So the title is actually the name of an AFI song which came on in the car while I was driving today but I thought it was quite fitting as I am feeling a lot better today. Today was one of those days that made me remember why I travel, one of those days that reminds you that the temporary missing of home and friends and family is all worth it. I will get to today in a moment, first of all I will let you know what has been going on the last few days. San Francisco ended amazingly! I have actually had the best last few days. Our room-mate in our hostel was an awesome girl from Bombay who was with her work mates for a conference. They came to America for a couple of days before the conference to have a bit of fun before starting work. We ended up partying with these guys and they were such good fun! It is great for me as well because I am planning to head to India in 2017 (yes, I have already planned my travel for the next two years) and it will be amazing to have local tour guides.This another of my favourite things about travelling, meeting new people, keeping in contact with them and then finally somewhere down the track meeting up again. I have met so many amazing people and I will definitely be making that a separate post as I have so many great stories. Yesterday we left San Francisco and headed to Yosemite National Park where we stayed for the night. The room cost $300 for the night but it was the most delightful little cottage in the woods with a fireplace, so we didn’t mind forking out the extra money, especially because we’ve been in hostels for most of the trip. This morning we set off to Tonopah in Nevada and to get to it we basically had to drive through the very middle of Yosemite. Cue the most scenic and breath-taking drive I have ever witnessed. While I was living in London, I did a week of driving through Scotland, sleeping in a Wicked Van. It was one of the best and most relaxing weeks of my life and the scenery was unlike anything I had ever seen. I honestly thought I was never going to see anything that would top Scotland and today I did!! It went from beautiful cliffs and lush green forest and then as we elevated to 9946 feet above sea level, suddenly we were surrounded by snow-capped mountains and there was snow on the ground. It was a little unexpected and we were caught off guard clothing wise, getting out to take photos in a short skirt and t-shirt was a fun time. After coming out of Yosemite, the landscape became an odd mix between forests and mountains and desert as we inched closer to Nevada. Both Kristy and I had read about a town in Nevada that had motel that was clown themed and also had a really old cemetery next to it. I am incredibly scared of clowns so logically, I thought it was a great idea to head to Tonopah and check the Clown Motel out. Tonopah is exactly what comes to mind when I think small town in the middle of the Nevada Desert. To be completely honest, it creeped me out a little but this is a result of watching way too many horror movies set in the middle of nowhere in America (The Hills Have Eyes anyone?) Then the scenery changed to very long, straight roads with nothing much around and homes with way too many old, beaten up vehicles in the yards. Eventually after an incredibly long but fantastic drive, we could see the Vegas lights glowing in the distance, and for the second time in my life I drove into the craziness that is the Las Vegas strip. I came to Vegas in 2013 and that trip was the catalyst to massive changes in my life. I am a different person to who I was last time I was here and it is weird to be back here after everything that has happened (I will explain this in a separate post as it is a whole saga in itself) I am very excited though as I will partying here for my birthday, if it is half as eventful as my last trip, I will have the most amazing time. Birthday week is my favourite week of the year!!
I am homesick. I am desperately, ridiculously, pathetically homesick. I miss my sister, I miss my bed and I miss work. How sad is that? Let’s back it up a little though, so you can get an idea of why this is especially embarrassing, I am only on a two month trip. It was supposed to be a three month trip but I have already cut it short by a month and now all I want, is to be at home.
At the moment I am in San Fransisco, which is amazing! Such a vibrant, beautiful city with so many things to do and see and here I am, after a month away from home, having panic attacks and crying in the shower because I miss home. So why is this happening and what can I do to combat it? Because I am determined to enjoy myself and not let anxiety and homesickness get on top of me.
Let’s back it up again and I will tell you whats been going on with me and how I got to this point to give a little bit of context. This is not my first overseas trip, I actually lived in London for twelve months, travelled through Europe and have done two and a half months around South East Asia. The massive difference is, those trips were done with my boyfriend and this is my first ever trip single. It has been a bit of an adjustment for me as we travelled so much together and travelled incredibly well together. Travelling with a friend is different, at the end of the day you go to bed alone instead of squishing into the same bunk until he decides its time to go up to his. Annoying habits are much more noticeable because you aren’t in love with your friend.
In the December of 2013, after 6 and a half years together, I made the incredibly difficult decision to end my relationship. This was the man I thought I was going to be with forever and who I still think of as my best friend and soul mate but we had grown apart. For now lets not open that black hole of emotions because that is a large explanation all in itself and I am sure I will eventually lay it out, when I am ready. This trip was something I wanted to do, I wanted to go off without him and had been planning it since my return from America in November. I had been bitten hard by the travel bug and wanted to travel a lot. This was part of the reason the break up happened. We wanted different things, he wanted to be responsible with a house and I wanted to be able to flit off whenever. I dreamed of a travelling gypsy life. The problem was because I had to move towns, get a new job and learn to live on only one wage after years of living off two, I couldn’t afford to travel until April of this year.
So while I waited for it to be time to come on this trip, I got used to my life in Brisbane, actually I didn’t just get used to it, I came to love it. My sister and I were always close but me being single has meant I now spend all of my time with her and we have gotten even closer and for the first time ever I actually love my job! I have started to think about career progression and decided I want to buy myself an apartment in a few years. Low and behold, I was wanting to settle and no longer wanted the gypsy life style. My original plan was to quit my job and travel america for six months but the love of my life in Brisbane made me decided to cut it to three and work were nice enough to let me have three months off.
I still very much wanted to go on this trip though, especially because I am having an incredibly hard time getting over my ex and moving on, so I hoped this trip would help in that. When it came time to leave though, I got very down about being away from home for so long, I wished my ex was coming with me and wished my sister was coming with me but I was still excited.
Now I am a month into the trip and I feel like I have spent a fair bit of it anxious and homesick. My travel buddy and I have also had a few set backs, she got the flu in LA, we hated our hotel in Cancun and got a bit of Mexico belly. We then had our drinks spiked in Mexico city and I spent three days with very, very bad food poisoning in San Diego. I know I am being a sook but I know that I would have come through these bad situations a little better, if I had someone to provide love and affection. I am trying very hard to be the strong, single, independent woman but there is only so much a person can take. Couple all of this with the fact that I have suffered from depression since my teenage years and quite bad anxiety since the break up which I take anti depressants for.
So what am I going to do about it? How am I going to not let my anxiety and homesickness get on top of me and ruin my trip? The first thing I have had to deal with is missing my ex and the constant sadness that he isn’t here. I was driving myself absolutely mental thinking about him, thinking about our break up and pining for him. Can I just add that although we have been broken up for almost a year and a half we still see each other quite a lot and have sex (yes I know how self-destructive that is, trust me) and in the week leading up to me leaving we actually spent a massive amount of time together. So although its been a long time since we were a couple, the feelings of leaving him are still very fresh and raw. So to stop driving myself completely insane with the grief of him not being here, I have adopted the Eat, Pray, Love method. This being that every time I think of him and my mind starts to wander and I miss him, I repeat to myself; miss him, send him love, move on. I repeat this in my head this until I think it is safe to stop.
In regards to the homesickness, I am not really sure what to do. At the moment I am simply taking it one day at a time. I wake up, do the days activity and before I know it I am one day closer to going home. I also talk to my sister all day, every day, I got myself an American sim so no matter where I am, I can Facebook message her. When I am lonely and bored, I write in my travel journal and load my photos onto my computer and Facebook. I am going to Skype my mum and FaceTime my sister. I am also going to use writing as a way to cope. When I am feeling super anxious or down, I am going to write about my feelings. The most important thing I am going to do is not beat myself up. I will stop being annoyed at myself for feeling this way, being annoyed at myself only makes me anxious and then I ended up anxious about being anxious. I am just going to keep going and before I know it, it will be time for me to head home and I will be sad about that and wish I had longer. I can do this, I have made it through one of the most emotional periods in my life and come out the other side. I have spent a year away from my family and friends, 16,000 kilometres away from home in another county ,so I can spend another month travelling around America. I also keep thinking to myself, as the meme goes “If Britney can get through 2007, I can get through this day” or month in my case.