You may have experienced homesickness during your travels. (I have!) But a group of very frequent and high-profile travelers is dealing with a rather interesting situation. They’re visitors in their own city — and reportedly very homesick.
Not So Magic Being “Home” (Near the Magic Kingdom)
The NBA resumes its 2019-2020 season next week. Twenty-two (22) of the Association’s 30 playoff-eligible teams are living and playing ball inside a virtual bubble at Walt Disney World. (You may recall one player complained that the fancy resort where he’s staying isn’t quite up to his standards.)
The Orlando Magic certainly had the league’s shortest commute: about 45 minutes from their regular facility in downtown Orlando to the Grand Floridian hotel.
And they can even have friends and family drop off supplies (albeit remotely at a separate location).
But it turns out several team members are homesick — in their home city:
Pangs for home among Magic players, by contrast, are inevitable.
A prime example was Saturday, when the Magic practiced at 1 p.m., leaving considerable time for the rest of that day to ponder their surroundings and restricted movement.
“It’s pretty crazy, man,” Orlando guard D.J. Augustin said. “It’s hard being away from family, period, so when I get back to my room, that’s when it’s hard. But at the same time I’m here to do a job. I’m here, and I’m focused, and I’m trying to make the best of this opportunity.”
— Marc Stein, New York Times (via Orlando Sun-Sentinel)
Can You Relate? I Can
I was a North Dakota Boys State delegate before my senior year in high school. The week-long, live-in “camp” (for lack of a better term) was held at North Dakota State University — about 10 minutes from my home in Fargo. It was the longest I’d ever been away from “home” by myself. And I was a wreck.
Because it was so tempting to call my parents and say “Pick me up!” They insisted I tough it out and that it’d make me stronger. It did.
I didn’t get homesick very often during my freshman year at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks (about 75 miles away from Fargo/home). I fared better than others, actually.
But when I transferred to Moorhead State University — ten minutes from my home — for my second year and lived in the dorms, I was homesick as hell. It was challenging fighting the urge to visit my family, dog, and comfortable bed.
I eventually settled in — and became great friends will my English foreign exchange roommate, Will, whom I visit during mileage runs to London. 🙂
So Close, Yet So Faraway?
I rarely get homesick, even when traveling by myself. Probably because I enjoy the peace and solitude of being by myself. I miss my family, sure. Leaving my daughter for the first time before driving to the airport to go on a business trip was a sadness I’ll never forget.
So for the Orlando-based players whose families live there, staying in the bubble surely is easier than it sounds. Players based in other cities, though, aren’t a quick drive from their families — so the temptation to ditch everything and go home probably isn’t as strong.
Still, this is an interesting insight. Not all NBA athletes with an expenses-paid business trip to Disney World are having a magic time.
Have you ever been so close — yet so far away?
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