10 tips to overcome homesickness when traveling abroad
January 18, 2015
Traveling is magical and I recommend it to anyone who has the time and financial condition to do so. But unfortunately it doesn’t come without a price. Depending on the duration, location and purpose of your travels, nostalgia and homesickness will set in. You’ll feel a sharp decrease in energy levels, loss in appetite and loss in interest in daily routines or things that you previously enjoyed doing. To a certain extent you’ll feel deeply incomplete and this may be very scary.
The symptoms are normal, however, your reaction to it is crucial. You can be reactive and cave in, or be proactive and use it as a trampoline to project you. Your attitude is what differentiates the strong from the weak; use homesickness as an ongoing source of motivation.
It’s easier said than done. I took a while to learn how to overcome it and use it for my advantage. So, with what I’ve learnt.. below are 10 ways to overcome homesickness when living abroad:
Contact your family or friends back home frequently - Skype and Whatsapp are great tools
Form relationships with people who you have mutual interests and backgrounds with (i.e a sport, a country, a club, a profession)
Fill your days with valuable content – don’t stay alone or with nothing to do. Valuable means things your future self will thank your current self for doing
Seek constant help and guidance in a higher power - whatever or whoever it may be. This is incredibly important - you’ll feel a boost of energy and objectivity, especially in your tougher days
Exercise your mind - read books that will enhance your life (see Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle), stay up to date with news from home, take courses, write..
Exercise your body – hit the gym! Whether it’s lifting weights, doing cardio, stretching, foam rolling, doing yoga or Pilates… frequent movement of the body has shown to increase physical and mental health.
Be organized and set goals for yourself - start by having overarching goals, then break them down in detail. Ask yourself two questions, what do I have to do today to take a step closer to my goals? And, what is the most efficient way of doing it?
Meditate – modern society has attached negative connotations to this practice. At its core, meditating is sitting silently, freeing the mind of any attachment of past or future and being intensely in the present (see Power of Now)
Leave time for genuine fun - You’re in a new location, soak it in and enjoy it. Learn from locals and experience their ways of having fun. Don’t let the burden of being away make you miss out. After all, there are flights leaving every day to wherever you may have come from!
Remind yourself this is a temporary phase - Try and learn and grow as much as possible – you’ll realize how far along you’ve come when you’re back home!
So.. if fear or worries are stopping you from travelling somewhere you’ve never been, don’t let them! If I manage and my family manages, you’ll definitely manage. It may take a while, but the day you learn to overcome the issue of homesickness, you’ll feel life propel you upwards in every way while you are there.
Living abroad - It’s not always easy, but it’s almost always worth it :)