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No matter how long you’re travelling, homesickness can hit you at any time so we’ve created a guide to help you cure that feeling when you’re abroad. You will find that this is especially common with solo travellers and there is no shame in it whatsoever. No matter how long you’re travelling, homesickness can hit you at any time.
It can get lonely when you’re travelling and that is okay as long as you can accept that is how you’re feeling. The most important thing is to be prepared that you may end up feeling like that for a little while and knowing how to manage it. When you’re away from home, whether that is for a few weeks or even months, you end up missing your home comforts. It could be small things like the smell of your mum’s perfume, a cup of tea or your favourite comfy jumper. You need to know how to make yourself better when you get to this point. We’ve created this guide to support you overcoming homesickness when travelling.
Table of Contents
Let Yourself Feel It
One of the first steps when you’re feeling homesick is to actually accept that you’re feeling that way. It can also be that you’re suffering with depression during a stint of solo travel. If you’ve been looking forward to a trip for a long time, it can be too easy to shrug it off and almost blame yourself for being silly. You could be in the most beautiful place in the world and end up feeling ashamed of being homesick because you expect that you should be grateful. When these feelings start to arise, you need to remind yourself that it is okay to miss being at home sometimes. If you need to cry then let it out there is no shame in it whatsoever.
It’s not healthy to hold feelings like this in and bottle them all up. Let yourself feel it and use some of the tips below to help yourself feel better. For us, a rule of thumb is that if we’re feeling homesick, that warrants one day in bed, eating junk food and watching a film we downloaded. After that day, we make sure that we get ourselves up, out of bed and out doing things. This is what we class as the travelling routine. It’s always good to get yourself back into a routine even if it is not your familiar home routine.
Contact Friends & Family
If you’ve been travelling for a while and had limited contact with your friends and family then this may be why you’re feeling homesick. Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and get in contact with them as soon as you’re able to do so. If you’re able to then facetime is always a good option so that you can actually see their face and you may find this comforting.
If you need to have a cry then let it out, your friends and family are there to support you. Hopefully you have someone in your support network that will also be able to uplift and encourage you to carry on with your trip. The last thing you want is someone talking you out of a trip because you’re suffering from homesickness. Every traveller gets homesick from time to time as it comes in waves but it is all about how you manage it.
Make new friends
When you’re feeling homesick, one of the best things you can do is put yourself out there to make new friends. This is especially important if you’re a solo traveller because otherwise you will end up spending a lot of time on your own. Whilst you are missing memories of your home, this is the perfect opportunity to begin to make new memories with new people. You never know, you may end up meeting someone that feels the same way as you so that you can comfort each other.
If it’s your first time travelling solo, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. We’ve created a nifty guide on how to meet people when you’re travelling solo. One of our favourite parts about travelling is the different people that you get to meet. You’ll find that the travelling community is such a welcoming atmosphere because everyone understands how you’re feeling. Other travellers have most likely been in your situation so they are the best people to seek some advice from.
One of the best ways to do this is by staying in hostels as you’ll find that they are the most sociable places. However, joining Facebook communities is also a good way to ensure that you’re not feeling alone and can get some advice and support.
Take Some Time For Yourself
If you’re one of those people that prefers to be on their own when they’re feeling a bit blue then that is also absolutely fine. As we said previously, we tend to take a day to mope around in bed. We will eat rubbish food and watching some films that we have downloaded. There is nothing wrong with this but make sure that you only take a day or two maximum. It can be easy to become depressed when you’re travelling alone. If you end up spending more than 2 days dwelling on it, it is really difficult to get back to your new travel routine.
You will know yourself what makes you feel better when you’re at home so try to recreate that. If it’s a bubble bath that you need, then take the time, spend the money, checking yourself into a hotel with the facility. Get a spa treatment, buy yourself a nice meal at a restaurant. Whatever it is that you need, don’t be afraid to do it to make yourself feel better.
Listen To Music
We don’t know about you but listening to music is one of the best things you can do when you’re not feeling yourself. Get yourself in a shower and play your music loudly whilst singing along. Music is an incredible healer! Put your most upbeat music on and sing along to it until you start to feel a little bit better. It might even help if you wear your headphones and walk around the local area listening to music. Often, you’ll find that this will give you a new perspective and time to clear your head. The fresh air will also do you the world of good too!
Focus On The Positives
When you’re feeling homesick, it can be too easy to focus on the things that have gone wrong and that you miss. It may seem obvious but try to avoid this as much as possible. This may mean that for a few nights you start making lists of things you’re grateful for that day. It can be the smallest things too! It could be that you’re grateful for getting out of bed that day or got to see the sunset.
Remember that you are travelling which is one of the most amazing things that you can do in your life. Remind yourself of how far you’ve come and what an achievement it is! We don’t know about you but there are a lot of people from where we’ve grown up that could only dream of exploring the way that we have done. Travelling is a huge adventure and you’re incredibly brave that you’re pushing yourself to do so.
No matter where you’re from and how long you’ve been travelling, there’s always one or two things that you will miss when you’re away from home. This can sometimes be the cause of homesickness too. For Amy, when she is travelling, a good home comfort is a cup of tea. It is one of the things that she misses the most when travelling. Often, you will be able to find the things that you are looking for in local shops. It may mean that you have to look around though! Another thing that Amy finds tricky when travelling long-term is constantly packing her bag and moving from hostel to hostel.
Sometimes you need to relax for a little while. Check yourself into a hotel or private room and unpack for a little while. This helps you relax your mind a bit more and feel a little bit like you’re at home. Do what you need to do to recreate what you feel like you’re missing from home. Don’t be afraid to take your time to relax for a little while too. You don’t need to be on the go all the time. Sometimes you need to just pause for a beat and enjoy the ride.
Write It Out
Sometimes when you’re experiencing homesickness, it can be difficult to snap yourself out of it. Writing is one of the best therapies so it may be worth creating a diary. You will be able to write down everything that you’re feeling and get it all out in the open. This means that you’re creating an honest account of your time travelling too. You will be able reflect on that when you’re having a better day too. This will remind yourself of the highs and lows and how quickly things can turn around too!
The best thing about writing all this down is that you don’t need to be ashamed of your feelings. The only other person that is going to read it is yourself! We feel that this is one of the best ways to help with that homesick feeling. When you look back on all the high moments you will have when travelling it’ll make it all worthwhile. Sometimes we find that writing these emotions down can give you more perspective on your feelings and create some distance from them. There is a reason that keeping a journal is considered therapeutic!
This may actually sound like the opposite of what you should be doing. However, if you’re suffering from homesickness and nothing else works then distracting yourself is actually one of the best things you can do. If Amy is not feeling quite right, travelling or not, the first thing she reaches for is her book. Reading is a great way to distract yourself and put your mind in a better place. Whether its reading, listening to music, watching a movie or just enjoying a cup of coffee at a local café. Whatever it may be, distracting yourself is one of the best things that you can do to keep your mind off any unsettling feelings that you may have.
Experience Something New
The best thing about travelling is that you are constantly surrounded by the opportunity to try new things. This is one of the best ways to help cure your own homesickness. You will be able to take part in something completely new. Hopefully you’ll also step yourself out of your comfort zone too. This will give you something else to focus on that is positive as well. As we said previously, whilst you’re missing memories from home, it is worth taking time to create new memories too! Depending on what you’re interested in, you could go paragliding, bungee jumping, quad biking or try a tour of some kind. The world is your oyster, literally, so make sure that you take advantage of what is at your fingertips.
You should take the opportunity whilst being away to try new things. Be the person you want to be instead of being someone that you’re expected to be. Having this experience will change you forever. Even if you end up not enjoying some of the things you try, you’ll still have gained so much life experience. Make sure you go all out on your travels
This is especially important if you’re travelling solo. Make sure that you get yourself into some Facebook groups for the destination that you’re travelling in. Amy is in a few solo travel Facebook groups and often sees posts from other travellers seeking support when they’re feeling lonely or homesick. The support in these groups are always incredibly overwhelming. You will find that there are so many people that have been in the exact position that you’re currently in.
These communities are great places to gain support, confidence and advice. Listen to more experienced travellers and take their advice. Not just that but even chatting to other travellers online, you will find that you feel less alone. The first step is being brave enough to post in these groups. Therefore, try and implement yourself in a few of them before you go off travelling. You can then see other things that people are posting. This will give you the confidence to do the same should you ever need to!
When you’re travelling, everyone usually experiences homesickness at some point. That is completely normal and you have nothing to be ashamed of. You need to be prepared for this and figure out what you can do to make yourself better. You don’t want to end up letting yourself feel like this and that you’re unable to escape. Lean on your friends and family for support. They will want the best for you and will actually find it incredibly brave that you’ve done this much on your own already.