Homesickness and adventure are born to co-exist

New York Street Art

I was born on a rainy day in July. My Mum had the flu, my three year old sister threw up down my Dad’s back and I had a red birthmark that stretched from the tip of my nose to the top of my forehead. For that little squalling troublemaker, just hours old, some things were certain (taste-buds that would eventually love coffee {and gin}) and others were just possibilities (growing up to be a tax accountant???); but it was all of me that was born, every part of me started on the same day. Homesickness and adventure were born to co-exist because they were all potential parts of me born on that wet July day.

Homesickness is something I have battled with since moving away from home, and I’m sure it will continue to sucker punch me at will. I’ve always thought it was something to try and cut out, that it wasn’t meant to be part of me; homesickness was imposed upon me like a tax, you just pay the price and endure. But it is a part of me. It was born at the same time as the rest of me.

I get homesick because I love my family so damn much, I get homesick because I am someone who craves having a secure base to go home to. The negative that is homesickness is just all the good things about me hitting home in an unusual way, hitting me because other parts of me have led me to London on this big adventure.

Because that is the trick, adventure was that other little part of me born in July. When I was young this translated into going up to strangers and offering to show them my highland fling (I was four and had been given a kilt for Christmas…don’t judge me I didn’t know how dodgy it sounded), but now it is a desire to go to Norway so strong it hurts. Its dreaming about Florence at my desk with such ferocity that I can taste the gelato. Adventure is the desire for the new, for the awe, for the potential life I could lead.

Homesickness and adventure, two opposing parts of my personality both born at the same time. One makes me look back with love and security, and the other drags me forward and shows me what I could have – both are important, and both are me.

Imagine if we took the ‘sick’ out of homesickness. Imagine if next time a friend was looking down and you asked if they were ok they instead said “I’m just cherishing memories from home”. Homesickness is beautiful and desired when you think of it like that, it means you have built such strong connections that you can’t just cast them off like an old skin. It’s a testament to how deeply you connect with a place, time and people.

Without reflection on your past there would be no controls on your future. There would be nothing stopping me uprooting and travelling the world. My desire for adventure would let loose an insatiable wanderlust, no reason for deep relationships; I would be endlessly fulfilled by the shiny new sunrises across every horizon.

Sometimes it feels impossible to reconcile the unhappy parts of yourself, and that is what I have always seen homesickness as – an unhappy moment. But it is all me, for every bite of homesickness there is an adventure waiting to pull me somewhere exciting. Homesickness and adventure coexist within that little baby born 27 years ago, and they balance each other in the most perfect of ways.

Homesickness and adventure are born to co-exist

2 Comments

  1. March 24, 2016 / 9:37 pm

    I grew up in North Wales, but I’ve never felt homesick for the land of my birth. Whenever I go back, I feel an immediate connection, but I don’t miss it. However, when I left York after my first degree and went to Edinburgh, I suffered terrible homesickness for York. I was deeply unhappy and would endlessly compare my situation in Edinburgh with how things had been in York. It took me six months to accept where/when I was and start seeing and appreciating Edinburgh for what it was and not criticising it for what it wasn’t. It took me another six months to start enjoying living there. Now, although I moved away a long time ago, it’s one of my favourite cities.

    Thanks,
    Brian.

  2. April 1, 2016 / 8:04 am

    Interesting Post!!