Traveling is not only about having fun, sitting on the beach with mojito or bothering stewardess on the plane to Miami to get extra brownie. Sometimes unexpected things occur and one of them is homesickness. Did you know, that there are few simple steps how to beat it and how to make your holiday or business trip pleasant again? Read more!
Recently, I heard nice song on the radio with lyrics like ‘only hate the road, when you’re missing home’. This is so much true! Why do we plan our holidays, why do we save money for it and once we get to the destination, we get homesick and want to go back home? The answer is not that simple and it depends on every single person, why we get homesick. Even experienced traveller can suffer with homesickness, usually when is away from home for a longer time and alone. For example, I got homesick during my 5 months stay in Estonia and right there, I figured out how to beat it. Now I’m in United States of America and when I wrote this article, it was exactly one month after my arrival. Alone in the States, just me and my suitcase and I still didn’t get homesick.
1. MAKE FRIENDS
There’s nothing more helpful than having a lot of friends around you. Help each other to beat homesickness, you’re not the only who doesn’t feel comfortable with the place you’re on, right now. Humans are social being and being alone is not healthy at all. Just go out of your bed and ask others how are they doing, where are they from and what they do. This work! All you need is not to be shy.
Where are new friends? Right there, where’s something going on. If you have opportunity to go for trip, pub or just walk around new place, just go. Are they playing cards? Join them! Is anyone going out tonight? Go as well. As much as you participate, your days will go faster and your time out home will go faster at it will be more enjoyable.
The reason why you have homesickness is because you’re somewhere you’ve never been before. The place you don’t know and you don’t know what it offers. So do not sit in front of computer so much, wear comfy shoes and go! Whether it is forest, small town or big city. There’s always something to see. Take your cameras and new friends and make pictures. Check your city history in local library, learn about historical sites in this town and go to see them. Even if you’re not interested in history. The reason why I started this blog almost year ago was my stay in Estonia, and I was so excited about this place so I had to write everything down. You do the same.
4. WORKOUT MENTALLY & PHYSICALLY
The time you’re spending in your new home you can advantage for improving yourself. Whether physically or mentally. Go for a short run everyday so you’ll feel better with knowing that you’ve done something good for your body. Try avoid junk food and spend as much time as possible on sun and fresh air. Play football or tennis. My favourite sport is running, no matter where in the world am I, I always find time for running. You can consider going to the gym, as well. Try to workout mentally as well. Go to the store and buy book and read it. Try to make better you while you’re off from home, now is the best opportunity! Not tomorrow, tomorrow never happens.
5. SKYPE & SOCIAL MEDIA
Staying in touch with those you love is probably the most important thing in this list. But know your limits! Spending whole days in front of camera will make you feel even more homesick. Let’s say that every other day is good to stay in touch with your parents or friends. Share pictures and your experiences with them, they will appreciate it. Being without touch will make you feel bad, but being in touch too much will make you feel even worse.
6. SEND POSTCARDS
Maybe you ask yourself ‘why should I send postcards, when I can post all pictures?’. The answer is simple, there are still some people who don’t live online life, like your grandma. And anyway, even if she does, postcard is still more than picture on the monitor. You don’t have to buy them, there are few apps like Touchnote for sending postcards right from your phone from pictures you choose. I use Touchnote a lot, and I love it. Sending the postcard costs you only 2 EUR and you can do it whenever in the world you are. Postcards really help beating homesickness, because you have to make effort to write it, think about what to write and send it. There’s nothing more beautiful like the smile of your close ones who find your postcard in the mailbox.
7. WRITE DIARY
Try to write down few words everyday, just to keep track how things going on. It may sound ridiculous, but it helps. You don’t have to write everything, like what you had for dinner. Just write about your feelings and thoughts. This is way how you can let it out without bothering somebody. At the end of your trip you can just throw it away, but recommend to keep it and sometimes get back to read it. It will help you figure out where are you now and where you’ve been.
I used to suffer with homesickness a lot while my Erasmus in Estonia. But than to my experience, now I can write this article and recommend you some tips that helped me. Let’s make traveling fun again :-)
Milan Bardun 2014 because it’s better to travel, than to arrive