5 Ways to Deal With Homesickness This Festive Season

Whilst I may be at home for Summer break, I still have this sick feeling at the bottom of my stomach, reminiscent of home sickness. Why you may ask? Well I’m a firm believer of the saying ‘home is where the heart is,’ and my heart is scattered across the globe. Whilst most of my time at the moment is spent at work, with my family or at the beach, there are times where that little sick feeling grows a little bit. So these are some tips I’ve come to use and facts I’ve had to acknowledge, to accept these feelings and embrace what I have here at home.

Christmas festivities in Sydney
Christmas festivities in Sydney

Boredom is your enemy – You’re up late at night, sleep in late, don’t go out much, watch TV episodes you’ve watched and rewatched… nothing really new or exciting is happening and you’re stuck in a bit of a rut. This bored routine is not good! AVOID THIS! Keep busy, get some sunshine, see an old friend, go for a walk, go and have lunch at your grandmas, go for a swim… ANYTHING!

Skype/Talk to your Family/Friends once a week – If you’re overseas/away from your home and missing it, it’s important to talk it through with your loved ones, but don’t overdo it. Talking to them multiple times a week when you’re feeling homesick is just going to make you miss them more and feel worse. Instead, try and talk it through with a friend you’re with in person and keep busy as well. Being homesick is a phase and you’ll get through it. Plus, if you’re with a good friend, they’ll be there to give you hugs and make you hot chocolate.

Being silly and having fun with my housemate in London. And it also leaves you some hilarious photos!
Being silly and having fun with my housemate in London. And it also leaves you some hilarious photos!

Talk to a close friend/Write it down – So yes, as mentioned above, talking to a friend is very important, one of the highlights is that you can be silly with them, laugh, smile and momentarily forget about your troubles. But if you’re travelling solo or find yourself being alone, you might find it helpful to write it down in a journal. When I’m internalising deep thoughts, I can’t live without writing them down. Expressing your thoughts and feelings is important and the best thing about a journal is that it won’t criticise or judge you… it’ll just always be there for you.

Make Plans – Go away for a weekend, see your extended family, friends, dogs… anything. Making plans gives your something to look forward to and something to be excited about. It definitely makes those long hard nights bearable when you’ve got something to look forward to!

Still not feeling better? Maybe you need a big and bold kickstart. Something to get you excited and appreciative about life again. And what better way to kickstart those sleepy cells in your body then by doing something out of your comfort zone? Go skydiving, buy a train ticket to somewhere you can’t pronounce the name of, go to a bar by yourself and meet some new people, do a cooking class, learn a new language… do something that will expand your knowledge and comfort zone. Then after that, you’ll feel re-energised and excited again about where you are and what you’ve achieved so far. And the best thing is, when you ring your family on Sunday night, you’ll have heaps to tell them!

Any other homesickness tips? Let me know in the comments below! And don’t forget to step back and appreciate everything you have in your life, how lucky you are and how fortunate you are to have someone to share your life with.

xxx A

Room Decorating 101

Bedrooms should give you inspiration, should allow you to relax, motivate you to get out of bed and welcome you to a sound sleep at the end of the day. I’ve tried to take on advice of DIY magazines, stylists, blogs by sticking to a theme, a colour scheme, a purpose etc, but it always felt forced and unnatural. And now I’ve figured out the way to decorate my room which makes me never want to leave my room!

Current pictures on my wall
Current pictures on my wall

When I’ve got a big blank white boring wall, I feel dull, boring and uninspired. So, I print off my favourite photographs from the past year, of friends, family and places, take a trip down to the travel agent (or a few), rip out some beautiful pictures, scramble through my box of memories from the year (I keep anything from concert tickets, maps, foreign currency, to business cards) and pick out my favourites. Once I’ve collected bright beautiful things, I get to blu tacking and stick everything to my wall. The end result is very rewarding, colourful, inspiring and beautiful!

Don’t be afraid to get messy with it, stick up anything that makes you happy, because what’s the point in having photo albums filled with beautiful photos hidden away in a cupboard, when you can have them on display that will leave guests and yourself hypnotised!

My room in London
My room in London
Organising pictures! (a lot of them)
Organising pictures! (a lot of them)

Why It’s Not So Easy to Drop Everything to Travel the World

Lately I’ve seen a lot of blogs, posts, quotes, expressions and people saying, ‘just drop everything and go, travel the world!’ Whilst in theory I love the thought of this and wish I could, the bottom line is that there’s many of us squeezing in some time on Facebook before after we finish a double shift, or before a uni lecture to read these posts, and I can assure you that the majority of people would love to be sipping cocktails in Greece or exploring London, rather than do these things. So here’s why it’s not so easy to drop everything to book a one way flight to New York, Tokyo or Moscow.

*On a side note, if anyone out there would like to give me an all expenses holiday, please comment below* 😉

from- http://th02.deviantart.net/fs70/PRE/i/2013/324/4/f/wanderlust_by_apokalyxe-d6uy8j4.jpg
from- http://th02.deviantart.net/fs70/PRE/i/2013/324/4/f/wanderlust_by_apokalyxe-d6uy8j4.jpg

1- I’m Poor – The big factor here… no money. And when I say no money, when I find 20cents on the ground… I get pretty damn excited! Also, everything about international travel is expensive! Do you know how much a one way ticket to London costs? About $1000… and that’s just to get there!

2- I have a job (so that I’m not poor) – In order to fund my coffee addiction, pay for university textbooks and pay for internet, I need to work, and a lot! I really enjoy my job(s) as well, and if I even want to think about booking flights, I’m going to have to work 25 hours a day 8 days a week!

3 – I need to find myself – Whilst travelling the world is a good way to discover a lot about yourself, when you’re home with your family and friends is also a good time to grow as a person. It helps you re-evaluate your views, dreams and ambitions, and may differ from those of the traveller version of you. Also, travelling can be stressful and exhausting, and there really is no bed like YOUR bed.

4- It’s not the right time – Personally, right now would not be the right time to go overseas at all. I need to be here for my family, for my job, my boyfriend, my friends, my commitments, my degree… I have a lot of things going on at the moment. I know that there never seems to be a right time to go on a big overseas adventure, but there are definitely wrong times, and this is one of them.

5- I’m quite happy here for now – My home is pretty damn awesome! I like within a 10 minute drive to over 10 pristine beaches, close to the city, I have friends to go out with, family to have dinner with… AND the best part about having wanderlust at home is that you can discover some pretty incredible places in your own backyard!

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I think the most frustrating thing for me is a combination of these things. I do want to travel and live overseas, but I also have a lot of other goals and ambitions as well. And to work towards achieving those it requires me to have a job, go to university and save my money. I’m trying to keep the bigger picture in mind and work towards achieving all of my goals and not just my one desire of travelling the world. Yes, a part of this frustration is jealousy of my friends and family that seem to be travelling internationally every second month, but I know I’ll get there once I work hard for it.

So what do I do to settle nearly every atom which is jumping up and down with infectious wanderlust?

1- I make (realistic) goals – Making realistic goals is the most important first step towards reaching your desired outcome. For example, there’s only a certain amount of money I can earn in a year and therefore it might take me two years to save the money I need for a trip overseas. By being realistic, they’re actually achievable and you can work hard to reach them. There’s no point setting your goals too high and not achieving them.

2- I plan – Planning makes me feel like I am about to get on a plane in a months time. I read magazines, blogs, newspapers… anything with beautiful photos of cities, mountains and beaches around the world I want to go to.

3- I work (extremely) hard – If I set a goal, I will stick to it. I’ll pick up extra shifts, I might say no to a few nights out, I might cut back on buying my lunch… I do everything in my power to reach that goal and live my dream!

4 – I get there – It may take some time, but I’ll get there, and the gelato in Rome will taste even sweeter!

So internet… PLEASE STOP TELLING ME TO DROP EVERYTHING AND TRAVEL! I’m working on it!

xxx

A

Childhood Dreams

We pull into the driveway and those reminiscent feelings rushes over me. Suddenly I was six again. There is the tree we used to climb and swing on. There is the cement where are names are forever engraved. There are the flowers that used to captivate us. This was a place filled with wonder and magic.

The fluffy carpet held stains, dirt and memories spanning three generations. My father’s little footsteps once toddled here. Photos of our family hung in mismatched frames; capturing those awkward school photos we would send every year. And every year, a new photo would be added to the walls.

My Pop’s white scratchy beard has not changed. I remember squirming when we kissed him goodbye because it tickled too much. He is a man of few yet wise words; still seeming content with life. I remember running through the labyrinth under the house looking for him. Boxes of memories gathered dust. We usually got scared before we found him and we would run screaming into the back yard.

The back yard is a child’s wonderland. Wire, pipes, trailers, bricks, sheds, trees and plants… everything you needed for a successful game of hide and seek.

Nan would bring us ice-cold cordial and we would come running, red cheeks and out of breathe. The smell of freshly baked cakes would drift from the window, my favourite, caramel slice! The dogs would glance up at us, their bright eyes begging us for some delicious treats. But we had devoured them before we had even noticed.

We would run around in circles, dogs chasing us chasing dogs chasing cats chasing birds chasing adults chasing us. The paisley lounge engulfed us as we shoveled food down our throats, mesmerized by the cartoons on TV.

We would have a bath and a shower at the same time. It was the most magical thing on earth. We would sing and splash water whilst playing with my Nan’s brightly coloured loofa. I remember seeing Nan remove her perfect teeth once, pretending I didn’t see. The concept was mind blowing.

We would take it in turns of who would sleep on the bed, and who would sleep on the floor. I remember always liking to choose the floor because it was exciting and it felt like I was on an adventure. My Nan would read us this gigantic fairytale books. I specifically remember Rumple Stiltskin and the Ugly Duckling. We had heard these stories so many times, that I closed my eyes, listened to my Nan’s sweet voice and envisioned a far away land. Eventually those visions turned into dreams and we were sound asleep.

*

As I lay in this room now, I don’t feel that different from six year old me. Memories are things that sometimes confuse me. You know that they’re you’re memories, but over time memories turn into stories, and the stories can turn into fairytales. As I run my feet through the fluffy carpet, I thank my Nan and Pop for showing me that a home sweet home, does not just exist in fairytales.

ohana

You Are Love

wave

You are like the strong, wise ocean.

You are the reason for my existence. You give me purpose to live and breathe. You push me onto that wave when I’m scared, lift me up when I am down and inspire and motivate me when I dive into the water.

You carry the wisdom of years in your mind and body, letting it ripple along the surface, guiding us when we’re heading into a storm. Even when we make mistakes, like the kind currents you nurture us, to help us grow and understand.

The times when the sunshine beams down and all is calm and quiet gives us time to relax, just to talk and enjoy each others company, floating carelessly across the smooth surface.

There are times when we may feel like we’re drowning, getting sucked deeper and deeper under water, the cold current gripping onto our souls. It’s not easy to swim through the struggle and pain, though you carry us over your shoulders and we breathe the fresh air together, addicted to that taste of being alive.

You are our savior, our life guard, our bubbles of air that push us forward. For now, I am just a little wave of water lost in the calm waters of the Caribbean. I watch your grace and strength as you battle the seas of the Pacific, hoping one day I can become like you.

You are my best friend and my muse.

You are my Mum.

Thank you.

flowers