Travelling is something many of us class as a hobby or passion, but even the most seasoned globetrotter can be susceptible to homesickness. If you’re backpacking around the world, you’re working away from home for a prolonged period, or you’re living abroad, it’s natural to pine for the people or things you miss from time to time. If homesickness is getting you down, here are some top tips to help you feel happier and make the most of your trip.
Embrace modern ways to stay in touch
Advances in technology mean that it’s easier than ever to stay in touch with friends and family members while you’re away. Gone are the days of extortionate calls and dodgy phone signal. Today, you can use a whole range of platforms and channels to communicate with loved ones and keep in contact. From video calls, social media and instant messaging to emails, texts and voice notes, you can update everyone with your news, show them where you’re staying and keep up with what’s going on at home. Speaking to friends and seeing familiar faces on your phone or tablet screen should make you feel closer to the people you miss most.
Try to prevent FOMO
One of the main reasons why people feel homesick is that they experience FOMO or fear of missing out. In the days of social media, it’s virtually impossible to avoid photos and videos when your friends hang out together, there’s a special event or occasion, or your family plans a trip that you can’t make. Some people love to see photos of nights out or family parties, but if scrolling through social media or getting blow-by-blow updates via voice notes or photos makes you feel upset or isolated, try to avoid triggers. Take a break from social media and let your family and friends know that you’d rather look at their photos and videos when you get home. It’s also important to recognise that you may be missing out on things at home, but you’ve got an opportunity to enjoy different experiences and adventures.
Find comfort in familiarity
When you’re away for a long time, it’s common to miss home comforts. You might start to miss small, silly things like your favourite soaps, or foods and drinks that you can only buy from supermarkets at home, for example. Many of us find comfort in familiarity. If you’re missing home, you might find it helpful to treat yourself to some creature comforts. Download shows to watch on the go, or find out how to access foreign TV channels. If you’re missing Saturday night game shows or daily episodes of soap operas, for example, use the Internet to find information like how to get BBC iPlayer in Australia. Alternatively, you could buy a DVD box set or search for shows you love on a streaming service that is available in your current location. Look for websites or specialist shops that sell international products, or ask a family member or friend to send you a care package with some of the things you love.
Create a contact network
Spending time with other people can be an incredible remedy for homesickness. One of the main reasons people miss home is being unable to socialise and spend quality time with their friends and relatives. If you’re going away for a while, or you’re living abroad temporarily, it’s an excellent idea to try to create a contact network. Make use of contacts that people you know already have, look up groups on social media and be proactive in getting to know people once you arrive.
Taking up hobbies is a great way to make friends and it’s also beneficial to look for expat groups online. Socialise with colleagues outside of work and use social media to make connections. If friends and family members have mentioned that they have contacts in your new destination, get in touch with them. It’s useful to know people not only to make friends and have fun but also for practical reasons, such as getting advice about finding somewhere to live or opening a bank account, for example.
There are myriad benefits of travelling, but even the most willing victims of wanderlust can experience homesickness. If you’re living abroad, or you’re taking an extended break and you feel homesick, it’s helpful to follow these tips. Keep in touch with friends and family members, try to limit the risk of FOMO and find comfort in familiarity. Be proactive in making connections and meeting new people, and build a contact network.