If you’ve ever been away from home for a long period of time, whether you’re a TEFLer, traveller or you’re studying abroad, chances are that you’ve experienced that horrible, niggling feeling of homesickness. It’s one of the hardest parts of travelling but it is possible to pull yourself out of it and here are a few tips to make yourself feel more at home wherever you are…
1 – Keep in touch
These days, it’s so much easier to stay in touch with far off friends and relatives, you can hardly get rid of them! Use Skype/Facetime/Whatsapp to have frequent chats with your loved ones and their words of support are bound to make you feel better.
2 – Home comforts
It’s worth taking a couple of items with you that hold some sentimental value to give you some comfort when you have a down moment. Photos of close friends and family are a good idea to stick by your bed or maybe that little stuffed toy you’ve had for years. Don’t go overboard, obviously, but it’s nice to have one or two things from home.
3 – Talk it out
Chances are, you’ve got some travelling friends nearby and guess what, you’re all in the same boat! They are the perfect listeners because they will understand and empathise with you. It’s what friends are for and trust us, you’ll feel loads better after having a chat about it! A problem shared is a problem halved and all that…
4 – Get out & about
Sitting around in the hostel won’t make you feel any better so it’s definitely best to try and get out and about and do stuff! Go down to the beach, wonder round the shops, go for a bike ride, whatever floats your boat. Anything where you’re exercising is even better because, as every TV doctor ever has told us, exercise releases endorphins! Urgh.
5 – Dear diary…
Keeping a diary is a great way to help process your feelings, including feeling homesick. Reflecting on things you’ve done or emotions you’ve felt really can relieve homesickness and it’s also a great way to log your travels and remember all the cool things you’ve done whilst being abroad!
Whether you’re teaching English abroad, studying, being a nomad or just plain holidaying, just remember the grass is always greener on the other side. Don’t let a little homesickness get in the way of having a good time – you’re a strong independent traveller!