Six steps on how to recover from being homesick when traveling full time.

Traveling isn’t always glamorous and can get a little redundant just like normal life in a house.

Traveling isn’t also a quick fix to the issues you experience internally (for ex. anxiety or depression). There is an adjustment period when traveling that most people don’t discuss, but sometimes the feeling of being homesick creeps in and you want to go back to a familiar place. 

Beginning stage: Prepare for your journey by researching the culture.

Ensure you are ready for your journey and new environment because it will take some getting used to. You can never fully be ready for the unknown but leave some room mentally that things may not look or feel the way you imagined it in your head.

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Initial happiness: In the beginning, you will feel pure bliss from traveling and seeing new places.

Just know the blissful feeling will wear off. Once it wears off you need to remind yourself why you are living the lifestyle and try to do some new things to mix it up. You may even need to touch ground in your home base to reconnect with some family and friends and that is ok. (using Skype or a digital means to talk to a familiar face is also a useful tool)

Frustration: If and when the blissful feeling wears off you will get annoyed by your new living arrangement.

Everything is different and unfamiliar, so you will need to check in with yourself or a close friend to stay connected to the reason you are traveling. There may be some stores that aren’t easily available such as Walmart or Chipotle. You may not be able to run to the store to get a hair product like you would at home and feel that you just want to be done with the new place you are visiting. These feelings are completely normal and please hang in there it will get better.

Adjustment: You get used to the new customs and culture of your new home.

You find it less of a challenge to adjust to the new environment around you and start to settle in. At this point, you may want to find a part time job or a community event to meet the locals. Find a comfortable routine that works with your schedule. After some time you should begin to feel like you are adjusting well with the new culture.

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Adaptation: Troubles don’t last always.

Once you begin feeling comfortable with the culture, you will start to feel a sense of biculturalism, where you identify and even like the new culture you are experiencing. Everything that was once foreign and odd to you now feels comfortable and normal. You may even meet a few friends to include in your site seeing. A suggestion would be  to learn the native language or try some different foods in your area.

Re-entry: Going home.

When you leave this foreign culture to return home, you may find that you go through these stages all over again. It is no place like home. Having a homestead or home base is a essential part of traveling and takes the ease off of feeling homesick. It also gives the opportunity to reconnect with family and friends. This is normal and healthy way to enjoy life on the road.

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Corporate America made me Travel.

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to win and lose at the same time?

I previoulsy worked for a company that is a major defense contractor for the government. It is a white male dominating bureaucratic and political aeronautics industry. I never thought in a million years I would get the opportunity to work for a company with such a rich and prestige history, but there I was excelling and performing like I belonged. The truth of the matter is I didn’t really belong and it would take me a while to learn that before choosing to leave.

When I was originally hired I was responsible for two major areas. One regarding food and the other fitness. There wasn’t any structure that existed prior to me starting so I built my own structure to manage my daily functions and responsibilities. In the beginning it was slow, but it allowed me the opportunity to learn the ropes and build relationships. As time went on I began to prove myself, and more responsibilities fell in my lap. I was ok with this because I saw it as growing opportunities, and I was looking for more of a leadership role within the organization. I slowly began to learn that there were some minor roadblocks simply because I was a black female in this industry.

One when I sat in meetings I was the only brown face in the meeting majority of the time.

I was used to that sort of thing working in Corporate America, but what I wasn’t used to is not being acknowledged or not getting a handshake from white men in the room. Secondly I learned that black or brown people were mainly in janitorial or in the food services area of the organization. There were very few brown people in leadership and if they were in leadership they weren’t women. Third, I would slowly realize that the culture of the organization had existing issues with discrimination and it was a common fact amongst the brown and black people working for the company –there was nothing anyone can do about it, basically get your money, go home, and be black.

I assisted a white male who at the time was my manager. Before him it was a white woman who managed me, but soon retired. She trained him to run the department before she left and he took over. I fell into the picture because I assisted him in running a fraction of the department. For some reason he saw me as competition and limited my knowledge on many things pertaining to the department. He was very unhappy with his job and soon looked for another leaving me in the dark about his intentions. He announced to the department that he was leaving after a year and a half in the position and provided me a week crash course on how to run the department until a replacement manager was selected.

With limited knowledge on how to manage I ran the department successfully for three months independently.

I applied for the position as well while I was managing the department thinking it would be a perfect fit. After three months, I learned that I didn’t get the position. When I asked why I was told that I wasn’t assertive enough or outgoing. I wasn’t the loudest person in the room and they were looking for someone that had the personality traits of the last manager. I was stunned and confused by this feedback because it was based on personality and not skill. The job was ninety percent skill and skill wasn’t even considered. I was told that my expectation was to train the new manager and bring him up to speed. I came to the conclusion that the reason they could afford to hire someone based on personality because I provided the skill. How was this fair? The candidate that was selected was described as such, he was a represented employee, Associate degree, and a electrician. I looked him up and turns out he was a white male. I had a Bachelor’s degree, was a salary employee, and had more experience.

So again I ask did you ever have the feeling of winning and losing at the same time? How is it that I exceeded all my expectations on my annual review and not deserve a promotion? How can I lead a department independently and still not measure up to a worthy candidate? Many would accept this and think they had a chance, but I knew I wouldn’t simply because there was no evidence of a black woman leading in this organization successfully. I’m not a person that will just accept anything because I should be happy that I’m in the door. I will create my own door and win not based on the color of my skin but the depth of my character. “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

 

Much needed alone time.

You may be wondering with this adventurous lifestyle how do we get away from each other a bit?

It’s great spending time together and getting to know each other, but as humans we naturally need space. Getting space from each other allows us to clear our thoughts and refuel to be our full and best selves. My purpose is to share a few tips with how to accomplish gaining alone time while traveling as a family on the road. Don’t give up folks it is possible to have a healthy relationship while traveling as a family with members of your family and with yourself.

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First to gain some alone time you must be really organized.

Schedule your time to make sure you get in your main essentials for the day and allot some space for time with yourself. Create a schedule for what you want your day to look like and in your schedule add the time in for yourself. You need to understand what you want your time alone to look like. Does your time alone consist of visiting a coffee shop, going on a walk, exercising, riding a bike, etc.? Then add the activity to. your schedule for whichever day(s).

Consider the frequency and time length in which you need to take time for yourself.  

I’m not an expert in how much time you need for yourself that would be up to each person individually. For myself I need at least two days a week to allot twenty to thirty minutes for myself. In the bigger scheme of things that really isn’t much time alone, but it is what I need to refuel and reenergize to be my best self. If I don’t take time alone, I get crabby or irritable which not only can be damaging for myself, but create a negative experience for my family and that is something I want to avoid.

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It is a necessity.

Spending time alone may sound silly or be impossible, but it should be a necessity especially when traveling as a family. If you ever get irritated quickly or feel frustrated that may be an indicator that it is time to do an activity alone that will unload some stress. Spending time alone should be for any person in your family that needs it. When traveling hopefully the goal is to create the best memories and experiences for you and your family as possible. Just spending a few minutes alone several times a week can make a world of difference. So invest time in yourself as well as your family to create a beautiful and pleasant traveling experience.