Traveling is a great eye-opening experience no matter where you go, but it’s not uncommon to feel a bit homesick at times. Here are a few ways to travel and cope with homesickness.
Find your niche
When dealing with homesickness, it’s easy to let negative thoughts weigh you down. You may feel out of place, or the unfamiliarity of a new place might overwhelm you. The natural instinct may be to withdraw, but actively making an effort to go out and explore will help you feel more comfortable in your setting.
Leave your room with a positive attitude and a determination to find a place you like and one that can act as your home base. This place might be a park, cafe or somewhere with a beautiful view. Visit this spot several times to become familiar with the sights, smells and sounds. When you feel homesick, this place can be your home away from home.
Document your feelings and experiences
When you look back at your travel experiences, you’ll wish you could remember things better. That’s why it’s beneficial for you to document your feelings and experiences with journaling and pictures. This will also help combat feelings of homesickness. With a mission to make memories that’ll last a lifetime, you’ll be too busy taking in your surroundings to feel homesick.
At the end of your day, take some “me” time to reflect on the things you saw, ate and heard. Write about how you felt and what you learned. There’s even an app for that such as Bonjournal to make writing easier.
Take pictures and post about it on social media so your friends and family can vicariously live through you. Commenting back and forth on your pictures will make you feel closer to home.
Send gifts home
Another way to deal with homesickness is to prepare gifts for your friends and family back home. As you visit touristy places, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to buy souvenirs. Try to find something special and unique for each person, and you’ll have a lot more fun than if you were to buy something in bulk for everyone.
While you’re looking for items to bring back home, treat yourself as well. Find meaningful souvenirs that are attached to a special memory. Send yourself flowers or a gift basket using an online service that offers convenient delivery such as FTD. When you pamper yourself a little, you’ll begin to feel more at ease in a new environment.
Keep in touch
There’s nothing wrong with touching base with your mom or calling your best friend on Skype while you travel. They probably want to hear all about your experiences, and for you, hearing your favorite people’s voices will make you feel a little closer to home.
Before you get on the plane, download an app that allows you to communicate with your friends and family for free, such as KakaoTalk or Skype. If have Wi-Fi in your hotel room, squeeze in some FaceTime.
You might be traveling solo or with a buddy. In any case, don’t be afraid to make small talk with strangers and meet potential new friends. Exude confidence, curiosity and friendliness as you converse with those around you, and you’ll be surprised at some of the people you attract. Interact with locals or fellow travelers, and learn something about yourself as well as the culture you’re in. Be sure to get contact information of new friends so you can email or write them when you get back home. This will be a way to stay connected to the place you traveled long after you’ve been back.