Homesickness can be a real problem when you travel, because it prevents you from fully experiencing where you are. Instead of being engaged with the people and culture of the destination you’re visiting, you are consumed with a longing for home. I think it’s safe to say we’ve all been there, especially if you’ve ever taken an around-the-world type of trip, where you’re away from home for a long period of time. So other than throwing in the towel and flying home, how can you cope with that homesickness and bounce back from it while you’re traveling? Here are my top 10 ways to deal with homesickness when you travel:
- Stay at a hostel to meet other travelers
Hostels are a great place to meet other travelers, to chat and connect with them over highlights of your travels. Some of them may even be dealing with homesick too, and you can share in your struggle (just don’t complain too much together, or you’ll multiply the problem!). Sometimes all you need is to just get to know some new people, and it will remind you why you came out here to travel in the first place.
- Send postcards home
As Richard from Texas says in Eat Pray Love, “So miss him. Send him some love and light every time you think about him, then drop it.” It’s okay to miss people, especially your family and friends at home. You don’t have to ignore those feelings of homesickness, but after you send them a postcard you have to drop it so you can embrace your own travels.
- Look back at your travel journal
First of all, keep a journal when you travel (I recommend Moleskine!). Even if it’s just a bullet point list of the things you saw that day with your reactions next to it (Eiffel Tower – Wow, almost teared up. Can’t believe I’m here.) It doesn’t take much time, but then Future You will thank Present You for putting in the effort. You can read back and remember the things you’ve seen on your trip, and it will fill you with satisfaction about all you’ve done!
- Take a tour to engage with other travelers
One of my favorite strategies for dealing with homesickness is to book a tour. When you’re spending all morning or all day on tour with people, you’re going to talk and become fast friends, I promise! Plus, you get to share the experience with people, which will surely be a memory you hang on to long after your trip is over.
- Try to call your family
If you have the chance to call or text or skype or whatever, try to reach out to a family or friend. Talk with them about your travels and your homesickness, ask them all about what’s going on at home and in their life, and by the end I bet you’ll feel better connected to home. But you’ll also feel a sense of calm, like you aren’t missing out on anything, your family and friends will be there when you’re back, and you came on this trip for a reason, to see the world beyond your home!
- Strike up a conversation with someone at dinner
Go somewhere crowded, somewhere with a bar or communal seating, and just chat with whoever is nearby. Ask if they’re from here, what they do, if they’ve ever visited your home country, what they recommend to see or do here, whatever! The point is to engage with people in the places you visit. It will give you a deeper sense of the place, and it will make it less intimidating. People often ask me if I’m lonely when I travel solo…but it’s not like there aren’t other people where I’m going. You’re never alone if you’re willing to make friends wherever you go!
- Take a break from sightseeing
If you travel long enough, you’re going to get burnt out. You just can’t do sightseeing all day, every day and not get exhausted. So it’s okay to take a break, and just spend a day sleeping or reading or just relaxing at your hostel. After that, you’ll feel refreshed and revived and you’ll be excited for sightseeing again. This will help you to better enjoy your travels and to relieve some of the burden of homesickness.
- Cook yourself a favorite dish from home
It’s important to consider all the homesickness can strike, including constant unfamiliar tastes. Chances are you can find pasta, cereal, ice cream, or whatever food you’re craving from home, no matter where you go. So take a break from trying the local cuisine and let yourself indulge in your favorite meal from home.
- Plan an exciting next step to your journey
If you’ve been staying in one city or country for awhile, it may be time to mix it up. You may be feeling homesickness because you’re in a lull in your travels. So take some time to plan the next leg of your journey, and don’t be afraid to stray off course from what you originally planned on!
- Share some of your photos on your social media
Sharing your photos and travel stories on social media can help you feel closer to home by connecting with everyone. They’ll probably be so happy to see your update and so jealous of your travels, that you’ll forget ever taking this trip for granted! You can use their excitement for you to fuel your own excitement for this awesome adventure that you’re on!
There you have it, my to 10 tricks to beating homesickness. These are what work for me, especially when I’m traveling for months at a time. What works for you, when you’re feeling homesickness during your travels?
Thanks for reading! If you have found the information on brittanyfromboston.com helpful and wanderlust-inspiring, please consider making your next Expedia & Amazon purchases through these links. It doesn’t cost any extra to you, but it keeps this content coming to you free of charge!