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50 Reasons Why It Might Be Time To Go Home

Written by 16 February 2014 14 Comments

I love to travel, so please don’t let the title of this post make you think otherwise! But if you’re a traveller who tends to take fatty chunks of time off to live the life of a backpacking nomad, you’ll understand that sometimes it can get to the point where you can feel, in your gut, that it is just time to go home. And hey, that’s ok! I remember after 8 months on the road and living out of a backpack, I felt it was time to head home as I was just needing a break from always being on the move. Everyone needs to sometimes get immersed back into ‘reality’ in order for the next trip to be even more special and awesome. So here’s some little clues that might mean that its time to take a short break from trawling the world.

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You can’t remember what it feels like to feel carpet under your bare feet

You struggle to remember what your mum’s face looks like.

Your backpack has begun to fuse to your shoulders.

You daydream about drinking water from the tap.

You wish that you didn’t have to always worry about that bloody important pesky book… that little thing called your passport.

You miss family and friends (simple).

Your hair has begun to dreadlock together, and there ain’t nothing you can do to stop it!

You’ve forgotten that body moisturiser exists. Only sunscreen goes on your skin.

You miss cooking for yourself in a nice kitchen (without a billion other travellers hustling for the stove).

You miss being able to spud out and watch TV programmes in your own language.


You miss the chocolate of your home country (Aussie chocolate just doesn’t measure up to English Dairy Milk!).

You miss your local corner shop which doesn’t require bartering.

You’re weighed down by the travel momentos that now take up 80% of your backpack.

You’ve smooched every boy in every hostel.

You’re name is known to every fruit shake stall in a 5 mile radius of your hostel.

You’re now palming off souvenirs that you’ve accumulated for friends at home as ‘gifts’ to friends you’ve made on the road.

Your stomach turns and your taste buds yawn when you’re faced with yet another bowl of rice/noodles.

You get ridiculously emotional when you hear another backpacker speaking with the same accent as you.

You get so excited you nearly pass out when you meet someone from the same hometown as you.

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You plot to suffocate every snorer in your dorm room.

You’ve given up haggling and taken up a dead zombie-like stare when given an expensive price.

Your heels have hardened to a cardboard-like consistency from constant flip-flop and sandal wearing.

You’ve begun to be disinterested in beautiful temples as it’s the 700th one you’ve seen. Today.

You’ve begun regarding 5 people on one scooter as normal.

Your overused sarong has become see-through thin and has lost all colour from its multi-purpose uses.

You’re blind to elephants and cows wondering on the road. They are just more traffic.

You beep constantly whilst on your scooter. Even if there’s no-one on the road.

You don’t understand the word ‘lipstick’. Or ‘foundation’. And have begun using your eyeliner as a pen.

Your travel diary has begun to say “same as yesterday. Except it rained”.

You look through your photographs and cannot differentiate one beach from the 30th – Where was it?? And when??

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You’ve lost the will to try and buy anything new as bartering has worn you out before it’s even begun.

You pretentiously scorn any pasty white ‘fresh-off-the-plane’ traveller. O they have so much to learn!

Your mouth is so burnt from pineapple acidic juice that your face folds in on itself from the thought of another bite.

You consider it normal that you’ve only had to make three impromptu toilet dashes that day.

You’ve begun to take up daredevil motorbike stunts as you feel so experienced and king of the road.

You automatically assume that whenever a journey is said to take “about 5 hours”, you’ll be there in just over 24 hours.

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You’ve got joyously lost in memories of the feeling of ‘cold and crisp’ air from winter in your home country.

You have forgotten how a mobile phone works. It now seems like witch craft.

You believe that your friends and family actually live inside the computer in a crazy world called Skype.

Your handwriting on postcards has now degenerated to symbols, maps and half-hearted sketches of people you met/things you’ve seen.

Your bank account is looking very concerning despite numerous extensions on your overdraft/credit limit.

You have a tab at your local bar but now fear you’ll have to work there for 10 years to pay it off.

You’ve given up on mixing and matching the few clothes in your backpack, and now wear the same top and same shorts. And some days, you wear them inside-out to add some variation.

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You believe that every boy wearing an ‘Om’ necklace has found enlightenment.

You’ve forgotten how to walk in heels (SHOCK HORROR! Get home immediately!).

You scream if someone tries to talk about the books The Beach or Shanteram to you.

Your meaning of 5pm isn’t ‘the end of the working day’, but time to get that mozzie repellent on.

Your bikini has become see-through and has lost all elasticity.

You cannot comprehend the thought of a coat or mittens.

You weep at the thought of going home… but you’re not sure if it’s from sheer relief to be homeward bound, or sadness that the trip is over.

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All photographs taken by Sophie Saint

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  • Teri said:

    “You’ve forgotten how to walk in heels.” Lol

  • Stephanie said:

    Very very very true! I especially love the ones about 5 people on a scooter being perfectly normal (I saw 8 once in Vietnam and there was usually an amimal or tow on there as well!) and the one about 5pm being mozzie repellent time.

    Oh Asia, how I miss you!

  • Georgina said:

    Maybe it’s not that you need to go home it’s to change how you travel. All this talk of flipflops and not knowing what a coat is? You seem to be talking about just travel in South America, South East Asia, Australia or other popular backpacker destinations.

    Well I am wrapped up in about 100 layers of clothes write now as I tackle the mountains of Japan. Maybe try some other more western countries or spice up your travel or activities. The world is huge, there is a never ending array to explore.

  • Amber said:

    It is timely to see this today, as I just wrote about being a Traveler Not Traveling, is a Traveler in Doubt – Can I call myself a traveler if I a too tired to continue traveling? Many of these are spot on for me too!

  • Uli said:

    I haven’t even started my trip but let’s see if I feel like that by the end :)

  • Bekah said:

    Ha ha very true you cannot beat English Dairy Milk! And yes last time I returned from a long trip I couldn’t walk in heels, but I’d rather live my life in flip flops any way :-)

  • Sophie said:

    Haha I remember a friend sent me UK chocolate in the post… it was a melted mass of goo by the time I opened it in Melbourne! :( still tasted great though ;)

  • Sophie said:

    Of course! I swear everyone needs a bit of home-time now and then. We’ll retain the traveling spirit even if we’re momentarily stationary, gathering our bearings. … Then we’ll get bored and be desperate to travel again! Haha :)

  • Sophie said:

    Haha, of course I’m writing this on reflection of that 8 month backpacking trip that i mentioned in the intro. That happened to be a lot of traveling in HOT countries so that’s why this post is focusing a lot on that… maybe I shouldve put a note in: “for those traveling in icy conditions, maybe you’ve forgotten what it feels like to feel sand between your toes…”
    And also, I mention in the intro that you need some home time every now and then. Not go home and end traveling for good! Now that’s just insanity! :)

  • Sophie said:

    Ouch I thought I was the only one who freaked at 5pm! It was like I could feel them all coming for me haha. Yeah, I once saw many pigs strapped on a scooter in Vietnam – with kids sitting on top of them! crazy crazy awesome asia :)

  • Karisa - KarisAbroad said:

    Haha this actually makes me want to go traveling again!!

  • Neela said:

    I loved this article! It’s so true :)
    I travelled for 8 month in Australia and Southeast Asia and going home in one week..
    I know that same same feeling.
    I love travelling so much but after a time you don’t the beauty anymore. Everything got normal!
    Great article!!

  • Hannah Wasielewski said:

    I agree, when you go on a long backpacking trip, nothing is exciting to you anymore. I went on a month-long trip through Argentina, Chile and Uruguay, with Montevideo being my last stop. by the time I got there, I didn’t even care about the city nor want to explore it, it was just another city to me. Lots of people tell me they like Montevideo, but I think it was just the situation I was in. When you stop caring about the new things around you, it’s definitely time to go home!

  • Cha said:

    I recently decided to go back home after 1.5 years in this wonderful country called Australia. And as I was feeling like going back home was sort of a failure, I now understand it’s just what I truly and deeply need and want :-) I’m not ashamed to admit that I miss my family a lot, that I’m fed up with packing/unpacking every 2 months, that I can’t stand wearing flip flops 27/7 and so many other things. So thank you for this article, I feel more sure than ever that it’s time for me to go home. And that it IS okay :-)

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