‘The Feeling’

No, no, not that feeling. This isn’t your typical love story.

The first time I ever got ‘the feeling’ was at sixth grade science camp. I was in a new school and hadn’t really made any great friends, to say the least. Nonetheless, I was excited for a week of adventures in the great outdoors. The second we arrived at camp I felt this aching pit deep in my stomach. It was a combination of anxiety, fear, discomfort and just, ugh. I went to the nurse because I thought something was wrong. My diagnosis: home sickness.

I love traveling. I always have. But my first hours of arrival in a new country or state tend to be met with this funky, blues traveler feeling (not to be confused with the band).

The feeling generally lasts me about the first 24 hours of every trip (sometimes much less or slightly more depending on the distance from my comfort zone or who I am traveling with).  It is a culmination of adjusting to a new time zone, a new culture surrounded by people who might not speak my language, and mostly, being far outside of my cozy, little world.

For such an avid traveler, I feel almost embarrassed to say that it even happens. I want to be seen as a brave, bold adventurer! But, as part of my human nature, I crave ‘home’. I crave feeling like I belong, feeling understood, the safety of a support system and the physical comfort of my personal belongings.

Traveling rips that all away from you, in the best possible way.

Here are some tips that have helped me cope with ‘the feeling’:

Throw out all negative thoughts the second they hit your brain.
Don’t even entertain them, they have no space in your suitcase.

Stay hydrated and get some rest.
You will feel so much more human and ready to tackle the day.

Forget about home.
Everything about it. What time it is there, what other people are doing, how you miss your favorite coffee shop. You’re not missing anything except what’s right in front of you with that attitude!

Write it out.
Bring a travel journal and each morning, get up and blurt out your stream-of-consciousness onto the page. Better out than in, I always say.

Start planning!
Get busy mapping out your agenda for the trip. This will keep you excited about every day to come.

Embrace your feelings and accept it as part of the adventure.
Regardless of the purpose for your trip, you are in a new place and there is something to be learned.

The traveling blues are forgotten as quickly as they come on. Don’t let them be a non-starter. When I arrive home from trips, the only thing weighing on my heart is the contented fulfillment of time well spent and memories forever made.

‘The feeling’ has actually become my WHY. I travel because I always want new experiences and never want to settle for a life solely in my comfort zone.