We all know that travelling is one of the best ways to learn and enrich your life. So many people go abroad for extended period every year, flitting between countries and experiencing many different cultures. Many people choose to do this between high school and university, whilst others pack up and leave at any given point in life. It is an exciting prospect whether you’re doing it on a whim or if you’ve been planning it for months. Once everything is in order, stepping on the plane and having those first few days in your new (temporary) home is a bit of a whirlwind. It’s once you finally settle down that you may start to experience feelings of homesickness, especially if you are travelling alone. It is completely natural to feel this way, so don’t feel like you are alone. But at the same time, it is important not to let this get in the way of your travelling experience. Thankfully, there are ways to curb your homesickness to allow you to relax and enjoy your travels.
Immerse yourself in the local culture
One of the main reasons we become homesick is because we are away from our local cultures and customs. It can be scary being in an environment where everything is so polar opposite from what you are used to. But try to see things from a bigger perspective and remember where you are. You will only have this experience once – and you will be going home at the end of it. Throw yourself into the local culture of wherever it is you are and see how your experience changes. You might be surprised at how easily you adapt, and you may discover a way of life that you never imagined before.
Stay in contact with friends and family
Sometimes, when you’re feeling homesick, all you need is a good old chat with you mum. In fact, even when you’re not feeling homesick it is a good idea to call home regularly, to keep both parties in the loop. It will relax and calm you to hear your family’s voices. Or, having a gossip with your best friend can add an element of normality to an otherwise extraordinary situation. In a lot of countries, you may experience poor internet signal that doesn’t allow you to use Skype or Facetime. In those instances, it is vital to ensure you can make cheap international calls in order to contact people back home.
Take some time out
Being surrounded by a new culture can be overwhelming at times. It may get to the point while you are away that you simply need an evening to yourself, away from all the madness of the outside world. If you are lucky enough to be renting a private room, snuggle up under your duvet and settle in for a night of movies or TV shows from back home. If you’re sharing a hostel dorm, spend some time chatting with your roommates or reading a good book. You will wake the next morning feeling refreshed, and ready to take on your travelling adventure!