‘There’s no place like home’, Dorothy noted, despite being surrounded by the wonders of Oz. The same can be said when travelling the world – new and exciting places are everywhere, but now and again you can find yourself aching for the comforts of home. Your friends, your family, the food, the weather; whatever the reason for homesickness, it can put a real dampener on what could be the trip of a lifetime.
So how do you guard against homesickness and allow yourself to spread those wings? Here are 6 quick tips that may be just the tonic you need.
Pack some memories and keepsakes
Before leaving be sure to pack some keepsakes in your bag. A letter from a loved one, a special photo, a piece of jewellery, a cuddly toy – whatever you think might help you when you’re feeling a little blue.
Be patient and positive
When you’re experiencing homesickness it can be tempting to toss in the towel and run back to that which you know. But patience is a virtue, and you must possess it if you can. Getting used to life on the road or in a new city can be tricky, and takes time. But if you’re positive and open to the experience you’ll be far more likely to enjoy yourself, and far less likely to be hit with the homesick blues.
Find local comforts
Finding something familiar in a distant land can be tricky, but it’s just the ticket to cure homesickness. If you’re feeling down, search out your favourite cuisine; the one that you’d eat every Friday at home. If you need to be surrounded by familiar faces, look for expat communities in your area. This could be as simple as finding a bar that televises your favourite sport.
Meet new people
You’re far less likely to miss your loved ones if you’re meeting new and exciting people on the road. There are a wealth of online communities that are designed to bring people together in foreign lands; Facebook groups, Lonely Planet forums, Couchsurfing, even Tinder.
Document your trip
There’s something cathartic about documenting your adventures. You could do it in the form of a personal diary - this allows you to look back on your journey and see how far you’ve come. Alternatively, you could document your thoughts, feelings and experiences via an online blog. This encourages interaction, and can be fantastic if you’re feeling a little alone. Update your Facebook, Instagram and Twitter with your adventures so that your friends and family can keep up to date and cheer you on.
Use the power of the World Wide Web
Speaking of the online world, with Skype, Facetime and Facebook video all available wherever you’ve got an internet connection (which is now almost the entire world), you needn’t miss home at all! Simply tap a button and you’re sitting directly across from those who you miss. Thanks to technology, homesickness is easier to deal with than ever before!
If you do your best to prepare for homesickness pre-departure, and you’re smart about how you deal with it on the road, it’ll be one less roadblock in the way of you enjoying everything that the world has to offer.