Why Going Home Does Not Mean Failure

By Nomadic Matt | Published August 12th, 2013

the train ride home“You’re going home?” I asked her as we sat in the hostel’s common room.

“Yeah, I really miss my boyfriend and family. This long-term travel thing just isn’t for me. I’ve cut my trip short and will be going home in a few weeks.”

“Wow!” I replied. “Well, it’s important to do what makes you happy. At the very least, traveling taught you something about what you do and do not like. That’s a win.”

And, with that, we moved on with the conversation.

She, like many others I’ve met on the road, headed back home, not in defeat, but victorious, content in the knowledge they discovered more about themselves.

When I began my travels, a million and one fears and worst-case scenarios went through my mind. What if I can’t make it? What if I can’t find friends? What if I get so lost I can’t find my way back? What if I get sick? What if I run out of money?

What if, what if, what if!

Thanks to the many emails I get, I know those thoughts go through the minds of others too.

Many of those “what ifs” keep people from going on the road.

We can become so paralyzed by our fear of failure that we forget that all those fears don’t matter because no matter what happens, we can always come home.

It’s okay to say “You know what? I miss my home, I miss my friends, I hate hostels, and it turns out my idea of travel involves moving from one luxury resort to the next.”

The most important thing is that you tried and you learned.

I had no idea long-term travel would work for me. My original trip was only for a year and I could have decided to come home three months in.

But here I am, seven years later, still in love with travel.

But I would have never known if I didn’t ignore my fears and try.

We can give in to fear, the “what ifs”, and the worry, and instead stay safe at home.

Or you can head out the door and try.

Who cares if you decide to cut your trip short? Who cares if you think “this life isn’t for me?” You travel for yourself. You do this for you.

When I decided last year that after over 6 years of almost constantly being on the move, it was time to settle down and create roots somewhere, a lot of people emailed me, expressing sadness that I had “given up” traveling.

But times — and people — change. I had nothing to prove by continuing to travel when my desires lay elsewhere. Travel is a personal experience and at the end of the day, how you feel about it is the only thing that matters. I still believe life on the road is amazing — but sometimes I went to head off that road for a while and sit in front of my TV watching a movie.

So if you’ve been thinking about traveling but worry you can’t make it a full year around the world or that you might not have the skills to travel, I say to you: who cares? You can always head home if you want.

So what if you can’t make it? What if others think that? I say it doesn’t matter.

Because returning home is not a failure.

Travel teaches us about ourselves and makes us better people. Deciding to come home simply means travel taught you something about yourself you wouldn’t have known otherwise – that extended travel is not for you.

And there is nothing wrong with that.

Take a chance.

Because the path back will always be there, but the path forward might not.

So travel and learn something about yourself.

Even if what you learn is you’d rather be home.

comments 87 Comments

I really love this post.

NomadicMatt

I’m glad!

Nick

What would you say to someone whose health problems created a sort of forced retirement from travel? I thought about it quite a bit, and there are many positives to take away from the time I did travel, but now being at home does feel like failure. Or at least a resignation of some type

NomadicMatt

Go closer to home and take shorter trips. Or try to be a tourist in your own city. There’s always something new to explore. To me, travel doesn’t have to be a visit to some far off place. Travel is about going someplace you never been, even if it is your own backyard.

Great post, each to their own! Travel isn’t for everyone, but hey, it is for me.

Nick – you tried, that’s all that matters, I don’t think the word failure could even be applied here at all.

Kristen

THANK YOU. I feel like so many travel bloggers post about how annoying the general populace is for not wanting to be long-term travelers with nothing to their name except two shirts. It’s so refreshing to see someone say, “You know what? Whatever you want to do to make you happy. Just get out there.” I recently did a few months in SE Asia and decided to come home two weeks early for many of the same reasons – I realized how I like traveling and I missed my family! Now I’m home but already saving for my next trip and I will take the lessons I learned before in planning the next spurt of travel – a couple of weeks, partly solo, partly with others. That’s what makes me happy.

The way I have always looked at it is this… If you set off and travel the world, it might be for a few months or go on for years.. Worst case scenario – you go home… It’s not necessarily a failure, but at least you tried!

Great post, and a very important point that I think we can forget while traveling for an extended period.

T.S. Eliot put it perfectly when he said: “We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring, will be to arrive where we started, and know the place for the first time.”

My girlfriend and I are planning a long term trip for next year. We both think we’re going to love long term travel, but we’ve had this very discussion. Worst case scenario is we come home early.

I have a couple of chronic medical issues that I’m hoping to keep in check while on the road. I’m nervous about going off meds or switching to less effective but more travel friendly options. But there’s only way to find out if I can do it.

NomadicMatt

Like you said, worst case scenario is you come home. That’s not so bad.

If I listened to every “what if” in my head, I’d never leave my house. I would respect someone more for trying and failing then not trying at all. However, as you mentioned, choosing to come home shouldn’t be considered a failure. More people should realize this.

Thank you for this! Happy travels :)

It’s good to go and figure out your limits and reach that point where you think – yep, think I’m done here. I was so happy to go home after six months travelling. A couple of months settled and the bug is back again. I’ve found trying to really live in a new country is good balance of a home away from home.

Great post also (duh).

I didn’t have any choice in coming home; the Essential Skills Visa I’d applied for in New Zealand got declined and (due to my WHV expiring) I couldn’t appeal. At first I felt like a total failure, like I could’ve done more to try and secure the visa, I could’ve put together a back-up plan etc etc but instead I decided to do something I’ve always wanted to do: move to London. I’ve lived in England my entire life and never got to experience actually living in the capital so that’s what I’m doing right now.

It’s not failure, it’s a brand new chapter and I’ve come back with a more open mind, a new set of friends from all over the world and a completely new perspective :-)

NomadicMatt

It’s like Edison said, he didn’t fail, he just found 1,000 ways that didn’t work!

Great insight! Very well said… I’ve personally had this feeling when I cut my trip to Australia short last year. However looking back about 6 months later, I have a totally different mindset and I’m proud of what I did!

NomadicMatt

I cut my trip short once and realized I made a huge mistake and was back out on the road a few months later but you never know until you go and see!

I love this post. A few years ago I set out on an internship that I intended to turn into a much longer excursion, convinced I wanted to work all over the world, and especially far away from home. I spent two and a half months there before booking a flight home. I will still travel, but my time abroad taught me new things about myself (as I find it always does) and I discovered that home was where I was meant to be. I am still a traveler. I spend my days exploring as much as I can close to home and writing about my experiences, and I still travel abroad when I feel the urge.

Thank you for sharing this post!

NomadicMatt

Travel, live, learn, right? Glad it worked out for you.

Lily Aldrin

I can relate to this, almost two years ago (to the day!) I was supposed to be spending three months in America, unfortunately my mother was very ill a few months before the trip. I ended up supporting my family financially and as a result my trip was cut form three months to three weeks. My friend who I was supposed travelling with ended up carrying on with the trip alone, whilst I flew back to the UK and to work. I felt like such a failure and that I’d let my friend down, add to this the crushed dream of travelling and having to save for a further trip three months down the line meant the flight home was a very emotional one. The guilt was heavy on my shoulders from all sides, firstly that I had chosen to go in the first place whilst my mother was still recovering and because my friend was alone, nervous and gave me a forlorn, lost child look as the subway started moving away from him… Further to this at home I had parents of close friends describing the change of plans as abandonment.

Perspective is a wonderful thing, two years later and eighteen months of travelling under my belt I realise that it was the best decision for me. Had anything happened to my mother whilst I was away, financially or physically I would never have forgiven myself. My friend had a wonderful time without me, volunteered at an animal sanctuary and will be pursuing a new career path when we get back to the UK in December.

To all those gossipers, walk a mile in someone else’s shoes, reflect on the decision you would make before slandering someone else and their circumstances… and to all those people who have to make difficult decisions, everyone has different circumstances, do what is right for you and all will be well in the world ?

There can be no failure to travel if you learn from the experience. Plus, I see going home as travel.

NomadicMatt

I agree 100%.

Excellent post, Matt. I feel like so often long-term travelers feel like they have to prove something or turn traveling into a competition: the longer you’re gone, the more cred you have. But the reality is, most of us will have to go home at some point, either because we are tired and need a break from traveling, or maybe because we’ve run out of money and need time to regroup. Either way, it’s not the end of the world; you can always head back out in the future if the desire strikes. Whether people travel for 1 month or 1 year or 1 decade, I think the most important thing is that people make the effort to see a little something about the world and push themselves. As you said, things not working out as planned or not liking something isn’t a failure, but never trying in the first place is!

Love this post and its message! I have seen lots of people competing with others and themselves when on the road. By doing so they miss the real point of travel which is a learning process and not a competition. As we all experiences travel in a different way we shall learn and improve our self no matter in which direction it takes us…travel is finally something that makes us richer :)

I’ve just sent this to multiple friends who I’ve met along the road, and you’re right – you tried, and you learned. No one can take that away from you, as actually purchasing the ticket and stepping on the plane is the hardest part. My stubbornness meant I wasn’t going to come home before my time was up (well, I’m still here), but I respect those who decided it’s not for them and go back home. Great, touching post.

NomadicMatt

Glad you liked it! Thanks for sharing it with your friends!

Natasha

I agree with your thoughts. There really are no rules and no expectations when you decide to live life on the road . However we definitely need to always remain true to our authentic selves. If the game plan changes, so be it. Loved this post !

Kristy

I dream of full time travel, and I did it once, for about a year. But then reality when I came back home was the gap in my resume. Even though I had a solid resume from prior to taking time off, employers didn’t understand the need to take a break and see the world, and frowned upon not working for over a year. So now as I really want to travel again, the thought of if I can get hired after taking time off, is what is keeping me from long term travel. Has anyone had experience with how to deal with employment after you return home?

NomadicMatt

How long ago was this? From what I understand, these days employers are interested in employees with travel skills.

ARENA

I think it depends.

Employers are quite understanding these days about people taking time out from their careers to do something completely different like travelling. And yes, like you say, the argument is you do develop skills which can add value to any job.

A bigger issue I think is if there are several ‘jaunts’ on the CV – employers are reluctant to hire on the back of this because they invest a lot of time, effort and money in developing people they take on, and you are deemed a riskier prospect because you might decide to go away again on another break. It’s a much safer bet and cost effective for them to hire someone who is much more ‘settled’, appears more committed to their career, and is likely to stick around
You could alternatively try contracting or freelancing – you get paid more but with shorter bursts of employment, but have a greater flexibility/freedom with what you do with your time.
Could you consider that?

NomadicMatt

I would agree with what you said.

I’m working very hard to achieve my dream of traveling the world. My main concern at the moment is money. I’m from Bolivia and currenlty live in this country, employment incomes are not very high for traveling abroad, they are ok for living here but with 500 $us a month you wouldn’t make it abroad. I had the chance to travel previously a little bit around Europe and I really want to go out there and visit many other countries. This is my dream and I want to achieve it. Luckily there seem to be many opportunities online to generate incomes and I’m working on them. My objective is to get a permanent online income that will allow me to embark in this lifelong dream that I have. Reading this blog always keep me encouraged. Thanks Matt!!!

NomadicMatt

Start local. Visit other parts of your country or other parts of South America if you can’t go far away. Travel starts at home.

Thanks! I will surely do that!

That’s a great way to look at it. If the fear of running out of money or discovering backpacking wasn’t for me kept me from traveling I would never have seen all that I got to see last year. Though, most people I met didn’t head home early. Most were really happy to be traveling. The boyfriend thing does tend to ruin the fun of backpacking, though.

It’s such a common feeling amongst travellers that you’ve somehow failed if you’re not willing to keep on travelling ad finitum. But it’s simply not the best idea for everybody – and if you can recognise what it is that makes you happy then that’s the best discovery you’ll have :) Awesome post, Matt.

Thanks for sharing your input on this, Matt. I know I shouldn’t, but I have a tendency to feel guilty when I return home earlier than planned. Even after ten months abroad, I was disappointed in myself for wanting to return to a bit of a routine. You have a good attitude about this!

NomadicMatt

I think you have to find a balance. There were many times I wanted to go home but I really was just having a bad day. However, if those bad days add up, it’s time to rethink your trip.

I totally agree – but I do always wonder if those people ever regret it later. So many people I knew left the program early because they didn’t like the place or missed their boyfriend, etc and I wonder if they think what might have happened if they had just stuck out the bad parts. I find the accomplishment there: finding good in the shit times is character building.

Yours in Travel,

Alyssa

Or sometimes it takes a second try! I had to “fail” once and go home before trying again when the timing was better. To each their own!

Ken

Matt, you’re a major inspiration to me. You and all the travel bloggers out there. Not a single person I know IRL is a long-term traveler or can understand that choice. You all are the friends I never had.

NomadicMatt

Thank you for your kind words! They mean a lot.

Yup! My life is my own, not a competition. I came home from a trip early (9 instead of 11 days) because I was just tired! And I missed my son. And there were threats of nuclear war (I go to the BEST countries! lol) But we all have our reasons and you can always go back if you feel you were missing out on something.

One time I travelled just because I needed a break from taking care of my dying father. While I was away, I got a different perspective and realized I had a great honour to do it. It meant I came back happier and did not take the last moments of my father’s life for granted. So sometimes you get a lot of good out of coming home.

Last year while trekking solo across Europe in remote working fashion I had this feeling at least twice. It wasn’t lack of resources, nor getting sick, nor anything like that. It was the unavoidable gaps of loneliness between one place and another that were getting to me. One day I felt I had enough and was ready to call it quits but thankfully my family has been very supportive of me while on the road — and bless technology for that. I can only figure out how hard it must have been for travelers of yesteryear, getting by for months or even years without hearing back from their families. At least I learned what can bring me down during long term travel so now that I’m heading to South America in a few months and looking for more socially conductive environments, like hostels (even if I fear I’m a little too old for them!) But as I heard Rick Steves speak a while ago, fear is for those who don’t get out too much. :)

NomadicMatt

I think we all have moments we have to push through…moments of self-doubt…but sometimes there are moments when you know in your core, it’s time to go home.

For once, I completely and wholeheartedly agree with you, Matt. To each their own. You can never regret trying something!

NomadicMatt

Finally! It only took 1,000 blog posts but we got there! :)

This is my favorite post of yours ever. I was very proud of and inspired by you when you made these decisions — because you were so mature about everything and were thinking so strategically and from the heart. That’s hard to pull off. Now you’ve written a very sophisticated yet sentimental piece about it. Bravo!

Really good post, I always ask people ‘what is the worst case scenario here?’ and the answer is always ‘come back and pick up where you left off at home’.

I cant imagine a life where we didn’t travel, even if it wasn’t all the time.

NomadicMatt

Same here. Even as I try to settle down, I keep planning trips.

Pedro

This is by far the best post of this site.

NomadicMatt

Thank you.

Definitely not a failure cause you already found what you have been looking for. I love this post!

NomadicMatt

I’m still searching for that!

Don

Absolutely can relate to this. I’ve cut lots of trips short even though I had the ability to continue, most recently in South America earlier this year. When your travels begin to wear you out rather than give you energy and when traveling onward doesn’t make sense, go home, or somewhere, and regroup. You never regret it looking back, and it gives you perspective and allows you to begin planing another trip that can benefit you even more.

Too many travelers wear their months on the road like a badge of honor. If it no longer makes sense for you, don’t do it.

NomadicMatt

Exactly. It’s quality not quantity.

Hey Matt.

Great post. I totally agree with you.

Travel should not be seen as a prison sentence of sorts. Just because you thought you would travel for a year, and told everyone so, doesn’t mean you should be held to that against your will. Things change, priorities change, and most importantly: people change.

I have been on the road for about 8 months and I would be lying if I said there were not times I wanted to go home. The feeling of getting into a familiar bed is certainly comforting. I haven’t gone home as yet, but if I did I would not feel like a failure at all. Remember: if you go home 3 or 4 or how ever months into your trip, you STILL did travel for that time. Don’t forget that.

Anyway, I can’t even imagine what it must have been like to travel for 6 odd years. Respect! Good on you for everything you have done and enjoy your well-earned break!

Cheers,

Sean.

This post makes me think of a quote by Samuel Beckett:

“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.”

I rerouted my trip earlier this year because I wasn’t getting along with Asia this time round. I spent my final month in Italy, which was much easier, yet I was worried about how I’d explain the change to my family and friends without them thinking that I was a failure. Then I realised the truth wasn’t so bad – I wasn’t enjoying myself so I changed what I was doing. Embracing failure is pretty liberating – and a brilliant conversation starter.

This post resonates with what I am currently going thorough – I cut my trip short as I missed my boyfriend, friends, family etc and am planning on going away for a month at a time about 4-6 times a year.

However, as happy as this decision makes me there is a part of me everyday that longs to just be ‘out there’ without an end date. It was exciting and scary and I loved it.

If I were to do that I would have to break up with my boyfriend (it wouldn’t be fair on him) and I don’t know if I have it in me to that – he’s the best!

Anyway, thanks for the blog post. Made me feel slightly better but that niggly feeling I made the wrong decision is still there…

I love this post! It’s a special topic that I’m sure is on many people’s minds but rarely gets written on and I think you’ve expressed it really well! Love how you ended your post.

Hi Matt,
I completely agree! I had the realization this summer when I traveled through Europe for two months that I don’t like to travel for much more than a month. At first, I wondered what that meant about me as a traveler, and I came to this conclusion: I am absolutely a traveler with wanderlust in my heart, but I love my home, too, and that’s more than okay. :)

Barbara

Good to hear I’m not alone. Hubby retired last year and we sold our home and most of our belongings and headed out on the road in a 5th Wheel. 18 months later and I’ve realized this is not the life for me…I still enjoy traveling, but I need a home-base as well, so we’re looking to settle somewhere near the ocean. Unfortunately, in our case, it is the life that my husband would like, but we will compromise and travel part of the year.

NomadicMatt

That’s a realization I’ve come to over the last year or so. I now have a home base in NYC and then travel from here. I enjoy having a kitchen.

stevie

I totally agree! Travelling, or long term travelling just isn’t for everyone. I’ve been travelling (although with lots of stops at home!) for about 5 years and a lot of my friends have told me “oh I should travel” or “I wish I could travel”. Honestly, though, if they aren’t making active moves towards that goal, I suggest that maybe it isn’t right for them. Travel is an expensive and sometimes stressful and if someone can think of a million things they’d rather do than I don’t think they will truly benefit from the experience anyway.

I never ever in travel for more than 7 days :( . I don’t know whats happen to me while i am traveling.

This is great Matt!…When I was in college in Orlando my first ever trip was to Paris, by myself, when I was 19. I was too scared to leave town and cut my trip short….Fast forward 3 years and I’m backpacking through Europe for a few months where I met my eventual Aussie spouse in a hostel in Brugge. We’ve now been living in Europe for 5 and 1/2 years…So you’re absolutely right, there is no failure in going home! You never know what lies ahead and good on anybody for giving it a go! :)

Dude.. I am not a lot into studying, but in some way I got to see lots of posts on your blog. Its remarkable how fascinating it is that i can visit an individual very often. -

Great post mate, some good points. I think there just comes a time for everyone when they just feel that perhaps they have had enough. Some people can go or longer than others, so I agree that it’s all a personal preference. I find travel for me works best in small bursts so from 6 to 8 months at a time, then I need a break before starting over.

KevinN G

good points, great attitude. the ‘hard-core’ travelers who are always bragging about the hardships they have endured, trying to “one-up” every one else in earshot get sooo tiresome -as if you are not human if you haven’t been shot at, arrested, held in a Communist jail cell, had a shark take a piece of your leg, stayed up for 84 hours straight on a train.. gone 3 weeks without food or water, had dysentery, malaria, yellow fever, typhoid fever, etc., etc. yayayadadadadada boring..

NomadicMatt

Wow! I haven’t done any of that. I really need to up my travel game! New travel goals, maybe? :)

Di

I love this post! I have always wondered what my life would have been like if I hadn’t taken the job I am currently in and had gone off to travel the world instead. However there is nothing stopping me from making the most of my three weeks leave a year to visit some place new!

Caroline

I really love this post and its certainly struck a chord with me. I’ve been home for 2 months after being away 10 months, I came home 2 months early as I just felt it was time. Seeing all my traveller friends face books I feel like a loser sometimes because I’m at home and maybe I failed. But you’re right I never failed! I just ended a great experience and there’s no shame in that. I just needed to re-charge my batteries and get back out there.

Great post Matt!!
I think the most important thing is that people do what makes them happy.
Some try to stay on the road as long as possible but you’re right when you say it’s not failing if you decide to go home early. We went home for 2 months to visit friends and family after being on the road for 16 months. It was nice to see familiar faces and then head back out again.

This is a really great post Matt. I’ve been reading travel blogs and did a one month travel to Europe a few months ago. But I just took a vacation leave from work to do that and I was happy to be back home and find my job waiting for me with open arms.

I’ve read lots of travel blogs saying that we “regular folk” are boring and that we suck because we still keep up with our routinary lifestyle– wake up in the morning, go to work, go home, then do it all over again the next day. They keep saying, “Ditch that 9 to 5 and pack up your bags and go.” I know travel can be fun. Travel is a great learning experience and I have benefited a lot from a month’s travel. But not all people can just up and leave. A lot of us “regular folk” have parents or siblings to support, loans to pay, or health issues that have to be dealt with. And there are also a lot of us who feel safe and secure seeing that monthly, consistent paycheck come our way from “regular jobs.”

I admire these bloggers and I admire how they’ve constantly adapted to their ever changing environments. But we who go home or don’t opt for a life on the road are not less of a person than they are.

The only failure is not learning from traveling and being selfish with all that travel knowledge and bragging about it instead like you’ve conquered the world or something.

Kim

I agree and I’m glad you said it. When I left to travel I figured, well, if I hate it at least I’ve learned one more lesson about what I don’t like. Going home isn’t a failure… the most important thing is that you give it a shot no matter the outcome.

this is a great post! I think these words are familiar to us all!

My boyfriend and I are teachers and travel on breaks. The last two summers have been road trips of 54 and 45 days. This summer went from 52 to 45. We were tired and just wanted to go home. Some told us we were crazy. We told them they had no idea!

Brian Evidente

Thanks for this post Matt. Most of the posts I’ve read from you and other nomadic travellers are about the how to’s – how to save, how to work overseas, etc. This shows us that if you guys can do it, so can we. But this post, teaches us why we should do it in the first place. Why we should take a leap of faith and not be afraid of failing or of the what ifs. Very inspiring. Thanks again.

Lisa

I am in this position right now, i am currently in Australia but really want to go home, i have been here just under 2 months (not long i know) and i have a years visa, i have done bits, but want to do more, but i am not getting excited by the prospect of it as all i keep thinking about is going home, i do feel like i am failing, and often ask myself what is wrong with me, i have worked so hard to get here…!

i feel like i am stuck between a rock and a hard place.

i know i want to and will do more travelling but maybe not for such a long scary timescale!

am i not giving it long enough to get adjusted and keep going, or seriously look at heading back a more than likely very cold UK.

thanks for any comments anyone has. :)

Nova Girl

I know how that feels Lisa. I have been in Canada for five months and all I can think about is missing family and my old job and work colleagues, even though I know they are not thinking of me and have their own lives….. It sucks big time, I love being in Canada, despite how some things have worked out for me. I moved here for a man I loved deeply and this has not worked out, but I am now torn between staying here with beautiful scenery and friendly people and moving back to the cold grey skies of England…. All I have in England is my parents/family and a half decent job. I am sure I could find a decent job here if I wanted to, but every time I look into this my heart is not in it….I don’t want to give up on my dream and know if I really tried it could work, it is just getting myself thinking positive….so hard, so homesick!

Nova girl

My story is similar, but with a few differences. I had traveled to Canada several times, on tours and by myself for ten years. I met a man on one of those tours whom I liked a lot and we kept in touch. Anyway, I took a year off from my job in the UK in April 2013 to come and live in Canada, as I had a visa and wanted to try living here. I also wanted to give the man I met a chance and see if things could work out between us living in the same place. I cared about him deeply and wanted to see if things could work between us. Anyway, long story short, Two months into moving here he rejected me and told me to get out of his life and no longer talks, texts or emails me – all because I told him I had feelings for him and cared about him…..he just wanted fun…I was devestated and it hurt so much, still does a little. I am still in Canada three months on from this, but am considering going home. I love the scenery, being near the ocean, lakes and the friendliness of the people, but don’t like the job or working here, as things are so different. Also being all alone 3000 miles away from family is so very hard.

I have a job and home to go back to, but am so torn between both places. Home is not nearly as beautiful as where I currently am, in terms of scenery and the people are not as friendly. Both places have pros and cons, I know I will miss this place, if I go home for good, but I have a good job and home to go back to. I am going back at Christmas to clear my head and try and decide what is best for me. I love Canada and feel like I would be a failure if I did not continue living here and would lose the visa I worked very hard to get, but I miss my family, old job and people I worked with. I know I have been very lucky to have this opportunity and I am so very grateful for all the experiences, but am stuck now. Don’t want to lose my visa, but don’t like the job or working over here either. I enjoyed my old job, and I know it is sad, but I keep hoping I can work things out with the man I care about. I wish I could have the best of both worlds……..

Georgia

I recently made the decision to go to go to Australia for 6 months with my friend to work and travel. We’re living in Central Sydney and not doing backpacking but it’s two weeks in a I’m incredibly homesick and I want to go home to my family and normality. I’ve been told to give it until January but I’m not sure if I can handle staying for that long because I just want to leave and go home. Am I weak because I want to go home so early in my trip? Any advice would be appreciated

NomadicMatt

Have you made an effort to make friends, see the city, go out, do stuff? I often find that when you get homesick, you just sort of shut off and don’t do anything, which only perpetuates the feeling.

If you have made an effort to go out and get friends and build a life in Sydney and still feel this way, maybe you should give some thought to going home.

B

I have been in Australia for just under two months now and have been travelling 6 weeks prior to getting here in SE Asia. I previously applied for a WHV which expired back in 2011, so I actually made it down under at my second attempt…Now I am here however I don’t feel I have taken to Australia and want to go home. people would think its mad to go back to the cold in UK, but home would always be home I guess. I’m not giving up yet and trying to push till January, but each time I find my self constantly thinking about going home. I have loved every moment of my time while travelling and maybe its just something I needed to get out my system. I think I have learnt that I appreciate smaller trips greater. But on the other hand its only been around three months?! I planned to stay till at least June 2014. I always thought that if I didn’t enjoy it I would continue travelling and go to another country, but now I don’t feel I have the same enthusiasm and home is where feel like going.

Clare

Thank you for this post.

I live your posts ans have been reading them since i decided fo travel 18months ago. Since then i have made some major sacrifices to be able to travel an and d am now 2 weeks into a 4 month trip and not enjoying myself at all.

I am travelling alone and am missing my home, friends, family and boyfriend morr than i thought iimaginable. I have felt like a failure for.feeling this way but thank you for an honest post which has shown me that if I do go.home early I have not faile not for me. It will also but learnt that solo travel is

Karl

Great post.
I saved for a year and a half to travel SE Asja solo for about six months. I’m still here, three weeks in and have just been dealt a major blow in learning that I must return home as I want to go to law school in Sep 2014, and I am required to attend interviews and preliminary exams in February.
I was worried (and still a little am) in explaining to everyone at home why I’ve come home so early after saving for so long and looking like I’ve “failed” but in my heart of hearts I know that it’s not the end of the world. Yes there are issues still worrying me like finding employment for the interim, and I’ll obviously still have a lot of my travel fund left over this helps too.
In a way I’m a little relieved too, I admit these initial weeks I’ve struggled with being on my own, but you know what – I KNOW that about myself now, and for future travelling it’s a lesson learned.

Great post. Travel is personal and when I did my year trip away although I did and still love travelling I was glad to be going home after 12months as you realise that sometimes you miss not seeing things staying the same.

Jane

In a nut shell – you have a great way with words :) love this

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