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Homesickness

k-fun

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Francés (2011), Camino Portugués (2013), Camino St. Jaume (2013)
Last year I walked with my husband and never experienced homesickness. I did meet several solo walkers who were very lonely and missed home. I would like to know if anyone experienced homesickness, what triggered it, and how they overcame it. Did it happen at the start or closer to the end? Were you able to speak about it with other pilgrims or did you keep it to yourself, and why?
 
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Past OR future Camino
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
Toward the end of the 3d month away from home, I began to miss a deep hot bath and my bed.
But before that, I was happy to just walk.
 

SabineP

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
some and then more. see my signature.
I felt the most homesick at those places / albergues were people were the kindest to me...Mainly because their kindness reminded me of the love I get from partner, parents and friends...If that makes sense?
For instance the kind gestures of the hospitalera at Casa Paderborn in Pamplona because that triggered me into thinking about my mother...
The joy and kindness of the hospitalero in Tosantos...
I walked alone but quickly met up with a lovely dutch lady with whom I spent most of the evenings of the first 19 days of my Camino with. We were homesick at different moments and due to different " triggers " but we shared the same kind of humour. We also knew from each other when to give each other space when homesickness " hit " us...
All in all : above all I thouroughly enjoyed the whole Camino!
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
The sight and smell of the eucalyptus on the last couple of days triggered fond memories of walking in the Australian bush. I picked a couple of young, green twigs from a sapling, and pressed them into my Brierley so that I could enjoy the scent a little longer.
 
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2009) Le Puy (2018)
dougfitz said:
The sight and smell of the eucalyptus on the last couple of days triggered fond memories of walking in the Australian bush. I picked a couple of young, green twigs from a sapling, and pressed them into my Brierley so that I could enjoy the scent a little longer.

We enjoyed the exact same sensation with the gum trees. Brought back the feeling of walking in the Dandenong
ranges near Melbourne
Ian
 
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julie

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2019
dougfitz said:
The sight and smell of the eucalyptus on the last couple of days triggered fond memories of walking in the Australian bush.
I treated them to a (not very tuneful) rendition of Advance Australia Fair :D

I know that they're actually a pest and they don't belong in that environment but they are certainly a welcome sight to someone far from home.
 

Nanna Tamara

New Member
I was away from home for 32 days and I didn't miss anything at all. Not once.
Now it could be my natural coldness (being Danish and all) :D, but I think it was just acceptance.

I love my family and I love my friends and there were times when I thought and wished some of them were with me so we could share a certain experience.

I was glad to see them again when I got back home.

BUt otherwise I didn't feel the reason to miss anyone.
 

pelusito

New Member
Im Spanish, not supposed to be cold, and I was never homesick.

I sometimes wished my husband or kids where there also, but not because I missed them, but because I knew they would have loved the experience also, and I enjoy seing them happy.
 

k-fun

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Francés (2011), Camino Portugués (2013), Camino St. Jaume (2013)
Thank you everyone for your honesty. It helps me understand homesickness a bit better.
 
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SabineP

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
some and then more. see my signature.
Pieces said:
I suppose one is only homesick if one is wanting or unhappy...

Don't think so!
You can be very happy in one place, in this case on the Camino, and at the same time have the " desire " to be somewhere else or with someone else .Don't think at all it has to do with " wanting " or with being unhappy.
For me homesickness has more to with melancholy and one can be melancholic without being unhappy!!
Again...I was very happy and content on my Camino but also had my moments of introvert contemplation and a feeling of being homesick/ melancholic.
Again : It's ALL good!!!
 

rwlh1950

Roger
I found that at the of a long day, when I had walked too far in one day I would feel low, but after a meal and a sleep I was back on high again.
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
Pieces said:
I suppose one is only homesick if one is wanting or unhappy...
This might be true inasmuch as one might want to be in familiar company and surroundings, and melancholy that one isn't. I don't know that the causality inferred here is justified.

Regards,
 

nellpilgrim

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
SDC-Fisterra 08/Camino Frances SJPP to SDC 09/Nuremburg-SDC 11- ongoing
I found that we entered a kind of pilgrim time space continuum that seemed to inhibit homesickness as I've previously experienced it (boarding school 7 to 17 years old). As a result I was in a sort of 'Camino bubble' for many of the days, though occasionally I'd see a lovely view, meet up with an interesting/kind person or sample some delicious wine or local product and think "Oh I must tell Stephen about this or he'll love the taste of that" and then get a little shock to realise that I wouldn't be able to do that.
I also lost a sense of linear time-I only knew things happened 'before today' but wouldn't have a clue as to how long ago or in what sequence events occurred (pilgrims must make really bad witnesses!) There was an up side to this non linear jumbled chronology as sometimes I'd feel as if I'd only left home a day or so ago.
Stephen arranged to go SDC to meet me at the end of my CF and the thought of that certainly helped me over the last 100km as I was a bit of a wreck (just grubby and tired) at that point.
If I'm honest in the last 4 days my focus wasn't only on paying my respects to Santiago..... I was a more than a bit giddy at the prospect of seeing Stephen (and the clean clothes he was bringing for me :oops:) So while I didn't pine for home in the usual sense of homesickness I was definitely 'home happy' at the prospect of reconnecting with my family and home after 5 weeks on the road.
 
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SabineP

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
some and then more. see my signature.
Thnak you Dougfitz and Nell for writing so eloquently ( sp? ). Exactly what I meant to write down but sometimes my lack of english gets in the way of explaining myself correctly.
 

Stephen Nicholls

Steve Nicholls, Suffolk, U.K.
Past OR future Camino
Too many caminos to list in the permitted 100 characters!!
SabineP said:
Thnak you Dougfitz and Nell for writing so eloquently ( sp? ). Exactly what I meant to write down but sometimes my lack of english gets in the way of explaining myself correctly.
Your English is fine! Funnily enough, when I was on the Camino Portuguese last year I wasn't really homesick, but what I began to miss was English newspapers and English TV. I had no idea what world news had happened and felt somewhat isolated in that respect.
I speak some Spanish and got by perfectly well ... but missed hearing my native tongue! Of course many of the fellow peregrinos I met spoke to me in English - and amongst themselves in English when they were of different nationalities. I met only two other English peregrinos on the entire trip.
What Nell says is so true, and so well said. One seems to go into another world when on the camino. Talking of which I'd better pack, as I'm off at the end of next week on the Via de la Plata!
Buen camino!
Stephen
http://www.calig.co.uk/camino_de_santiago.htm
 

julie

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2019
nellpilgrim said:
I found that we entered a kind of pilgrim time space continuum that seemed to inhibit homesickness as I've previously experienced ... So while I didn't pine for home in the usual sense of homesickness I was definitely 'home happy' at the prospect of reconnecting with my family and home after 5 weeks on the road.
I now find that I have two lives - one is my pilgrim life and the other my everyday life. Although I try to incorporate the things I've learnt on pilgrimage into my everyday life they feel quite separate. I don't feel homesick when on pilgrimage but must admit that I do feel a yearning for pilgrimage when I'm in the "real" world. I suppose that's inevitable given the limited time spent submerged in the pilgrim life.

The first time I arrived in Santiago I really wished my family were there to meet me but then I realised that they don't belong there. That they would feel out of place. That's not to say that pilgrims' families shouldn't be there, just that it wouldn't suit my particular family.
 

nellpilgrim

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
SDC-Fisterra 08/Camino Frances SJPP to SDC 09/Nuremburg-SDC 11- ongoing
One seems to go into another world when on the camino. Talking of which I'd better pack, as I'm off at the end of next week on the Via de la Plata!
Buen camino!
Stephen
http://www.calig.co.uk/camino_de_santiago.htm

Which neatly raises another challenge to the pilgrim..... 'Camino envy' :mrgreen:! You know that itchy unsettled feeling of being somehow 'left behind' when you read of others setting off. Like being a little kid told to go upstairs just before the party starts?
N
 

Poshlloyd

Member
Past OR future Camino
Sep 2013
Day 4 for me and last night home sickness really kicked in.
I'm away from my girlfriend in everyday life for two nights out of eight for work, so I was incredibly surprised to be in absolute bits last night, after only about 6 nights away.
We spend a lot of time together and I do miss her when I'm not with her, but last night was a new level.
It's starting a bit again this afternoon. I really can't do with this kicking in every afternoon when I stop walking.
 
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christer1

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
none (yet)
Got your email - but we are behind you mate. Give me a quick call on the mobile if you need/want to.

Take care and great going!
 

Carol06

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances (May 2012)
Frances (May 2015) all going well and with my husband this time.
Last year I walked with my husband and never experienced homesickness. I did meet several solo walkers who were very lonely and missed home. I would like to know if anyone experienced homesickness, what triggered it, and how they overcame it. Did it happen at the start or closer to the end? Were you able to speak about it with other pilgrims or did you keep it to yourself, and why?
I was travelling on my own and stayed in Burgos in a hotel for three nights. i became terribly homesick. But the minute I started walking again and back in the albergues I was fine again..
 
P

Pattii

Guest
I suppose one is only homesick if one is wanting or unhappy...
It sounds to me like you are confusing homesickness with loneliness. Big difference. I get homesick all the time. I miss my family and friends. I don't live close to my family at all so I miss family time...miss the humour or someone really knowing me. But I am not a lonely person. I don't feel lonely when I am homesick...I just feel like I want to be nearer my family to share experiences with them. I LOVE being alone...and I am homesick often. I do not consider myself wanting or unhappy.
 
P

Pattii

Guest
Day 4 for me and last night home sickness really kicked in.
I'm away from my girlfriend in everyday life for two nights out of eight for work, so I was incredibly surprised to be in absolute bits last night, after only about 6 nights away.
We spend a lot of time together and I do miss her when I'm not with her, but last night was a new level.
It's starting a bit again this afternoon. I really can't do with this kicking in every afternoon when I stop walking.
I hope you worked this out!...I was actually distressed at reading this and then realizing that it was so long ago and ...well I really hope you were ok...please repost and tell us how that went if you feel you can...

blessings
Pattii
 
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vicrev

Active Member
That is why it's so important to have a phone system that works well, to communicate back to loved ones ,which helps the homesickness, family is very,very,important to me, if I couldn't communicate with them,I would not walk,as simple as that......some people say to leave phones etc. at home , for each his or her own, I suppose..........:)....keep smiling.........Vicrev
 

Carol06

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances (May 2012)
Frances (May 2015) all going well and with my husband this time.
The only time I was homesick was when I stayed in Burgos for three nights in a hotel. I was away from the company of other pilgrims and phoned my husband in tears to say I wanted to come home. But the day I started walking again and staying in albergues I was fine again. Removing myself from the Camino support was my mistake.
 

nellpilgrim

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
SDC-Fisterra 08/Camino Frances SJPP to SDC 09/Nuremburg-SDC 11- ongoing
It sounds to me like you are confusing homesickness with loneliness. Big difference. I get homesick all the time. I miss my family and friends. I don't live close to my family at all so I miss family time...miss the humour or someone really knowing me. But I am not a lonely person. I don't feel lonely when I am homesick...I just feel like I want to be nearer my family to share experiences with them. I LOVE being alone...and I am homesick often. I do not consider myself wanting or unhappy.

........and when you get back from your Camino Patti you'll have addedd 'Caminosickness' to your life - a strong/insatiable urge to be back on the road!
 

Al the optimist

Veteran Member
I met someone on the Camino whose husband had walked the first two weeks with her. He had had to go back to work and so she was walking alone. She missed him terribly and was thinking of giving up. But she persevered and succeeded and was very happy she had done so. They are talking of going back.
next year!
 
D

Deleted member 12253

Guest
The only time I was homesick was when I stayed in Burgos for three nights in a hotel. I was away from the company of other pilgrims and phoned my husband in tears to say I wanted to come home. But the day I started walking again and staying in albergues I was fine again. Removing myself from the Camino support was my mistake.

3 days in burgos, I only stop for stamp in big towns, I walk everyday and I never get homesick, I am now craving a camino walk, but must wait till May 2014
 
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P

Pattii

Guest
........and when you get back from your Camino Patti you'll have addedd 'Caminosickness' to your life - a strong/insatiable urge to be back on the road!
I have heard about it...lol. I KNOW it will haunt me...I'm almost teary now thinking about it and I haven't even gone yet!
 
K

karenfromcali

Guest
I have wondered if I will be homesick on the camino having never spent any real time away from my family. In day to day life I rarely, if ever, experience loneliness as I am happy in my own company. But I guess it remains to be seen if I will be homesick or not. I feel so very bad for those who do though.
 

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