Travelling is probably one of the best strategies for learning tons of new things in a relatively short time. Still, it's an extreme experience and at some point will likely become overwhelming. That's when you'll find yourself feeling nostalgic for the comforts of your own home and begin missing friends or family. Fortunately, there are some practical things you can do to beat this feeling of homesickness. Here are some top tips all travellers should know when travelling far from their homeland.
Make a bucket list
It's best to arrive in a new country with a plan. A bucket list is a great idea to consider before you depart on your journey. How about visiting the most famous bakeries or teashops in the area? Or challenging yourself to reach as many hiking destinations as possible before you leave? Focused on your project, you'll rarely have the time to miss your home.
Follow a routine
To keep yourself busy, you need to control your schedule. Wake up at the same hour every day, have a great breakfast and plan some social activities – drinks with friends or enjoying the local sport. With a busy schedule, you won't find the time to sit around and mope for hours.
Reach out to the locals
Homesickness usually comes from a deep feeling of loneliness. One way to battle it is by setting up a support network for yourself at your new place of residence. Make some local friends and explore the culture with them – such a person will take you to traditional celebrations, family functions and other events that will make you feel like a part of the local culture.
Learn something new
One of the common causes of homesickness is simple – you've got too much time on your hands. Keeping it interesting intellectually wise is the best way to deal with it – try learning a new language or acquire a new skill. Ever thought of cooking a local dish? How about a martial arts or yoga course? Challenge yourself, and remember that it's best to choose activities strongly connected to the local culture.
Control your use of social media
Social media is great for keeping in touch with friends and family – that is, until you hide yourself in your room and obsess over tweets and posts related to events happening in your home country. This kind of attitude will inevitably lead to homesickness. However, sharing your own overseas adventures on social media is a great way to stay connected and let everyone back home know what you’re up to. It’ll also remind you of all the great memories you’ve made.
Spend time on your own too
When you're feeling homesick, it a good idea to not only find great people to keep you company, but also save some time in your schedule for some 'me' time. Write down some positive thoughts in a journal – this will help you be on your own and stay positive.
Negative thinking can also trigger homesickness. Try to objectively re-examine every negative thought that pops up in your mind. Remember that things might look bleak only from your perspective – the trick is to get out of your skin for a moment and see your anxiety from a different point of view.
If your homesickness takes a toll on your life, have a look around – you'll surely find someone who feels just as out of place as you do now. Keep an open mind and expect positive things to happen throughout your journey every day – they will, but only if you let them.
This is a guest post by Nicole Davies. Nicole works at ShortCourseFinder, a website providing a simple way to find and sign up for online short courses from Australia’s top providers. Main interests include social media and the use of new technologies in everyday life.