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How long are you gone while traveling before being "HOME SICK"?

How long are you gone while traveling before being "HOME SICK"?

Apr 24th, 2005, 03:46 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 9
How long are you gone while traveling before being "HOME SICK"?

My wife and I are planning a long round the world trip to celebrate my recent retirement. We have no kids, close family or real emotional ties to my home state of Minnesota. Though friends warn us that after a month of being away from Minnesota they suspect that we will be terribly home sick. Another friend who started a long trip around the world last year was excited about the trip until the 5th week and then started to long for his life back in comfortable suburban America. He cut the trip short and has not traveled much since!

What about homesickness during long trips and how can we fight it?
thirdworldtravel is offline  
Apr 24th, 2005, 04:03 AM
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 394

We have planned a 12 month round world trip next year. Was going to be this year but our saving didn't come up to scratch. If we do not improve this year then crikey...anyways....

On my previous long journeys though I have found....

That I don't get homesick as much as "stop" sick. I really get over packing and unpacking. Sometimes just want a week to chill out.

So maybe not homesick for home as much as homesick for a place to call home.

So plan you have some time in a place for a while without constant moving, without constant tourist stuff.

It is part of a journey anyway living somehere a bit, you learn so much more.

Tassietwister is offline  
Apr 24th, 2005, 05:38 AM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 1,793
Hi from a fellow Minnesotan in St. Paul!

The longest vacation I have been on to date is only 3 weeks so I have not had any problems.
Tim_and_Liz is offline  
Apr 24th, 2005, 06:09 AM
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I was on a 5-week trip alone (hubby and son stayed home) to Australia and Fiji a number of years ago. I didn't realize I was getting home sick until Fiji, my last stop, and a waitress asked me if I missed my family!! (yes I did)
simpsonc510 is offline  
Apr 24th, 2005, 04:38 PM
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Tassietwister summed it up for me - "...maybe not homesick for home as much as homesick for a place to call home". Our longest trip has been 7 weeks, spent travelling around the US by plane, train and car and never staying more than 5 days in any one place. We had a great time, but really, independent travel can be pretty hard work, and living out of a suitcase eventually palls. We never suffered from homesickness per se, though, possibly because we were constantly on the go and always seeing new things.

Our long-term goal is to spend maybe 6 months renting in Europe. That could be a test, but I promise you I will never end up a member of that army of homesick Australians moaning about missing the smell of gum leaves (I just stuck my head out the window and couldn't smell them here either) and lugging their little jars of Vegemite around. Pathetic.

Sorry about the rave...

thirdworldtravel, you don't say how long you expect to stay away, but in general I would think that the stimulation of new sights, sounds, smells, peoples, cultures, foods, etc., etc. should be enough to counter the problem. If they don't, well, you'll just have to resign yourself to being an old stick-in-the-mud homebody. There are worse things.

One piece of advice - don't, whatever you do, race around trying to see everything the world, or even any one country, has to offer, or you'll arrive home with a confused blur of memories.

Neil_Oz is offline  
Apr 24th, 2005, 07:16 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Depends where I am really. It takes about one day if I am in the US to get home sick for fresh fruit and cooked veg. One week in Asia and I am dreaming about eating pies or hamburgers - I never eat either of those and I like Asian food but sometimes you just want something plain.
In England I got homesick for Australia after 2 weeks 'cause I didn't see the sun during that time and when I lived in Canada I used to dream about being able to go outside in the same clothes that I had on inside the house - I was in an extremely cold area. Also had nightmares about getting all rugged up and going to the letter box and only getting bills. As soon as I get home or at least within 3 days I am planning my next trip away.
I think that I would not get homesick anymore anyway because there is Internet, cheap phone calls, CNN wherever you are and everything else.
lizF is offline  
Apr 24th, 2005, 07:49 PM
Join Date: Jul 2003
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Back in the olden days, when overseas air travel was unaffordable for most it was a 5-6 week ship journey from Oz to UK. It was considered an Oz "right of passage" - usually working in UK and taking trips to Europe from there. I was homesick before the ship left Sydney Heads and a cotcase by the time it got to Perth. But it was more fear of the unknown and not having any spare cash - did cheer up by the time we reached Singapore which was marvellous in those days. Found a job the day after landing in UK and was working 3 days later, stayed about 2 years. Never did get used to English food which was frightful unless you were wealthy and many times would have killed for a decent steak and sunshine. By the way Neil, you can (I did) smell the bush of Australia from the sea (if the wind is blowing in the right direction) - about 2 days before arrival docking in OZ. Lived for 2 years in HK and loved it, could never get sick of food there but it was terribly crowded and wide open spaces did call. Last major trip - 5 months in Europe, never even thought of home, except for family and friends.
pat_woolford is offline  
Apr 24th, 2005, 07:56 PM
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The longest I have been away overseas is 8 weeks and I have never been homesick....well maybe I miss some of the conveniences of home like a decent shower! Usually I am not keen on coming back - back to work and reality. A friend of mine took off, with some trepidation, on a 12 month trip around the world, thinking she would last a few weeks and then go home. In the end she was still travelling after 18 months and having a ball.
I would suggest taking some photos of home to remind you of what you are missing. Maybe try and make some 'online' friends (through travel forums) before you leave so you can catch up in person while in another country. That would be something different to look forward to. I really envy you - think of all the lovely planning and fun you will have. Enjoy!!!
KayF is offline  
Apr 25th, 2005, 11:06 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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My family took a 10-month South Pacific sabbatical, and we were never 'homesick'. To be sure, there were times when we might have wished for some of the comforts or familiarities of home, but we were too busy adventuring to look in that direction.

I think that this totally depends on one's attitude. If you set out, knowing that you are going to experience new places, cultures, and people; and don't need to compare those experiences to those you had at home, then you can be gone a very long time.
ALF is offline  
Apr 25th, 2005, 06:06 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Hey Third....

wow -- what a way to celebrate retirement!

I agree with Tassie & Neil; I'm not so much homesick as I am "ready" to go home. Three weeks is the max amount of time I can take off at one stretch (and sometimes THAT's stretching it)!
But as the final days approach I realize I'm ready to go back.

I want to sleep in my own bed; I'd like to be able to get up in the middle of the night and remember where the bathroom is instead of banging my knee on the nightstand, because I'm thinking I'm in the hotel from the previous night!

And believe it or not, I'm tired of eating out. I love food, love to experience new tastes, flavors, but after awhile it gets to be old as well. It's nice to be able to plunk yourself down in one spot for awhile and actually cook a meal in your jammies and just relax instead of wandering around town reading every menu on the street. For that reason I've liked having a villa in Europe, or an apartment and staying in a few nights; nice to be able to mix it up.

With a long trip such as yours, hopefully you'll be able to do the same and have a home base here and there for a week.

Regards (and green with envy)

Certified Aussie & Kiwi Specialist
wlzmatilida is offline  
Apr 28th, 2005, 01:34 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 262
Good for you!
I love tassie's quote, and think it's especially true, at least for us.
After 15 days driving around Scotland, and we never spent more than 2 nights in one place, I missed my cats and my bed. I think it's that whole "miss a place to call home".
With Intranet and Phone so cheap and easy now, it's easy to stay in touch with friends and family.
When we spent 3+ weeks in New Zealand, we were with friends, and I was never homesick, probably because I sort of always had a piece of home with me.
I am sure if you go on an extended stay, there will be things you miss at certain moments-- for example, mine is usually a hankering for a really goos hamburger with blue cheese, served at our local bar and grill. But for the most part, if you plan it right and with a bit of luck, you will be so totally enthralled with the destinations and the experience, the feeling will only last a fleeting moment.

Happy Travels!
jonesie is offline  
Apr 28th, 2005, 03:44 PM
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 67
I traveled solo for 10 months in NZ & Oz, a few years ago.
I became homesick for the first time at about 5 months. Other Canadians were catching a flight home the next day & I was a little jealous but one "wise" person asked me if I was really ready to go home, had I seen all I had set out to see, my simple answer was NO, so after a acouple of hours I was fine.

Second time was that phone call home on Christmas morning, about 7 months into the trip.

Third time was on flight home, flying Vancouver to Toronto & it was storming in TO, so they were considering rerouting us to Detroit. There was no way I was going to Detroit, I wanted nothing more to sleep in my own bed.

I think that was the feeling many get as mentioned earlier just tired of sleeping in a different bed every few days & living out of a backpack, wearing the same 3 or so outfits for 10 months was hard! lol

But in the end it is well worth it!
missk is offline  
May 2nd, 2005, 09:18 PM
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My longest travel as an adult was 21 days... we went to Australia and left the kids (2 and 4 at that time) in the States with my parents. Two weeks was great but that last week was hard!

We traveled shortly after the bombings in Bali and I admit I was nervous about traveling overseas as an American.

I thought I did great on the trip but when the sweet customs agent said "welcome home" when we came through customs, I teared up and cried like a baby. guess I didn't realize how stressed I was.

Until the kids are older I don't think I'd leave them again for more than a week.
moneygirl is offline  
Aug 28th, 2005, 04:13 PM
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Good question!
When I was 19, a friend and I hitched around Europe for 3 months. Didn't get homesick, but did come home with a serious case of "every place is more exciting than boring old U.S." (well, we were 19!)
Years later, we camped across the country every few years with 3 kids - usually for 6-7 weeks. We never got homesick- our little tent was "home"- but we did pace ourselves- plenty of R and R at national and state parks.
Our longest trip in recent years was 5 1/2 weeks to Oz and NZ- again not homesick, but as others have
said, "stop sick". I remember how thrilled I was to find a place in NZ with a laundry room opening out to gardens,etc. It felt so good to veg out!
Two bits of advice- stay at least 2 -3 nights (more is better) at every stop.
And keep foodstuffs on hand (instant coffee, peanut butter and crackers and such)so you can eat in your room sometimes in your jamies.
How's your itinerary coming along?

NGail is offline  
Aug 29th, 2005, 09:35 AM
Join Date: Mar 2005
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Homesickness is something you get if you look at the things you don't have rather than the things you are getting on your trip.
I have been travelling and living in different countries of the world for the last 10 years and I have never been homesick.
Just look at all the great things and experiences you are about to encounter and appreciate them - then you don't have to worry about home sickness anymore.
myaustralia is offline  
Aug 29th, 2005, 09:45 AM
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 468
Well I have been away from home for almost 6 months and I haven't really been homesick. I was only on the road for two months. Now I am based in London doing short trips while I get some more cash to travel next summer.

However, we did get 'travel tired'. i.e. sick of moving hotels, carrying luggage, strange foods etc.

Answer: build in longer stays i.e. 5 nights in one city. Also build in relaxation days. Like 5 nights on one island in Greece where all you can do is eat, sleep and swim!!

Also arrange your itinerary so you get back to english speaking countries every so often. It is amazing how much you can enjoy reading a bad newspaper when it is the first one you have been able to read in 5 weeks!! We watched the entire snooker championship in german over a week cos it was the only thing we could understand what was happening.

Also with accommodation go cheap for a week or two then spoil yourself with something nicer for 2 nights.

As for NZ / Australia - you won't get homesick we are all far too friendly. You won't want to leave!!!

wilees is offline  
Aug 30th, 2005, 01:30 AM
Join Date: Mar 2005
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I've been living the expat life since I was 22, so its been a quick 18 years but I have never felt homesick for the UK, although I love getting on the plane to visit my family & friends.

From the age of 17 my friend and I would get an Inter rail to travel around Europe for a month and then spend the remainder of the summer at friends in Majorca.

Or we would head off to the US or Canada for a month or so but at the time it used to be a nightmare getting a visa for the US as we were students. We had some great adventures but never felt homesick only downside was that we really were on a budget and if a hostel was full then it was a case of sleeping rough or planning our trips overnight so we could sleep on the trains for free.

Since those days I've lived in Canada, Australia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia & most recently Germany and in each of these places they have felt like home and I've been sad to leave.

Geordie is offline  
Aug 30th, 2005, 04:09 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,083
At the age of 22 I was sent to Japan by my company for 6 weeks. It was great, I never once got home sick (despite being there for my 1st wedding anniversary-oops)The excitement of the trip took over.
A few years later when we had two babies, I was sent to Japan again this time for 3 weeks and just couldn't wait to get home.
I guess the call of home was probably my loved ones and not really the place.

Recently 4 weeks in Australia together as a family and we didn't think of home once.

So congrats on your retirement get out and enjoy the world, life is definately for living.
Good luck
Mucky is offline  
Aug 30th, 2005, 07:41 PM
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 12
On long trips I usually start feeling homesick about seven days before I am due home (and I want to start travelling about ten days after I get home).
Galah is offline  
Sep 11th, 2005, 12:26 AM
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 2
We travelled Europe and UK for 8 weeks, after 6 weeks we started to feel it was time to go home. It was mainly the food, you do get sick of eating other peoples cooking after a while and just want a boiled egg or something. We didn't miss family at home - we just missed better food and a decent bed. Still - if I had the choice I would go for 3 months and just keep remembering how lucky you are to be travelling.
nbbb is offline  

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