Traveling offers lots of exciting opportunities from picturesque scenery to delicious new foods and different cultures, but when you’re away from home longer than a couple of weeks, it can also mean homesickness. That house you bought among the Birmingham homes for sale, or in any other city, brings familiar comforts – as a study in ResearchGate notes, home helps one to “develop and maintain identities and a sense of continuity in their lives.”
Fortunately, there are some relatively easy ways to manage homesickness when traveling so that you can enjoy the moment.
If you’re missing friends and family at home, take advantage of social media to share your experiences which can help make you feel more connected. You can also use technology like FaceTime and Skype Calls. Just don’t rely on it too much or it could not only make homesickness worse, but you’ll probably end up missing out on the joys of travel too.
Meet Up With Others From Home
Sometimes just being around other people from your home country can make a significant difference, as homesickness is often worse when there’s a language barrier and a whole new culture. By staying in hostels, there’s a good chance you’ll find someone to talk to, but talking to other travelers in local pubs and bars, joining get-togethers through sites like Meetup.com or even taking a tour, can all be good ways to find that connection.
If you’re outside enjoying the sites, taking advantage of tours, and especially outdoor activities that get your heart pounding and feel-good endorphins flowing, you’re unlikely to feel homesick. On the other end of the spectrum, sitting in your hotel room online watching what your friends are doing back home is probably going to really make homesickness set in. Do anything but sit inside on your laptop feeling sorry for yourself.
When you’re traveling, it’s easier to fall into bad habits like poor diet and not getting enough exercise. But that can leave you feeling lethargic, increasing homesickness, creating a vicious cycle. Combat that by planning activities like hiking, biking and/or paddling into your sightseeing, and aim to eat healthier meals, eliminating junk foods if possible. You’ll feel better and have more energy to appreciate all that your destination has to offer.
Learn More About Where You Are and Where You’re Going
When traveling, you’re stepping into the unknown, but the more you know about it, the less you’re going to experience discomfort. Try to learn as much as you can beforehand so that you’ll feel more prepared once you get there. Once you’ve arrived, join local events and seek out every opportunity possible to get to know those who live there, making the culture shock a lot less “shocking.”
Dine on Foods From Home
Your favorite foods from home can be a major source of comfort. See if you can find a restaurant that serves whatever it is that you’re missing. Depending on the location, you might be able to find something easily with a Google search, otherwise talk to your B&B/Airbnb host or hotel staff, and/or look for travel forums focused on the area for advice from others who’ve been there, or are there right now.
Amila Gamage Wickramarachchi is the founder of this blog where she shares her parenting and lifestyle experiences. She is an engineer and a trainer who works in the construction industry. She is the founder of Sihela Consultants.(www.sihelaconsultants.com)