Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Homesick

Just as Australia was sinking under the horizon behind me and the stars were starting to pierce the night sky, my spirits took a dive down into the deep dark pit of utmost misery. I was a wreck. I felt what I never expected to.

I was homesick.

I was stunned. I couldn't explain it, it made no sense. Why would I miss a place I don't even call home, a place I've only been wanting to get as far away as possible of for as long as I can remember.

I skimmed Christchurch quickly on the surface. It's not a bad place at all, but I was tired beyond description, dazed and confused, jetlagged and on a tight schedule.

But most importantly, I was bonjovied out of the city. Bloody Bon Jovi was in town, so every single hostel was tightly packed. Not a single bed available. I had no time to recover and no choice but to move on. Was lucky to get a relo* to Queenstown, which secured me transport and accommodation for the next days. Slept the first decent night's sleep in a long, long, long time, ironically, in a car. And a bad one for sleeping in, come that.

But I got half my mind back and managed to understand my unexplainable homesickness. For the past 16 days I had not had many a chance of sleeping more than 6 hours in a row, and that was in cars, overnight buses, a boat and 4 different hostels. I had been diving, snorkelling, hiking, walking, climbing, drinking heavily, surfing and kayaking, and repeatedly stressed out of my mind.

I was knuckered. Dead tired. I got to the point where I could no longer understand: why am I doing this to myself?

It's no great mystery then that my subconscious conjured up images of home, a place where you always have a bed on which to rest as much as you need, where you don't have to worry and plan constantly, where a day spent on not doing anything much doesn't feel like a day lost. And sure, a place where the comfort and protection of your family is close at hand.

I understood what I needed, so I made up my mind, lowered gear, revved up the engine, veered and swished over the winding roads all the way home.

For a few days, my home was Queenstown, New Zealand.

*relo=relocation deal. When a car rental company needs to move a car to another depot, they rent it at a much lower rate, usually ridiculously cheap. Not in this particular case though.

3 comments:

Yiyi said...

Truman, dear Truman,

If you read through the pages of La nausée you will see some of this.
You may do great things in your life like travelling, or whatever, but after you have done that, then what? for what?

I mean, it is fun, it is something that stress you out, but it is sth that happens at some point of your life and then is gone. What it is important is not what you do but what you have left after you have done sth. This is why I do not love travelling as much as I used to, and I guess sth similar will happen to you someday, because travelling sometimes is seeing but not understanding, neither feeling. I do not like seeing. Well, I do, but not as mucha as knowing. And you, my little padawan Capote, I believe you are kind the same about it. Now, you are experiencing ¿? but you will ask more of life.

Wow, you may think some of this is crap, but it is normal to feel homesick under the unconfortable circunstamces you must be living - I am sure of that, I know you a little -; though I am also sure it will not last for long in you, you will be busy having fun.

By the way, have fun!
See you probably sooner than you would like.
Epa!

maw said...

How does it feel
When you're on your own,

When wherever you lay your hat is your home?

Bruti said...

Hey my friend Daniel,
here is Tobias, no wonder about my name.
yiyi got a right point which I will probably experience after finishing my work in Cairns and Perth.
Traveling is fun, meeting new people is fun, making pictures of nearly everything you can't touch, reach or keep - to have memories of what you have seen. And it is useful at all - seeing so many new things you never thought of. Things which keep you curious what is so important and necessary in life.
I work and travel through OZ, actually have a place I call home at the moment. work stresses me out now, but I have a base to stay - my place, 4 walls, one bed for me. but forever? never. Some people want to keep traveling for a couple of years - through Asia, America...
I have seen the same places like you - Whitsundays, Fraser Island - and I started asking myself how things work - scientific questions, basic question. no one really can answer. even myself has no time to do so. I will - back home.
In this context my favorite quotation:
"You can understand life by looking backwards; but you have to live it by looking forwards!"