Homesickness is that dreadful feeling of withdrawal you get when you’re far away from familiar people, places and routines, leaving you with emotional distress and anxiety. And that is exactly the complete opposite of how you want to feel while travelling.
Homesickness can lead to travellers regretting, or not enjoying their trip because they are thinking about and missing home. Homesickness is actually very common and is likely to happen to most of us at some point on our travels.
So you’re probably asking how to get over homesickness? A question that has a range of different answers and solutions that suit certain people and situations. Here are my 11 ways to cure homesickness.
1. Do fun things
Doing fun things and keeping your mind off home is one of the best ways to cure homesickness. Remember, there’s a good reason as to why you left home to go where you are – whether it be work, study or for the trip of a lifetime – so take advantage of everything that is around you! Find hidden gems, explore your surroundings, get out there and have fun! Sitting around thinking about home won’t help you overcome homesickness.
2. Think positive
This is an obvious one and definitely an effective homesickness cure. Thinking positive can go a long way – and it comes with enjoying where you are.
Think about all you have done to get to this amazing trip away. The hard work, nights spent in saving and hours spent planning. You need to be positive and embrace all you’ve done to get where you are. Your trip certainly shouldn’t be wasted by missing home.
Make exciting plans for your trip and think about the amazing experiences you are having. You have friends that are at work right now and would do anything to be in your shoes, so remember that and enjoy!
3. Make plans and keep busy
If you don’t make plans, you will more than likely spend time sitting around missing home. If you wake up at 8 am and don’t have a plan for that day, it will be a less exciting day than if you do have plans and wake up with action and purpose.
For me, planning my days the night before is essential, otherwise, I may not end up leaving the hotel until 11 am. This can make you feel like you’re wasting your trip.
4. Live in the moment
If you’re living in the moment, you won’t be feeling homesick. Try your best to immerse yourself in the experience, 100%. Be present in the moment, take the time to appreciate where you are, the people you are meeting, the new food and culture you are experiencing. I can guarantee that if you are living in the moment and having an amazing time, you won’t be thinking about home.
5. Limit social media
This doesn’t mean limit your output of social media – those amazing picturesque Instagram photos definitely have everyone jealous – it just means get off your phone and take everything in. Seeing your friends and family doing things back home can be tough, especially when the photos show them having fun at your local, but it’ll all still be there when you get back! Cutting back on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat are good ways to cure homesickness, just don’t forget to post your own photos!
6. Reframe time to reframe your mind
If you find that you’re counting down the days until you get home because you’re feeling homesick and you just can’t wait until you return, then reframe time. If you’re early on in your trip, think about planning your next coming weeks or next few days with fun activities so that each day is a day to look forward to. If you’re at the tail end of your trip, remember all the fun you’ve had up to that point – it has been an amazing trip after all.
7. Contact home – or don’t
This one is subjective – if you’ve been contacting home constantly during your time away, perhaps it’s time to give that a break. It might be a good idea to embrace the people around you and the place you’re in.
If, however, you haven’t contacted home and it’s starting to wane in, give them a Skype, or Facetime, or phone call. See how they’re going and tell them about your trip. You’ll find out they’re doing the usual boring day-to-day while you’ve been having a trip of a lifetime!
8. Talk it out
People, in general, are helpful homesickness cures. If you’re travelling with people – whether it be friends, backpackers or acquaintances – they’re likely feeling the same way. Having people around you to talk to about not just ways to cure homesickness, but your anxiety and your feeling of withdrawal can go a long way. You’ll likely find peace of mind that you’re not alone and that the people around you feel the same. This means that you can all bond, support each other, figure out unusual ways to cure homesickness and continue to enjoy your amazing trip!
8. Do something familiar
Doing familiar things is a good way to cure homesickness. Whether it be going on your usual morning walk, doing a grocery shop, cooking your favourite meal, doing some cleaning or laundry – any mundane task – to remind you of the normal day-to-day. And, funnily enough, it might even make you realise just why you went away in the first place. Even eating familiar foods can help cure homesickness.
9. Create a routine
Similar to doing something familiar, creating a routine when you’re feeling homesick can give you a sense of being back home. It doesn’t mean stop having fun, but in between those fun activities, develop a routine that you can stick to, to ensure your mind is kept active and enthused.
If you exercise every day when you’re at home, do it when you’re travelling. If you love reading at home, read while on the road. Sticking to a familiar routine is one of the best ways to cure homesickness.
10. Do something you love
Doing something that you’re passionate about or that you love can go a long way when you’re homesick. It’s one of the best ways to cure homesickness because not only are you doing something you enjoy, but you’re doing something that is familiar and that comes naturally to you. You’re likely pretty sick of new experiences if you’re feeling really homesick, so doing something that you love can rejuvenate and re-energise you. A really effective homesickness cure.
11. Have some “me” time
Taking some time away from everything – and doing some of the things listed above – is essential to getting over homesickness. You’ll find that you can put things into perspective and come to terms with where you are and how far you’ve come. Your travels are important, and there’s a reason why you’ve decided to travel, so embrace your time away, but also embrace the time you have to get to know yourself.
What are your homesickness cures?
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