Feeling homesick after 5.5 months of travel

For the first time in my life I have had people ask me where I’m from and when I say Canada they shrug their shoulders and say, “Where’s that?”  After 5.5 months I am officially homesick.

Although some of my homesickness might be brought on by the fact that my entire body is aching, my eyeballs hurt and my head is pounding. To say the least, I’m glad I brought Imodium.  To make the situation even worse, Chris is also feeling like this.  I hope we get on our feet soon because we should jump on a bus and head into Iran. Right now we’re in a city called Van which is very close to the border.  To get here we took a 7-hour bus ride from Diyarbakir where we spent two nights and had a wonderful adventure.

Chris and I enjoying a break in Istanbul on some ridiculous cushions.
The crescent moon and the star are the symbols of Turkey. This is looking out the train window during our 30-hour train ride from Istanbul to Malatya.
Chris and I with Muzaffer, a man who showed us all the sites of Diyarbakir out of the kindness of his heart. He spent 6 hours with us. He was that eager and willing to teach people the Kurdish way and culture.
Muzaffer wanted this photo to look "natural" so this is the pose he chose. Hee,hee. Silly guy.

We’ve had people ask us throughout our trip if we are homesick, but honestly until recently I wasn’t.  Lately, all of my dreams have been about home.  I didn’t think I would feel homesick for Canada, especially in Muslim countries because I spent 10-years of my life in Saudi Arabia. For 10-years I heard prayer call, and felt the sweltering heat that makes you sweat just from standing in it. I loved it. It was home from age 8-18.

When my dad retired from the company in Saudi we of course moved back to Canada.  I didn’t feel Canadian. I felt like a visitor. I didn’t own a winter coat, or even more than a couple pairs of socks. Everything was strange, quiet and cold. I use to walk down 17th Ave looking at all the people having a good time inside the warm bars. One of them even had a palm tree painted on the window. (Everyone is always wishing or thinking they’d be happier somewhere else.) I was homesick for Saudi and lonely. Of course I eventually made friends in Canada. I found a family of them in University and even a husband! I learnt the ways of being Canadian. I got use to putting on a sweater, a hoody and then my winter jacket before going outside.  Although it took me about six years to finally admit I shouldn’t be wearing a skirt in January.

So here I am, in weather where I don’t need a winter coat or even a sweater and for some damn reason I’m homesick for Canada’s seasons and many of its other attributes.  I’m homesick for how green and lush trees look in the summer time.  I’m homesick for the freshness and crispness of our air. And for bathtubs, and toilet paper in public restrooms. I’m homesick for a big, thick Alberta beef steaks. I’m homesick for Taber corn and perogies. I’m homesick for pork roast. I’m homesick for different varieties of food like Chinese, Vietnamese, Japanese, Italian, etc. I’m homesick for a washer and dryer. I’m homesick for a kitchen. I’m homesick for having more than 5 shirts and 2 bottoms as a wardrobe. I’m homesick because I don’t have a home.

One example of what our hotel rooms usually look like, and how we've been doing laundry for the better part of 5.5 months (except for our wonderful month in Italy).
This is Ayran. It's a drink made out of yogurt, water and salt. Here in eastern Turkey they serve it in large cups or bowls, instead of the manufactured plastic cans like in the west. Just one small difference between western and eastern Turkey.
Me watching the sunset on top of Nemrut Dagi.

I’m guilty of wanting to be somewhere else on -30 degree days in Canada, but now that I have been away for 5.5 months I know that it takes seeing and experiencing other places to remind me that my home is Canada. That it is a fantastic place to live. I guess it turns out I’m more Canadian and feel more Canadian than I ever thought I was.  I look forward to coming home.  In fact, I might just kiss the ground when we get back and take three week vacations to hot destinations.

(I apologize for the quality of the photos. They were all taken with our small point-shoot.)


10 responses to “Feeling homesick after 5.5 months of travel”

  1. Hi guys,

    Just a note on the home sick issue. Gloria and I have been feeling that way at times. Especially when the going gets tough. We miss our supermarket where we had everything we wanted, but we also discovered that buying fresh veg from the local supplier is much better. We miss not sweating, but we wash ourselves a lot more. We miss our family, but feel blessed when we speak to them.

    So, we just wanted to say that we are in your boat, and that times get tough, but remember that we won’t be doing this for much longer and that home will still be there.

    Miss you,

    1. Laura Beauchamp Avatar
      Laura Beauchamp

      Thanks for the support Petrit and Gloria. It made me feel better to read it. I totally agree with you. We’re doing better now because we have realized how to take things a little better and to remember that soon we will be home again. We’ll try our best to enjoy and learn. Best of luck to you. Be safe. I admire you two for your energy, sense of adventure and endurance. Till next time, ciao.

  2. Aww. You’re homesick, but trust me, home’s Laura-sick too (please read that in the best possible way). It’s a good thing: it means you guys’ll actually have to come back at some point. I’ll throw an extra steak on for you guys tonight!


  3. Marcia Avatar

    Wow, that brings back memories of how I felt when in Australia for a year. And I was practically in the same culture! But still, perogies, poutine, even KD was calling my name.

    Hope you two feel better soon. In the meantime, keep cuddling and be extra nice to each other. You’ll be home again soon.

    Love you guys!

    1. Laura Beauchamp Avatar
      Laura Beauchamp

      Thanks Marc. I appreciate the kind, supportive words. Love ya too. -Laura-

  4. You brought tears to my eyes, firstly because of the pride and love you feel for our beautiful country (and rightly so) but also because you are both feeling poorly and could probably use a good hug and maybe a good old fashioned bowl of homemade chicken soup.

    Chin up, you will enjoy the rest of your trip with all the memories of the fantastic things you have experienced and the wonderful people you have met on the way.

    Love you both dearly.


    1. Awww. thanks Mom.

    2. Laura Beauchamp Avatar
      Laura Beauchamp

      Thanks Donna. Just imaging a hug from you makes me feel better.

  5. Christine Campbell Avatar
    Christine Campbell

    I hear you lady! Just reading your blog made me feel a bit homesick… especially the food part. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Italian food… but I also love Vietnamese and Thai and Perogies and delicious Taber corn… I’m not just Canada homesick, but ALBERTA homesick! Haha… who would have thought. Keep your heads up! Once your actual sicknesses have past I’m sure you’ll be right back on track to exploring 😉 I find when you have more time to think about home (aka: when you’re sick) rather than always running around looking at stuff it’s a lot easier to miss home. Keep up the good work guys!

    Love Christine

    1. Laura Beauchamp Avatar
      Laura Beauchamp

      Ah. I’m glad I’m not the only one Christine. That makes me feel better. I’m feeling a quite bit healthier today so the world is already brighter. You’re totally right about having to much time to think. It’s never a good thing. Today we just might be heading into Iran, so I think the excitement and anticipation of that will be enough to smother my sickness. Thanks for all your encouragement Christine. Keep working on that damn Italian post. We mailed you something really special and we want you to get it. Love you -camel-

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