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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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.

 

Saying Goodbye.

When we left our subdivision we waved goodbye to our neighbors into a world of  the unknown and it felt sad. I even shedded a few tears not because I was sad, but because I knew I was leaving memories behind and that life wouldn’t be the same going forward. We built relationships with our surrounding neighbors and it was a bit hard to say goodbye. I also realized  that I wouldn’t be able to see my family that lived locally when I wanted to. In my heart I justified my reasons for leaving with the fact that I needed to do this. My soul is leading me to a life of wander and adventure and I wouldn’t be happy if I didn’t take a leap and see what was next. It is very scary to do something you’re not familiar with, but it is also scary to do the same thing over and over without any change. I want to be somewhere in the middle in the sweet spot of adventure and balance.

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After we left our home we traveled to visit my husband’s parents in Florida. I was a little nervous because that is the longest we’ve stayed with anyone as a family and I didn’t want to be a mooch on anyone. I made the effort to make sure we cleaned and cooked to pay our share of staying in their home. While we were there we explored the local libraries, parks, beaches, etc. We soaked up the local area with curiosity and passion. We genuinely had the best time being in Florida. It was the best time we’ve ever had while staying with my husband’s parents. We didn’t have to worry about going to work the next Monday or stressing about anything. We were free to wander around and take our time which we never get to do. At the end of the visit I got choked up because I knew I would miss my mother-in-law badly. She is naturally a nurturing and caring person and being around that for sometime can become addicting. They welcomed us with open arms and we didn’t in any way feel like a bother to them.

We changed the way we live to live the way we want.

I would’ve never in a million years stay with anyone that long, but I realized while living this lifestyle sometimes you have to lean on others and that is ok. You’re not a lazy person or a mooch if you ask to stay or borrow something from someone. It is good to need other people from time to time. It actually is healthy in my opinion. In this society we no longer borrow things from one another, but we go out and buy it as a since of pride or independence. We are afraid to ask others for help because of our pride, but until we learn that serving others is our mission we will never be successful.

When we arrived back in Atlanta to wrap up a few things we needed a place to stay overnight. I asked my dad if we could stay with him and he welcomed us with open arms. Again, I needed to lean on someone close and things worked out. I haven’t stayed the night at my fathers house in over seven years. It was refreshing to see what his house looked like and what he used in his home. We had to say goodbye again to my dad too and it wasn’t as hurtful. I knew I would be back and I have the love and support of my friends and family. I know they will be here when I get back and that is a great feeling.

Don’t mistake your growing pains as a reason to give up.

I have watched several Youtube channels where the hosts experienced  mini break downs from leaving their lives behind for a life of travel.

I would think how silly that was and if I had the opportunity to travel the world there is no way I would be upset over leaving my things, my job, my family, etc. I now know what those folks were experiencing through the process of saying goodbye and entering the unknown for a life of travel. I refer to this process now as ‘travel growing pains’. I want to travel and I’m extremely excited about the lifestyle, but it hurts a bit that I’m leaving the life I’m comfortable with to live another that I’m not as familiar with. It’s a bizarre experience to be happy and sad at the same time.

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I believe it is completely normal to experience growing pains and feel excited about a new life.

It would almost be unnatural to not have a bit of fear and pity for yourself that you are going to a unfamiliar place. Although the other side of your decision is unknown, there is an excitement that is generated from taking a leap of faith. Whether the decision is worth it or not will be up to how the experience is perceived after a person has made the decision to change their life. However, any decision to have a fuller life is worth it in my opinion – it is worth the fear, the growing pains, the excitement, etc.

Don’t mistake your growing pains as a reason to not go through with the discomfort of taking the next step. You really can’t have one without the other. You must endure the mental battle of wanting to be comfortable and move up a level in your journey. If you want results – you need to take risks. Of course, assess your risks and have alternative courses of action in place, but don’t look for a reason to quit.  I’ve had many reasons throughout my experience, but I will keep moving towards the life I want which is a life of travel with my family where I can learn and work on the road.

Ready, set, go! How we began a life of travel.

It’s the end of the world as we know it, we feel fine! -REM

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The discovery.

Last year, I would’ve never guessed that we would be leaving a static, 9 to 5 corporate job making good money to explore, learn, and travel the world. I had plans to move up in the corporate world, at least it seemed like a good idea, but it later blew up in my face for unknown reasons.  I also thought my son starting Kindergarten was  going to be an exciting new adventure, which it is and was, but I’m learning he needs more of a one on one learning style. Somehow our family is being led to a life of learning what else is out there. We thought we arrived by getting that big house, driving the fancy cars and making a combined income making over six figures, but as humans we evolve over time and I’m learning that’s ok.

A sign.

Our first sign of a travel life was seeing a family on Youtube of eleven travel the world. We thought how in the world are they doing that? We took a trip to North Carolina before we were inspired by the Youtube family and we were so in bliss from the trip on the way home we started brain storming on ways to work on the road so we can have more time with our family and see the world. When we got home, I started to randomly read a book called the Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey which soon there after led to paying off debt. Once the debt started to dissipate we learned that we were spending a lot of money to live in the suburbs just to work and maintain our possessions. We wanted out, we were merely existing and not living.

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Whats Next?

It’s funny how life works, when you put your mind to something and the universe or God literally starts sending it your way. You just have to be open, aware, and see it as opportunities when they start to show up. I have no idea why I decided to read Total Money Makeover that day or why shortly after that my husband discovered a Youtube channel of a traveling family. They could in fact be all coincidences we just put together to make work, whatever it is, I’m happy with what it turned out to be, considering the fact I wasn’t really happy with the life I was living. I really haven’t been this excited about anything in a very long time.

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