How to Curb Homesickness

Homesickness is a harsh reality for even the most seasoned of travelers, and it's important not to beat yourself up over it. Everyone experiences a time or two where they just want to cuddle up in their own bed, see their friends, eat food that is familiar, speak their own language, etc. 

Mine hits me like a ton of bricks. I'll be fine one minute, and the next minute I'm crying into a bowl of pasta, listening to "All By Myself" and flipping back and forth through photos of my family together without me. But be easy on yourself.

1.) Mope a while.

Ain't nothing wrong with a lil' moping, as long as it's done in a healthy way. Chill out in your hotel/hostel, order pizza, watch crap tv on your iPad, do whatever you have to do. But make sure it won't get in the way of your experience. Don't leave it longer than an evening. You'll regret it if you spend your whole time abroad watching Lost and downing chocolate, so force yourself to get up and get moving. 

2.) Be productive with it.

Turn your homesickness into something that will propel you forward. Be motivated by it. Get up and get going because you want to have awesome stories when you get back. 

3.) Step out of your comfort zone. 

Do something every day that scares you. It will distract you from feeling homesick, and push you more and more out of your comfort zone so that you no longer feel uncomfortable. Do things that you normally wouldn't if you were at home. 

4.) Laugh. 

Madrid, Spain 

Madrid, Spain 

Science (not sure what science, but I'm sure some sort of science) shows that laughter truly is the best medicine. Distracting yourself by finding the funny in a new place is a great way to curb homesickness. Being able to laugh about cultural differences (in a non-offensive way) can make you think about what you truly appreciate about being home. 

5.) Get off social media. 

Social media is one of the biggest sources of FOMO. (to read more about FOMO, click here.). Step away from Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, Instagram, Google+, whatever it is that drags you away from the here and now. It'll only heighten your homesickness. 

6.) Create a wanderlist and complete it. 

Create your own wanderlist and promise yourself that you're going to knock off everything on the list while you're abroad. It'll take your mind off of your homesickness, but also motivate you to get out into the world and complete it. 

7.) Find a little slice of home. 

With my best friend from home who came to visit me in London.

With my best friend from home who came to visit me in London.

You'd probably be shocked to know that you know more people that are traveling than you think. Often, I randomly reach out to people I haven't talked to in 10 years who I see are traveling, and ask them to meet up if they're around. And it always is so comforting knowing that you've found a small slice of home while you're abroad. Have your friends come visit you. Visit them, if they're living semi-close by.

8.) Ultimate Me Time.

UMT, or Ultimate Me TIme, as I call it, is unbelievably important as a traveler. Even if you're traveling by yourself, it's important to step aside and take some extra time out for yourself to write in a journal, listen to music, sit in a garden, meditate, whatever it is that makes you tick. Spend time being mindful, alone in your own head. It will give you some clarity, some peace within the crazy, and some time to step back and reflect on the things you appreciate about your home. 

9.) Call your parents! (or any important loved one).

Chicago, USA

Chicago, USA

Your parents may be the first to say "you could just come home!" But don't fall victim to that. Talking to your parents may give you the comfort you need of having a familiar voice while traveling. Keep the conversation short though, as a long winded phone call about everything you miss about home could perpetuate your homesickness even further. 

10.) Realize that there is absolutely nothing wrong with being homesick. 

Because there isn't. Everyone gets homesick, even the most well seasoned of travelers. About once a month, I declare war on Europe. 98% of the time, I'm in love with the European way of life, but the other 2% of the time, I just want resealable food packaging, window screens, and the comfort of the things I love at home that Europe just doesn't have. There's nothing wrong with missing home, as long as it is manifested in a healthy, constructive way. Don't let it get in the way of living your life, but realize that homesickness is inevitable, and revel in it for a while. 

Homesickness is inevitable as a traveler. You can let it weigh you down, or you can let it destroy your experience. How do you curb your homesickness when traveling abroad?