I am not often homesick.
I am not sure if this makes me a freak or maybe I have some missing wiring in my brain.
But mostly I think that I don’t get homesick often because I try to make home wherever I am. But it’s not always easy especially if you get sick or lost…
I was so ill in Nicaragua once that I cried on the phone with my mother for about 2 hours. I don’t want to think about how much that phone call cost. Thankfully I have amazing, supportive parents who let me get it all out when I can’t deal anymore.
And then don’t get mad at me when I don’t come home for Christmas.
Usually I am so busy on the road, I don’t have time to be homesick. And even when I do take a moment to think about home, I normally find that I am happier where I am.
When that homesick feeling does kick in though, it can be hard to remember why you’re traveling in the first place. That you’d rather be curled up in your familiar bed with your favorite takeout.
Thankfully, living in a connected world makes it so much easier to stay in touch with friends and family. But nothing can replace a hug.
So when you’re feeling homesick and longing for home, try these suggestions on how to stop that emotion from overwhelming you. It helps me!
As mentioned, you can always check in with friends and family if you have decent WIFI connection. Plan a Skype date with your parents or chat with your amigos on Facebook messenger.
This helps you to keep in touch and share some laughs. But it can also help you remember that you’d rather be on the road traveling. And not living the same routine from home.
Try not to spend all your time online though. That would be a waste of a plane ticket. You’ll be missing out on all the adventure you could be having!
Focus on the Positive
There are all kinds of triggers that can send you into a homesick tailspin. Maybe you get sick in Nicaragua. Maybe you’re lost on the street. Maybe you haven’t made a travel friend in a few days and are feeling alone.
It’s best to focus on why you’re on the road and what makes you happy. Maybe it’s a beautiful sunset or a wonderfully prepared mojito.
Is anyone at home swimming in the ocean at noon on a Tuesday? Take time to appreciate why you left in the first place.
I always miss food when I’m traveling. I haven’t had a decent bagel since I’ve left New Jersey.
And while making those fabulous breakfast treats is time consuming, there are other foods you can prepare to make you feel at home. You can recreate your mom’s best dish or host a potluck with people you’ve met.
Missing pets is another huge one, since you can’t chat with you’re dog on the phone. So make friends with the hostel cat and enjoy some animal time.
Or if you always have a coffee date with your best friend on Sundays, do that while you’re on the road with someone you’d like to get to know better. Trying to recreate a small sense of home can make you feel more comfortable.
Do something that you loved to do at home.
Find a Community
If you stay busy, you don’t have time to think about being homesick. I always find that when I’m traveling, I miss the people more than I miss the actual place.
So seek out like-minded people to share stories with. I use Couchsurfing and Meetup or other online sources to go to events in the area. You can find a few good travel buddies that you still talk to today because you were open to the idea of meeting cool people.
Humans are social creatures and love to engage if you give them an opportunity.
Identify What You’re Feeling
Do you really miss home, or are you missing your friends and family? Then send them a postcard or invite them to come with you!
Do you really want to go back, or are you just tired of packing your bag? Take a few days to pamper yourself and stay in one place for awhile.
Are you really sick of traveling, or are you just a bit lonely? Go for a walk or have a good cry if you need to. Whenever I have that feeling, something amazing happens almost immediately.
You just need to be open to it.
Know It’s Totally Normal.
Feeling homesick doesn’t have an age limit. I was definitely an adult when I made that phone call home to my mother.
You can also feel homesick the first day or the last day of a trip. Still normal.
Be patient with yourself and recognize that feeling usually comes it waves. It will likely pass.
And if it doesn’t, that’s normal too. Just be sure to take care of yourself.
Be Prepared to Get “Travelsick”
Being homesick sucks. But every time I come back from traveling, I get a bit “travelsick”. I start to miss the food, friends and culture from the place I had just visited. Post travel blues (insert harmonica here)
And so I start planning another trip to counteract my “travelsick” feeling. You might be feeling homesick now, but remember that eventually you will go home. The feeling of missing home is usually temporary.
And there’s a huge possibility you’ll never return to this amazing place you’re visiting now. So take time to be present and enjoy all the moments.
Being homesick does not have to mean the end of your trip. It just means you have to take a deep breath and try again!
And we all experience it in different ways. Some thing that help me, might also help you. Or maybe you just need to go for a run and sweat it out. Take a long shower. Meditate. Figure out a way that helps you best.
Most everyone I know gets through the feeling, and has even more fun on the other side. Share a story with me sometime 🙂
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