How to Handle Homesickness While Abroad

It doesn’t matter if you’re traveling for 10 days or for 10 months eventually you may have a low day. A day where you miss home – your family, your friends, your dog or your bed. Here’s a guide of what to do to shift yourself out of the homesickness funk.

1. Message those you love at home.

We have the benefit of traveling in a time where your mom may be half way around the world, but she’s also at your fingertips. Video message, or even a quick email to your family of friends can do wonders for putting a smile on your face. Getting the mundane updates from home also can remind you of why you left in the first place.

2. Make new friends!

As much as it’s nice to take time to yourself, nothing improves an experience like being able to share it with someone else. Getting to know people on the road is as easy as making eye contact or sitting next to someone on the bus. Next thing you know you’re bonding over your mutual love of the local cuisine, how you were both afraid your first time bungee jumping or how Sporty Spice was your favourite Spice Girl in elementary school.

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3. Eat comfort food.

As much as Pho, Phat Thai or Alpaca is fun to try every once and a while, you still need a pizza, spaghetti, a cone or a bowl of good ol’ KD. Getting a dish that reminds you and your stomach of home is a wonderful thing after all the strange and crazy shenanigans on the road.

4. Find an activity that reminds you of home.

Do something routine to help reboot your wanderlust and keep your energy up. Do you like going to movies? See a flick in a foreign theatre. Like going for a run? Get out for a morning jog. While it might seem like a “waste” to do something mundane while you’re traveling, often these simple pleasures can be great experiences unto themselves, and remind you that all around the world, we all love the same things. Like popcorn.

5. Alternatively, do something new and exciting!

Go paragliding in Peru, cage dive with great whites in South Africa, board down a volcano in Nicaragua… getting out there and challenging yourself is a great remedy for the blues. You’re not going to conquer your homesickness sitting in the corner of the hostel. So get out there and make the most of it.

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6. If nothing else works, treat yo self!

Splurge a little for a nice hotel room. Watch all the channels, eat all the room service, wear all the robes and slippers. A hot shower and fresh towels do magical things for those nights where you miss your bed and those nicer things at home. Depending on where you are, you might be able to score a pretty epic hotel room for a fraction of what it would cost back home.

Remember to take full advantage of your travels. While you might not feel like yourself at times, keep in mind that where you are right in that moment is a place you may never be again. We’ve all gone through tough times on the road, and it’s up to you to get through it and get back to enjoying every moment. Sitting lonely in the corner of the hostel isn’t how you want to remember your adventure.

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