I miss home. I’ve always, always struggled with travel, ever since I can remember. I was always the kid on residential trips crying because she missed her family. It has got better over the years, especially on trips like Budapest where I’m surrounded by people I know in a beautiful city. But there are always moments, like right now, where my chest aches and I just want to go home.
Depersonalisation makes homesickness so much worse. Feeling detached from your own body and mind is confusing enough, but being in a strange place with new smells and unfamiliar voices makes your brain an echo chamber. I’ve felt it pressing down on my head, making my mind drift and float around me for about a week now. Before then, I felt its smug hum gently blurring the edges of reality for weeks. And it’s so exhausting.
All I want right now is to be in my own bed. I want to look around the room and see my things, feel the soft Primark pillows I keep next to my head at night, and listen to my own music. But anxiety forced me to leave my laptop behind, out of fear my suitcase would be over the weight limit (it was way, way under. Oh well). I want to be able to go outside and smell the freshness of the night, have the cold air act like my gravity, pulling my brain down again. I even slightly miss the smell of cheap meat and stale pot that radiates from my street.
But I’m here, in Portugal. I have my step-mum and my sister here. I have a little snug I can escape to when it all gets too much, and their familiar voices to listen to when it feels like I’m not here (which, right now, is all the time). I spent Wednesday night staring blankly at my things, trying to decipher what things I needed on this holiday, as if it was some sort of enigma. But I have my things, they are spilling out of my suitcase. I have the warm weather to soften the haze and make sleeping that bit easier. I have pretty beaches to photograph, because I know I won’t remember going to them later. I have a pool to dip in to shock me back to reality for a second, and slightly temperamental Wi-Fi, so I can message my boyfriend when I miss him (also basically all the time).
I miss home, but I’ll be okay.