Dealing with Homesickness and Emotional Exhaustion

In Travel by Katelyn2 Comments

Morocco photos message in a bottle

After over four months on the road it finally happened.

I’m a bit homesick.

I loved being on the road constantly moving from one place to the next. The museums, the history, the art, the adventures – it kept me excited daily.

Now that I’m in one place, I’m starting to feel a bit burned out.

I miss HOME.

The past two weeks have been a bit of an emotional rollercoaster for two main reasons – my job on a horse farm and Mother’s Day.

I’m currently working about an hour outside of Sydney on a horse farm. I grew up riding horses and I love living and working around them again. Horses have always been my “happy place.” However, the guy I work for is kind of a dick. One minute he’s nice and joking around and then next he’s criticizing you for every little thing that you do. It’s stressful and exhausting.

I just don’t deal well with people like that. I’ve been called a lot of names and been bullied in my life, but the one thing that I will not tolerate is someone who insults my intelligence. Call me ugly. Call me fat. Just don’t call me stupid.


Mother’s Day is always a tough day for me, even seven years later. I miss my mom. I will never understand why she was taken too soon. I just want to hear her voice again. Give her a hug. Tell her that I love her. Just one more day is all I want.

Two weeks ago I was grooming at the Sydney 3-Day Event where a 19-year-old girl was killed during the cross-country portion of the event. I didn’t actually see it happen, but I watched as the officials put up the screen around her body. It was a gut wrenching feeling.

The first thing I wanted to do was call my mom.

But I couldn’t.

I’ve been there before. I had a massive head injury from a riding accident when I was 12. My helmet was the only thing that saved my life. I was lucky. My mother stayed with me the entire time.

My mom was always by my side with my horses no matter what. It was something that her and I did. She worked her ass off to pay to feed and keep them so I could have a happy childhood. I don’t think I ever properly thanked her for that.

As Mother’s Day rolled around last week I was hit hard with nostalgia for the past. Waking up at the crack of day to muck stalls or head to a horse show. She’d hold my horses as I tacked up. She’d pin numbers to the back of my jacket. She handmade my Western show gear. She spent countless hours watching me ride circle after circle in the ring. She never once complained.

I just want to call her and thank her for everything she ever did for me.


With Mother’s Day and two horse shows in a row, I’m emotionally and physically tired. I just want to crawl into my own bed with my dog. But every comfort that I know and love is about 9000 miles away. As much as I hated my job back home, I miss the routine and the consistent paycheck. I miss Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods. I miss teaching spin class at the Bay Club. I miss fast internet. I miss my friends. My support system. I miss Allagash White and Strawberry Meade.

I miss home.

Do I plan on packing my bags and heading home? No, but I have thought about it.

I’m constantly struggling with this internal debate with myself. I love to travel and I want to see and experience as much of the world as possible. But, at the same time, I also want to settle down. I want that stupid house with a white picket fence and the 2.5 kids. I also want a fat retirement account and a job that I love.

As I get closer and closer to the big 3-0, I’ve become to question my life choices more. To the point that it causes anxiety.

Life is hard. It full of tough choices. How do I know I’m making the right one?

I’ve been given this amazing opportunity to live and work in Australia for the next year. It’s truly a dream come true. I’ve only been here a month now. I know as soon as I start moving again I’ll be fine.

I can’t predict the future as much as I would like to. The universe as a funny way of working. I have no idea where life will take me. Perhaps it will take me home to Maine. Or perhaps I’ll end up someplace else. The world is a large place.

All I know is that I want to stay open to the possibilities and opportunities that present themselves over the next year. I didn’t come to Australia to “find myself,” but I did come to find adventures and personal growth.

And, Maine… I miss you.

Portland Headlight, Maine's most famous lighthouse in Cape Elizabeth, Maine

How do you deal with homesickness?


  1. I’m sorry to hear that you’re having a rough first few weeks in Australia! I’ve been reading your blog for a little while and it seemed like you were really excited to go, from your previous posts. But I think that’s pretty normal (at least, in my experience). Moving is hard and homesickness ebbs and flows. And I really relate with your anxiety about your life choices, loving travel but also wanting to settle down someday and worrying that eventually it will be too late. It’s hard to admit it, but we can’t have everything. No answers here, but just know that you’re not alone in struggling (hopefully that helps at least a little).

    1. Author

      Thanks, Alisa! I’ll be moving to a different horse farm in a few weeks so I think that will help me. Change of scenery and less pressure.

      I’m glad I’m not the only one who struggles with the whole travel and settling down thing. It’s certainly a challenge and you’re right – we can’t have it all.

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