keep doing indefinitely. In the end, returning home is a viable option - this way of living isn't for everyone. But definitely don't give up too soon; the value you can get out of travel is immense. (And if you sit out the three months in SE Asia, do definitely continue on to Australia and New Zealand even if you're still feeling homesick; they'll feel much, much closer to home, culture-wise, and might be all you need to keep going.)
Hope that helps a bit. Good luck with this! Let us know how you end up dealing with it.
[ Edit: Edited on 05-Nov-2011, at 04:53 by Sander ]
Thanks for the advice. What u said made a huge amount of sense and im sure il find it ver useful. Im gonna start a blog when i get to the center where im teaching! I think half the problem is i dont want to get drunk every night. If that were the case i dont think id be lonely. Dont get me wrong i love my nights out and have had great nights in each of the places i have been i just dont wanna do it every night. Think im heading to Saigon tomorow so il see how i get on there. I guess im just adjusting to it all and maybe its taking a tad longer than all the younger people.
Any other thoughts by anyone else would be greatly appreciated
Always carry a picture of friends and family, try to contact them as much as possible and always remember your on a trip of a lifetime. It'll take you a few weeks to adjust anyway and remember there only a few hours away I get home sick alot 2 but once you get into the stride of it you'll be fine.. Also if you was to leave you'd regret it
Yeah thats true. Its very easy to keep in touch wi people too now with Skype and other apps. U travelling at the moment?
I start my adventure Aug next year for 1-2 years but I suffer home sick aswell. I'll just take it in my stride.. Try not to think of how long your going to be there just take it day by day hope you start feeling more yourself soon
Frey do not worry, everything will be fine and youl have the time of your life, I would say remember how crap it is back home (that is if you live in u.k. lol
I read a British online newspaper each day.
It doesn't just remind me of Britain but sometimes makes me glad I'm not there.
Lol yeah its not much fun in the UK at the moment and also no one hates the Scottish Winter more than me! I feel like im so unappreciative at the moment that I have been so lucky to get to go on this trip as I know many friends at home would have loved to have done it! I think I just need to take a chill pill. The biggest problem has not been meeting anyone that I have really connected with. Some people seem to be lucky and even within the first couple of days of their adventure, find some great people to spend the rest of their trip with. I guess that is something that cannot be forced. Tomorow I head to the highlands to teach English. Ill see how that goes, hopefully thatl settle me down a bit, if it doesnt then I will probably head on to New Zealand.
I would say never ever contact home when you are feeling homesick, (i know its alot harder than it sounds), it'll only make you feel worse. Contact home after yopu have had an amazing day of sights or activities, then you will only want to prolong the euphoria you are experiencing, Things can get tough on the road but it sure beats the daily grind at home.