10 Ways to Fight Homesickness while Travelling

10 Ways to Fight Homesickness while Travelling

Saturday, June 30th, 2012

When you’re heading off to pastures new, whether it’s for an extended stay or even to live for a while, there’s lots of planning and preparation involved. Visas, packing lists, inoculations, shopping and travel tickets all need to be organised and itineraries planned. The one aspect of being away from home that most people never plan for is homesickness – you’re about to embark on such a fabulous trip there won’t even be time to be homesick right? Well homesickness can creep up without you even realising. In most cases it doesn’t usually last long but it can be annoying and there are some simple steps you can take to make sure you avoid it.

1. Settle. Because the more temporary your situation feels the less likely you are to forget about home. Instead of thinking of yourself as a visitor, see yourself as resident in your new abode or country, physically make yourself at home and don’t even think ahead to the day when you have to head back!

2. Focus on what you’re doing right now – this will mean your head is not in last week when you were at home or looking forward to the next time you’re back on home shores, but only on where you are at the moment. Learning how to live in the moment will help you enjoy what you’re doing right now and put an immediate stop to any pining for home.

3. Go prepared – doing some research about where you are going in advance and finding out about the area you will be in and what there is there for you means you can hit the ground running when you arrive. If you land armed with information and ideas then you’re unlikely to get that overwhelming feeling of ‘lostness’ that often triggers homesickness.

4. Arrange for a parcel delivery to bring a taste of home! Before you leave – or even once you’re away – make sure those back home know that they’re on care parcel duties! Get your mum to send some home baked cookies, request some of your favourite magazines from a sibling, or ask your other half to send some romantic parcels of handwritten notes and love tokens. So much more satisfying than emails!

5. Orientate yourself. There’s nothing guaranteed to make you feel like a homesick loser more than when you lose all your points of reference that make your life run so smoothly at home. Locating somewhere to get your morning coffee, knowing how to catch a bus or train, finding your local supermarket and pub/bar are all important parts of feeling like you have the situation under control.

6. Don’t have a shrine to home – make sure that you give yourself a chance to get into where you are now and don’t surround yourself with too many photos of family and friends and things you have bought with you. Keep mementos to a key few and put some positive, upbeat images on the wall instead.

7. Get out and do it! Whatever ‘it’ may be for you – whether it’s signing up for excursions, going to a language class, making contact with new people in a hostel or applying for work – as soon as you start to take action you’ll always feel less homesick.

8. Be sociable. Because meeting new people will help you feel less alone and consequently less homesick. Even though you might not feel like it at first, once you kick off your social life there won’t be any time for homesickness. Accept all the invitations you’re offered and turn up with a friendly smile and some good chat and you’ll have a full diary in no time.

9. Stay focused. Whatever the reason for your mo trip, be sure to keep that uppermost in your mind if you start to feel yourself getting sad. Homesickness and sadness always pass, but the memories of the trip you’re undertaking will last a lifetime so don’t waste it feeling blue.

10. Enjoy it! You’re away from home, surrounded by exciting new experiences, people and places and it’s a huge opportunity for relaxation, contemplation and self discovery – grab it with both hands!

Although it can feel horrible at the time, homesickness doesn’t have to ruin a trip. With these 10 innovative ways to fight homesickness you can really make the most of your time away and not let anything hold you back!