I’m homesick – when I’m home
Content – when away
It’s not that I yearn to roam
But that I cannot stay
I’m not from where I came
Foreign, I’m afraid
It’s not that I bear no name
But let it be left unsaid
So grey grey grey grey grey
Grey on the last day
Fade away fade fade away
Goodbye sighs upon the way.
Dhigurah, Ari Atoll, Maldives
The one who is not homesick.
I haven’t got it bad. It is not an ‘addiction’, as some travel bloggers claim for themselves. I’m not a travel junkie. I don’t need it to feel whole. I don’t dislike the place I normally consider ‘home’.
But I had one secret, that I kept through much of my life.
When I am abroad, I never miss home. Not even in the time before the internet and social media brought home much closer to everyone, anywhere in the world.
Even as I remember the trepidation of leaving home, afterwards, I was not homesick.
Even through the moving renditions of classically homesick Eid songs of my country (we do love to move ourselves to tears!), when I spent Eid abroad in cold and rainy Wales, I was not homesick. Even as my countrymen flock to each other in foreign lands, even as they send televised Eid messages back home near the close of Ramadan, I did not feel it.
I miss Malaysian food, yes. But I was never homesick.
But I have the farsickness. The fernweh.
Instead, I have the thing that’s the other way around. The thing that homebody Malaysians are not supposed to have.
When I am in my homeland, even when I am comfortable and glad to be, the distant lands call. The wide sky and the far horizons pull at me. The yearning turns like a slow screw and eases only when I am on the road, on the road to somewhere I don’t need to be.
I’m an upside down, inside out sort of girl. To feel at home when I am not home.