Ibn Battutah was an intrepid traveller. But he wasn’t immune to homesickness. Here’s a passage from ‘The Travels’ describing his very human reaction to a moment of melancholy:

“So at last we reached the town of Tunis, and the townsfolk came out to welcome the travellers. On all sides they came forward with greetings and questions to one another, but not a soul said a word of greeting to me, since there was none of them I knew. I felt so sad at heart on account of my loneliness that I could not restrain the tears that started to my eyes, and wept bitterly. But one of the pilgrims, realizing the cause of my distress, came up to me with a greeting and friendly welcome, and continued to comfort me with friendly talk until I entered the city, where I lodged in the College of the Booksellers.”

Image Attribution: The image above is sourced from Wikimedia Commons and based on a painting by Matthäus Merian, a German engraver of Swiss origins. The painting is a depiction of the city of Tunis in the year 1646. El Bhayra or the Lake of Tunis lies in the background (with ships sailing in from the Mediterranean). Travellers rest along with camels while two brave-hearts take on a lion. Though Ibn Battutah did not mention any lions on his way to the city, North Africa was once the stomping ground of the magnificent Barbary lion (Panthera leo leo). The prefix also figures in the strip of land inhabited by this subspecies, the Barbary Coast, of which Tunis was an entrepot.

Reference: The Travels of Ibn Battutah (edited by Tim Mackintosh-Smith)