Whether you miss your mom, your bed, your boots, your snowboard – or maybe you just miss being able to get around on your own, food from your town, or not struggling with an accent; here’s some tricks for getting past feeling home-sick.
1. Get a routine. While traveling, life can be full of inconsistency, instability, and surprises, so find your daily happy place. Mine? Iced coffee after lunch, even if I have to make it myself; it never fails me.
2. Be active. You’re going to be more homesick if you’re stuck at your apartment or place of stay. If you’re bored, you’ll start to wonder what you could be doing at home. Instead, just actually go do something like checking out a new neighborhood, a picnic at the park, or reading at the beach. Even better: look up local festivals for food, music, and art.
3. Meet someone new… maybe someone that wouldn’t be in your immediate wolf pack at home. An elderly person might have some great stories to tell. A local will probably be willing to show you around. If all else fails, pull a Forgetting Sarah Marshall at a hotel or hostel – the people working there are practically obligated to be-friend you (just kidding, but they usually are very outgoing).
4. Lots of Skype. Count yourself in for special moments going on at home with a Skype presence or even schedule a weekly Skype date.
5. Remind yourself WHY are you traveling, and WRITE it down. Even if it’s as a Facebook post or tweet – when all your friends at home “like” it, their support will infuse you with courage.
6. Celebrate your own culture’s holidays with the locals or other travelers. When I lived in Australia, my friends threw a Thanksgiving dinner for me and it meant the world to me!
7. Get outdoors/get fit. Exercise gives you endorphins and jogging past the Sydney Opera House or doing yoga on the Cliffs of Moher reminds you how much better being abroad is than your monotonous gym at home.
8. Turn off your newsfeed. Sometimes it’s best not to see what you’re “missing out on.” You’re really not missing out on anything; it will still be there when you’re back. But you’re only “here” now. Embrace real life.
9. Do something for someone at home. To stay connected, send post cards, souvenirs and written letters.
10. Get someone to visit. If not someone you are really close to, offer to meet up with friends of friends. Sometimes, just having shared interests helps relieve a little pain.
11. Cry it out. Don’t feel guilty for feeling bad, or weak. If you don’t like to cry, but “need” to cry, watch a sad movie that makes you cry. You’ll feel better!
12. Record your journey. Whether you prefer to write, take photos, or video (GoPro and iPhones make this easy), sometimes you have to see your travels through another lens (literally) to appreciate the opportunity to be where you are right then and there.