Hi Travelers! With long-term travel on the rise (hooray!), students taking gap years to travel or even work abroad, homesickness can strike down even the heartiest of adventurers. It can pop up at any time and for a myriad of reasons. Maybe back home everyone is celebrating your best friend’s engagement… without you. Maybe you ate some strawberries in Mexico that landed you in the hospital (ahem)... alone. Or maybe you are just missing the day-to-day ease of life in the comfort of everything you know. Whatever the cause, the first step to moving past the sinking feeling of homesickness is acknowledging it.
Remember there is no shame in missing the familiar, in missing your people and your pets. And then…
Stop checking in
Get off of Facebook/Instagram/Twitter. Stop checking your emails. Stop texting and calling. Just stop.
Ok, not completely. But constantly doing these things? That has got to end. Because here’s the thing: the more you check in with home and wistfully sigh about all of the things you are missing, the more sad you are going to get AND the more you are going to miss out on while traveling! Why do that to yourself? Leave your phone behind and head out to a coffee shop with a good book and journal. Who knows who you might meet?
Write it down
I’ve been journaling since I was 6 years old, and still have all of those sure-to-be-super-intriguing writings. In a journal, you can write down exactly how you feel so that it is off your chest and out of your brain. One suggestion though: end each entry with three fabulous things that you experienced that day, or are grateful for (how many days you have left until you go home does not count!).
Sitting at a hostel with no plans for the day? Say yes to a walking tour. Hanging out at a cafe sipping on a cappuccino? Say yes when someone invites you to join them. Catching up on emails? Say yes to a night out on the town with brand new amazing travel pals.
Saying yes to fun when you’d rather sit this one out in your PJ’s is how homesickness is kicked to the curb. When you say yes to new people and new experiences, the awesome multiplies. You meet new people through your new people, and have even more amazing experiences from the other new experiences! Make sense? Not really? Just try it. Say yes.
What are your tips for fending off the dreaded homesickness? Leave a comment below and help our traveling tribe!