Traveling is awesome! Can I go home now?

Multicolored Breakdance sign - Pushkar Camel Festival, India
Breakdance sign at Pushkar Festival amusement park | Photo by Lauren Girardin

I didn’t expect to be homesick. Not at all. How could I be homesick when I am distracted by new experiences, tastes, and people every day? Yet, every day I think about how much I’d like to be back in San Francisco and be done with traveling. I’d even settle for a quick two week break at home – just to swap my well-worn clothes for new, take a hot shower with adequate water pressure, and see my friends and family. And don’t get me started about super burritos or Eric Kent wine.

I’ve never been homesick before, not while in college at NYU, not after moving out to San Francisco with Todd ten years ago. Now, here in India – a country I love – homesickness has become an obsession. I constantly think about what I miss, who I miss, and what I’ll do when I get home. The Pushkar Camel Festival is one of the most exotic, unrestrained, and straight-out fun places I’ve been in my life – how can I want to be anywhere else?

When you let a kid take the picture - Sunset Point, Pushkar, India
With Faye and Eddie at the Sunset Point | Photo taken by BJ, a young kid

I reveal all this and more to Faye while we both swing from hammocks strung up in a rooftop restaurant in Pushkar. Todd and I met Faye and her boyfriend, Eddie, a few days ago while waiting for the bus to take us all to Pushkar. Since then, we’ve gotten together for dinner and conversation each night, and spent hours sprawling at the Sunset Point, drinking chai and gazing out at the camel multitudes.

Faye is not just an empathetic listener – having traveled long-term herself, she has personal stories and the cred to go with them to reassure me that homesickness is a hump I’ll get over. When I ask her what other fun mind-fucks I should be prepared for, she tells me about the awkward first time hanging out with friends who haven’t extensively traveled themselves, and also the immediate desire to pack up again as soon as you get home.

Perhaps it’s an illusion created by the hypnotic swing of the hammock or the lulling exhaustion of the mid-day desert heat, but after talking to Faye, I have a feeling I will make it through the rest of my trip around the world.