Here at TNT Towers we love travel. It’s our middle name.
Or perhaps it’s the third part of our first name, we get confused.
Either way we love travel. But despite our undying love for all things hobo, we’ve got a little secret to share with you.
Sssshhhh… please don’t tell anyone (it’s bad for our rep). Here it comes… Sometimes… just sometimes… travelling sucks.
There. Said it.
We’ve all seen them. Those magical pictures that people post on Facebook to show off all the amazing places they’ve been.
The problem with the photos is that they only show half the story.
People don’t, for some unknown reason, upload pics of themselves when they are teary-eyed in the toilet or scrunched up at the back of a bus.
It’s normal to struggle when you’re trying to find your feet in a new country and getting used to living out of a backpack.
Just remember you’re not a freak for feeling miserable and homesick from time to time (you are only a freak for all those other freaky things you do. We’ve seen the things you like
to do with that snorkel mask…).
But hopefully, even if there are difficult times, you will look back on your travels with fond memories.
We don’t profess to know it all, but we have learnt some stuff from our travels. So here are eight tips that could help if you are finding travelling a bit tough:
1. Talk the talk
The first thing to realise is that you’re not alone. Everyone gets a little homesick at some point, it’s completely natural. Chances are you are not the only person feeling isolated, vulnerable and a little lonely. Make an effort to talk to other travellers; strangers can become best friends almost overnight. Other people may be looking for a bud just like you
(or at least will settle for you).
Surrounding yourself with others gives you less time to think about home. Discover other people’s problems and stress about them instead. Or laugh at them because they are stupid problems compared to your big dilemma: whether to stop in Brisbane or go straight to Fraser Island.
If you’re seriously tempted to jump on the next plane home just stop, hammertime… and think about the reality of leaving.
What would you do when you got home? It’s likely it would be boring compared to what you’ve doing now.
For most, bungy jumping is more interesting than watching the Coronation Street omnibus.
Phoning home can help. Chances are you’ll realise no one there has done anything exciting for four months.
Want to go back to that already?!
3. Face it
Use Facebook to your advantage. Whilst it can be a great way to stay in contact with loved-ones back home, overuse it at your peril. Well the peril of your travels anyway. When you are feeling down, don’t spend too long looking at what you are missing out on back home, eg. parties, lovers, friends. It can make you feel more depressed – especially if none of the bastards are keeping in touch.
But Facebook is not entirely evil and can be used to make you feel better. For example, looking at those boring family gatherings can remind you why you left the country in the first place. We promise: you’re having a much better time than they are.
Also by looking at past photos you can remember the good times you’ve had travelling. Either way – just use the mighty Facebook in moderation.
4. Special lover
Have you left someone special back home? Did you leave someone who you didn’t think was special, but now you’re away you do? Don’t fret because technology is now your new lover and can connect you with your old lover, or find you a better lover. Skype is there for cyber sex and don’t you ever forget it.
Also, call your mates sometimes. They (probably) can’t call you, so give them a bell and catch up, reminisce, swap a few jokes. Remind yourself there are people who care about and miss you. Works for us, anyway.
5. You are what you eat
(Well sometimes – if you are eating a banana). Comfort eating might be exactly what you feel like doing when you have no friends, no money and no plans, but stop it right now!
You need to drink water and eat veggies. Perhaps head to a local pub and get a roast dinner in ya as you probably haven’t had one since you left home.
See, getting fat is not a good way to make friends, so make sure you keep active. If you feel homesick, get out in the fresh air everyday. Whether it’s a gentle stroll or romp, these activities release endorphins that make you feel goooood. And feeling good is what the game of life is all about.
6. Misery Guts
Whilst you may feel down in the dumps try not to spread your misery like you’d spread butter on your toast. Phoning your parents in the middle of the night wailing about the awful time you are having is not good. But having said that make sure you keep in contact with the people you love back home. Not only will they make you feel more secure but they can tell you how shitty the weather is.
When you’re in a more positive frame of mind, send a group email/update your website and you’ll start getting emails back. That’s nice that is. Or send some postcards (remember them?). People like postcards.
7. Music is food for the soul
It’s nutritious, delicious and calorie free. Although it may not be the most sociable thing to do in the world, listening to your MP3 player can make you feel more cheery. If you sing really loud people might laugh at you and then you can strike up a conversation.
It’s easy to spot music geeks because they look emo-like and may tut their head if you are listening to Britney.
8. Go flashpacking
Maybe you’re just a little road-weary? Especially if you’ve been haring up the coast for weeks.
Stop for a while, “chillax” and get some good sleep.
Maybe splash out for one night somewhere lovely. A dorm is not always the best place to be if you are feeling tired, homesick and dirty. A good night’s sleep in your own room with your own toilet (oooooh yeah) might be just what you need to get back to your best. Then rock up to a dorm all clean and sparkly and make some new travel buds.
And if all that doesn’t help you can always pick up the recent issue of TNT – that never fails to put a smile on people’s faces. Trust us. Happy travels y’all 🙂