Traveling is one of the most mind-expanding and worthwhile pursuits in life, however, it’s not with out challenges. One of the most common travel related issues is homesickness, a condition characterised by gloominess, nervousness and excessive thoughts of home.
Even if you’re eating gelato in Italy or cruising the Mediterranean you may find yourself pining for the familiar. You might even experience physical symptoms, such as difficulty sleeping, lack of appetite or even headaches, according to Routledge Taylor Francis Group research.
This is completely normal and surprisingly common but thankfully it’s almost always temporary and can be easily remedied. Here are some helpful tips to get on top of homesickness and make the most of your overseas adventure!
1) Utilise social media and video calling
Josh Klapow, a leading clinical psychologist spoke to CNN about homesickness and its causes. His findings tell us that homesickness is not simply missing home, but missing feelings of familiarity, love and security. That’s why a video call to parents, your partner or a close friend when you’re feeling homesick may be just what you need to start feeling better.
Alternatively, it’s a great idea to use social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram or Twitter to post pictures of your travels and interact with friends and family back home. That feeling of connectedness will help you shake feelings of homesickness and allow you to really enjoy your time overseas (plus a little showing off never hurt!).
2) Meet fellow travellers
For those who travel alone, not knowing anyone around you can bring on feelings of homesickness. And the easiest way to fix this? Get to know your fellow travellers.
Whether the local market, bar or tourist attractions, there will no doubt be people who are in the exact situation as yourself. Perhaps they want you to take a photo of them or are reaching out for directions, take this opportunity to meet someone and spark a friendship.
This will help you feel connected, and if nothing else will provide a distraction from feelings of homesickness.
3) Get involved in local culture
Klapow also found that losing your routine and encountering the unfamiliar is a cause of homesickness. Encountering the unfamiliar is what travel is all about, so it’s understandable that there’s an adjustment period early on in your trip. Diving headfirst into the local culture and doing your best to enjoy yourself will help remedy feelings of anxiety and uncertainty
Festivals, food markets, cultural rituals, do some research on what’s happening around you and get involved. These types of experiences are usually one in a lifetime and make the best stories for the future. By participating you also may feel a part of something, make local friends, or at very least distract yourself.
While holidays are all about doing new and amazing things, there’s always time for enjoying some of the comforts of home. If you love football, buy a ticket to a local match, if you enjoy a quiet afternoon with a book, find the local library.
These are still holiday experiences, but can give you feelings of comfort and security when you’re far away from home. As we now know, comfort and security are key to curing homesickness so that you can get out there and drink in the world.
With these tips on-board, are you ready to book your dream holiday? If so, get in touch with the expert team at FBI Travel today!