Have you ever spent a considerable amount of time away from home and started to miss it like crazy?
No matter how much we enjoy being away, most people seem to experience a level of homesickness at one point or another. Now I’m not just talking about a holiday here… I’m talking about going to a new place, usually for a significant period of time. In saying that, some of the homebody types do tend to get homesick much earlier than the free spirits out there.
I’ve spent relatively large chunks of time away from home with this latest trip coming up to around 10 months. In my experience, I tend to go through waves. I absolutely love the first month or two and can’t imagine ever going back home. After this point, I tend to have moments (or days) here and there where I miss home so much that I just want to get on the next plane back to see my family and friends.
Feeling homesick is the furthest thing from fun so it’s helpful to have coping strategies if it sneaks up on you. If you let it get the better of you, you will find yourself miserable and missing out on valuable experiences.
So here’s my advice for avoiding and managing homesickness:
- Keep in contact with as many people from home as possible. Send them messages, voice call them and/or video call them. This can often be all you and you’ll soon realise that not much has changed at home.
Note: Make sure you don’t go too overboard with this. At one stage (in the UK) I was spending 4+ hours a day in contact with people at home. I soon realised I was missing out on what was right there in front of me.
- Embrace the differences in new places rather than be put off by them
- Connect with people on your travels to help ease loneliness (and make new friends). Put yourself in places to be social such as hostels, bars and group tours.
My new friends in Sayulita, Mexico <3[/caption]
- Send postcards and keep an eye out for quirky gifts. People at home will LOVE to hear from you and feel very special that you thought of them.
- Use free time alone to learn a new hobby, read a book or try something new.
- Be in the moment – don’t think about what you’re missing out on at home, be grateful for where you are and experience all this place has to offer.
- Bring someone with you – if you can manage to bring a friend along on your adventures, do it.
Have you ever felt homesick while travelling? What made you feel better? Do you have any advice for avoiding and managing homesickness?