You’ve packed your bags, read all the guidebooks and mastered some phrases in the local language – now all that’s left is to board the plane. In all the excitement of setting off on your travels, it’s hard to imagine missing home. However, even the most seasoned travelers experience homesickness at some point, whether it’s missing friends and loved ones or simply yearning for a comfortable bed. Here are some simple tips for dealing with homesickness and making sure that it doesn’t get in the way of your next big adventure.
Adopt the Right Mindset
It’s all too easy to set off with your rose-tinted travel glasses on, expecting everything to be wonderful and to go exactly as planned. Whilst a positive attitude is one of the best things you can take with you, it is equally important to be realistic. Whether it’s getting lost, missing a flight or simply feeling lonely, all of these things can have you wishing you were at home – and feeling like your trip is a failure. However, hiccups and hurdles are par for the course, and adjusting your expectations will make it easier to remain positive and focused on the joys of travel.
Enjoy Some Home Comfort
There is nothing like travel to take you out of your comfort zone, and you will learn as much about yourself as you will about other cultures. A big part of this is experiencing how other people live and gaining new perspectives in order to broaden your mind. That being said, there is absolutely no shame in missing your home comforts; life on the road can be tough, and it’s normal to wish for a hot shower and comfy bed every now and again. If you find yourself homesick for a bit of luxury – and if your budget will allow it – treat yourself to a night in a nice hotel. This will give you the chance to recharge your batteries, gather your thoughts and resume your travels a happier person.
Thanks to technology, there is no need to go weeks without speaking to your loved ones – and if you find yourself missing them, that’s exactly what you should do. We are spoiled for choice these days when it comes to communication, and it’s now easier than ever to send messages overseas without racking up huge costs. From social media to email to instant messaging apps like WhatsApp – which can now also be installed as a fully functional desktop version – there are dozens of ways to share photos and videos of your trip, and even make free voice calls over Wi-Fi. Often all it takes is to hear your mother’s voice or see a friendly face to remind you that home is never that far away.
Keep Good Company
It’s not only your loved ones who can snap you out of that homesick feeling. It’s just as important to focus on the here and now, and that means connecting with the people around you. Traveling presents a great opportunity to meet new, interesting people from all walks of life – who, like you, have most probably missed home at some point in their journey. Whether it’s fellow backpackers or local residents, spending time around others will make sure you don’t feel isolated and quickly dispel any loneliness.
Ultimately, you just need to remember why you went traveling in the first place. Think of all the wonderful people, places and sights you have encountered, and all the adventures that are still to come – and don’t let momentary homesickness cloud your outlook. In most cases, positive experiences will far outweigh the negative ones, and as long as you keep busy and focus on your trip, any longing for home will soon pass.