- Personal Stories & Opinions>
- A Gringo with Cabin Fever in Latin America
There are days you feel lonely.
Everyone feels that from time to time.
Though if you live outside your home country, you might feel it a tiny bit more often than normal.
Of course, we’re all different.
Some folks will say that “they don’t miss home one bit!”
Though, to a degree, I call bullshit on that one.
No matter your reason for leaving home, there has to be something you miss about it, right?
Maybe the nostalgia you carry for your childhood.
Unless you have no family back home, then I imagine you at least have a parent or sibling that you miss.
A few friends also perhaps?
Not to mention certain cultural aspects to home that you might miss also.
So on and so on!
Thus, comes a night where you find yourself in a nice apartment of Pereira, Colombia.
You have 10 hot Colombian women dancing around you half nude on your private balcony.
A glass of bourbon on the rocks to enjoy.
And a sight of some great mountains in the distance to enjoy on a temperate night at around 2 AM.
Mixed in with some music like this below here.
Yet, despite the drinks, hot women, natural scenery and low cost of rent, you feel like you’re missing something.
Something inside you that is a tiny bit empty.
What is it?
A Long Time Away from Home
Replace Pereira for Mexico City.
Replace Colombian women for Mexican women.
Replace the sight of mountains with the sight of a urban jungle.
The music and bourbon is on point though.
And now you got me.
It’s been 2 years since I’ve last flew to Mexico and have been here since without seeing my family.
Roughly a year ago, I wrote this article here.
The title of the article?
“Nobody to spend the Holidays with You.”
Of course, you could always find a local to spend the holidays with.
Maybe of those cute Mexican or Colombian women dancing around you half nude as we talked about?
Who wouldn’t enjoy the New Years with someone like that?
Don’t forget the bourbon.
Still, I wrote the article in part because, after just a year of being away from home, I did feel a little bit “empty” so to speak.
Hadn’t seen my family in a year!
Despite what drove me away from Iowa, I still crave the occasional visit.
To me, anyone who says that they don’t miss a single thing about home – including family – sound crazy to me.
Not even family?
It’s not very cool to not miss family.
That sounds sad actually.
Hope you see a doctor soon.
Still, the longer I am away from home without the occasional 6 month visit, the more it does slightly irritate me.
Before Covid travel restrictions happened anyway, I was always doing a visit back home every 6 months.
That worked perfectly for me.
I definitely don’t want to live in Iowa and have little desire to live in the US.
Despite all the shit talking I do about Latin America, I like my life down here more than my life in the US.
It only takes 5 minutes of thinking to realize how much better my life is down here for my happiness.
But the happiness does need an occasional injection of family every so often.
And every 3 to 6 months hits the spot just right.
But, as I said, the Covid restrictions started to dampen a little bit initially any prospects of going home back when it all started.
Then we get to where we are now.
And it’s more complicated.
The Complications of Going Home
About 2 weeks ago, I considered going home a bit more seriously for Christmas after a phone call with my sister.
However, as of today, I found out I have Covid apparently.
According to the tests anyway.
And I say “apparently” because I feel perfectly fine.
No issues whatsoever.
Still, because of news here about Joe Biden requiring a negative Covid test 1 day before travel into the US, I am officially banned from my country!
I have joined the ranks of numerous greats who have been shunned from the society they were born in.
Well, at least for 2 weeks apparently.
Then I go back to being a normal person.
So my plans for a trip back home before Christmas have been ruined.
And, being honest, I don’t know how I feel about it.
On one hand, I absolutely want to see my family again.
It’s been 2 years!
On the flip side, I don’t want to leave Mexico.
And, as I wrote here, Mexico is cracking down on foreigners in the country.
Yet to be seen if this crackdown is permanent or just for the season.
So I have my doubts if I’d be let back in Mexico anytime soon after I leave.
I know that, when I do go back to the US, I’d like to spend 6 months over there before hitting the road again.
So they might if I give Mexico a 6 month break.
Though there’s a part of me that also is ready to “close the book” on Mexico.
And I know that, once I leave, I very well might decide to not come back to force myself to the next chapter in my life that I want to complete: travel through the rest of Latin America again.
But I also don’t want to leave Mexico right now.
There’s a few “loose ends” I want to tie up before I throw in the towel momentarily.
And I say momentarily because I could see myself coming back to Mexico afterwards for residency.
Either Mexico or Chile when it comes time to settle down.
Yet to be determined!
Still, because of those loose ends, I’m not entirely sad at the idea of not going home yet but I am a little bit as I do want to see family.
If the concern about Mexico being stricter on foreigners was not relevant, then I would go back home in December after 2 weeks when I can get a negative Covid test.
But, once the two weeks are up, I don’t know about going back or not.
I really feel strongly on getting those loose ends resolved.
Deep inside me, it doesn’t feel like it’s time to leave Mexico momentarily.
But it feels very close.
I’m almost there.
But, regardless of if I decide to go back or not in 2 weeks, it all goes back to the main point of the article.
The Cabin Fever for the Gringo in Latin America
I was talking with a friend of mine named Gino.
He thinks it would be better for me to go back for 6 months now than in the summer of 2022.
His reasoning more focused on the same above – missing family and all that.
Why not take the visit back already?
Well, I’ve contemplated both sides of the argument for a few months now.
I get what he means anyway and I don’t disagree with it.
Only that, as I said, there really is a very strong feeling inside me to not go back just yet.
That I need at least another 6 months before I close the “Mexico chapter” in my life momentarily.
But, in extending the time for those extra 6 months, the cabin fever only strengthens for the time then.
A year ago, it hit as I got thinking about how I “got nobody to spend the holidays with.”
Truth be told, that’ll be the same this year unless I check up with a friend for the day.
In all likelihood, that’ll be the case.
Though, as I said in that article, Christmas isn’t as nice for that because plenty of Mexicans go back to their small towns and cities outside of CDMX for the time period.
But there’s a few foreigners I know that will be in Mexico City to hang out with then.
Still, not as cool as hanging out with family, is it?
And that’s where the “cabin fever” hits again.
That sensation of emptiness when being away from family for so long.
A visit every 6 months works.
Being away without a visit for 2 years and counting is tolerable but not ideal.
And it’s a fact of life for those who live abroad in my opinion.
Well, maybe I’m just speaking for myself.
But, if that’s the case, then the rest of you are crazy and more isolationist than I am.
You all don’t miss your family?
Coo coo for coco puffs.
Or something like that.
Still, I imagine someone out there relates to the experience of not seeing family for a few years.
Even if all of my family died back home, I think I would still miss a visit to my hometown only because it would be cool to occasionally visit the places I grew up visiting.
Like an old house my parents lived in and so forth.
So the cabin fever hits in mysterious ways.
The longer you are away from home, the more you miss it even if you don’t want to live in it.
The occasional visit does wonders.
Unfortunately, a damn Covid test has prevented me from going back for 2 weeks but, even deeper than that, a strong feeling inside me demands I stay a little bit longer to tie up those loose ends.
Either way, anyone else experience the cabin fever?
Leave a comment below in the comment section so I don’t feel like I’m sitting in a hotel bar alone talking to imaginary people.