It doesn’t matter how often or how long you travel for, you will still get homesick.
You will miss your mom and your little sister, you will miss home cooked meals or that cup of coffee from Tim Hortons (or Starbucks, whatever). It happens to the best of us, although the more you travel the more equipped you become to handle it in a healthy manner.
Every single human being is different – we have all have different needs, reactions and desires. The way to handle homesickness is different for absolutely everyone, so the list below is just a basic starter set to get your on your way to healing and start getting excited to be in a foreign country again!
It’s helped me countless times, and I’m happy to spread a little wisdom on to others who are out and about for the first time!
DO Get Some Exercise
It’s been said before, millions of times, but I’m going to say it again. One of the best cures for any kind of sadness or depression is exercise. It releases endorphins into your brain to make you happier (or something along those lines, sorry I’m not a scientist). So even doing something as little as going for a walk around the city or just down the road will help; you might even make a friend to talk to along the way, or find a frozen yoghurt shop to stop at and indulge!
DO Visit Somewhere New
You’re in a beautiful new city, in a beautiful new country – go and discover it! When you go on your walk, discover a fancy new cafe with cats hanging out everywhere inside, or find a gorgeous garden where you seem to be the only visitor. Go to that museum you haven’t yet had the chance to visit, or wander into a new area of town. There are millions of things for you to see and experience in every place you go, so leave you’re troubles at the door and go find them. Don’t forget to bring your camera and journal about it later!
DO Write In A Journal
Your journal is a place where you can express yourself, in every way. Writing gives you the opportunity to get all your thoughts and feelings out into the open, and gives you the opportunity to also reflect upon them. Why are you feeling homesick? What caused it? When did it start? What can you do to fix it? At the end of the day, even being able to write down that you miss your mom and about how much you love her will make you feel heaps better than trying to hold all your emotions inside.
This is something that I do everyday anyways, to remember my experiences when I’m old, grey and senile, but also when I’m feeling homesick I go back to a page when I felt really happy in the place I’m in, read it, and remember how much fun wherever I am can be.
DO Talk To Someone (Preferably a Fellow Traveler)
In the same case as the journal, being able to talk to someone who understands how you’re feeling is huge. Like I said, almost every traveler has gone through homesickness at one point or another, and your friend might be able to give you tips on how he/she coped with their own homesickness. Or they’ll sit there as you cry your heart our over how much you miss your bed back home. Either way, it will help you heaps, and also create a closer bond between you and your friend.
DO Have a Good Cry
I don’t care what anyone says – crying helps. Lay in bed for half an hour and let you feel sorry for yourself. Bawl your eyes out. Scream into your pillow. Let it all out. Now’s your chance. Because after that half an hour you’re done – no more crying, no more screaming and no more negative thoughts. Get up, put on pants, march out that door and get a frozen yoghurt.
DO Remember Why You’re Here
Do you remember why you took this trip in the first place? Do you remember why you are where you are? Was it for love? For curiosity? Because you got fed up with you’re lifestyle back home? To study? Whatever your reason is, think about it, remember it, and grasp it in your hand and don’t let go until you start to feel better.
At the end of the day, ask yourself what it going to feel like if you go home. What will happen if you succumb to those feelings? You’ll probably wish you were back where you are now after a couple of days – by then you will have remembered why you left in the first place. So stay. Stay, and get a nice cup of frozen yoghurt.
Have you ever experienced homesickness? How did you overcome it? What advice would you give other first time travellers? Let everyone know in the comments below!