You know the feeling.
Whether the symptoms you might have experienced include anxiety, stress, helplessness, nostalgia, depression, any other abnormal behaviors or a combination of them, chances are as a traveler you have been there or are in the middle of experiencing homesickness right now.
Perhaps hitting solo travelers more than those who travel with their significant other, friends or family, homesickness is something that hardly can be avoided and indeed becomes a burden while abroad at some point or the other.
But, to everyone’s joy, beating this discomforting feeling is easily achievable with some training. Read on to find out three strategies you can start putting in practice today to fight homesickness.
1. Understand homesickness and develop an action plan to overcome it
- First of all, learn to recognize the early signs of loneliness as they arise and keep track of how you feel and what is going on with your life in a journal if you can.
- Whether you have a tendency or not to being homesick, add one or a couple of familiar items with you when possible to your packing list. It might be a jumper you used back home or a book you particularly like. They will bring happy memories back instantly.
- Keep in touch with the people back home. Emails and online messages are fine, but try to send photo postcards often and schedule also a Skype talk or Facetime from time to time. There’s nothing that can replace that precious human interaction.
- Be open about how you feel with your new acquaintances. Most likely, there are people around you that have gone through a similar experience and can help you beat it.
- Get busy and do not forget to go outside and enjoy life as you would do anywhere else. Exercising helps too as it boosts your endorphins.
2. Get out of your comfort zone and meet new people
Beginnings never look smooth, but everyone needs to start somewhere.
- Have you been traveling for the last six months and are hitting a low? Perhaps you are tired and need a vacation from your vacation. In this case, allow yourself to rest and heal before jumping onto another plane. Spend a few calm days in a comfy place, listen to your body and mind and just do whatever it feels right. You are not missing out on anything!
- Or perhaps are you a newcomer joining the workforce far from home? As the world is full of expats these days, it was never easier to become part of a temporal community away from home. Join a book club, attend yoga classes, rent a room in a shared flat, download tinder, exercise outdoors.
The possibilities are endless, just find one that works for you and put it into practice. Meeting new people and staying busy will definitely help you fight any homesick soon enough.
3. Embrace all the positive aspects of your new location
Once you have allowed you to feel homesick and start fighting against it, continue adjusting to your new situation step by step. The sooner you feel at ease there, the better.
- Learn the language spoken in your new destination. Although you can find English speaking individuals almost everywhere, nothing replaces being able to communicate with the locals in their own language. Plus, as they say, there’s a lot of bravery in a foreign accent. And your efforts will be immediately noticed!
- Immerse yourself in the culture. Know their customs, eat their food, do as the locals do and in no time you will have no time to think about being homesick.
- Get outside. As much as you feel like staying in, sometimes that little effort of just stepping out of your home will turn out in awesome experiences in a new place.
Sooner than you expect and following these simple tips, you will be over homesickness and ready to continue exploring the corner of the world you find yourself in.
If you have any questions on what to do when homesick or would like to drop a comment, go ahead! We’d love to hear from you.