From Afar With Love

I’d be lying to both myself and you if I told you that I never got homesick on my travels. It would be hard not to, right? 


Being homesick and sad in the most beautiful of places doesn't make for the best Instagram photo so I tend to shy away from sharing this content. I can assure you that it is very real and is something that I deal with on a more regular basis than I am probably comfortable admitting.

With that being said, how do I navigate being homesick on my travels?


First and foremost, let's establish what home is. In my opinion, home doesn't have to signify a singular structure so. It can include both the places and people that feel like home to me

1. Communication. It is important for me to stay in touch regularly, usually daily with my friends and family. I often share a lot of videos and photos to feel like I am including them on my adventures. I am thankful for the ability to FaceTime as it feels more personal than your usual phone call. I make it a priority to set up time with my family and friends to schedule these calls to stay in touch. 

2. Visits. I am extremely fortunate to have loved ones that have taken an interest in what I am doing and have the desire to come and visit me and the places I am calling home along the way. The efforts put forth with their time, funds and willingness to come to me always reassure me that the people that stand behind me would literally go to the ends of the Earth (or cross country) to spend time with me. With that being said, I am always willing and open to traveling to my people, but I think they sometimes prefer visiting both myself and a new fun location. 

3. Effort. I have always known that effort plays a huge role in combating the feelings of being lonely and missing home, but I did not quite understand the full depths of its importance until starting this journey. Fostering healthy adult relationships, friendships and family ties require effort from all parties. I am continuing to learn to go where my energy and efforts are both appreciated and reciprocated. For the people in my life that feel like home, I hope they know that I would also do anything and go anywhere for them.


4. Understanding. I am constantly working to learn and navigate these growing pains as are the people around me. Working with my therapist helps to ground me and she always poses the question, "While you are in this location, which relationships and people do you need to focus on?". Reminding me that my distance from them is not an excuse as to let the relationships and people fall through the cracks. I will never be 18 sharing a room with my best friend again. I will never be 22 spending each weekend with my group of closest friends again. I will never be 25 and coming home from work to laugh with my roommate again. I am understanding that distance will always be a factor, but that doesn't have to alter these dynamics. 

5. Going home. There was a point in time where I wasn’t always making it a priority to go home. I was too busy with work. My friends were doing something fun over the weekend. The drive was too far. You name it. From a young age my Dad has always instilled in me that giving your time to someone is the single most valuable gift that you can give. So going home and giving that place and people my time, is now one of my highest priorities. This is why I both plan and look forward to spending time during the summer months and holidays in Ludington with the people I love the most. 

The tears that come every time I leave home or the people that I consider home at that airport, is confirmation that being away from them never gets any easier. Knowing that we are always looking forward to our next visit and that I am always welcome and wanted at home brings me the comfort and confidence to continue on.



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1 comment

Beautifully written, Abby.
Following along with your travels and visiting you in fun, new locations has been a blast!

Susan Greenslait

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