Travel is a fantastic thing. It’s a chance to see more of the world, to meet new people and to experience different cultures and ways of life. It’s an opportunity to learn more about the world, to tune up your language skills and to learn about different societies and civilizations.
Of course, it’s also a brilliant chance to take a break from your everyday life, to recharge your batteries and to get some much-needed rest.
If you are lucky enough to take a more extended trip, either traveling from place to place or living abroad for a period of time, it’s even better. Living away from home for a more extended period changes you. It helps you to become more independent, to learn more about yourself and who you are, and to put your problems into perspective.
You’ll come home stronger, more independent, ready to tackle other adventures with new friends, and more confidence. But it’s not all great. Many people that travel feel homesick, especially in the beginning when it’s new and overwhelming.
Homesickness is totally normal, but too much of it can start to affect your enjoyment of your trip. So, let’s take a look at some ways to avoid it.
Take Some Home Comforts
If you are trying to travel light, moving from place to place, you certainly won’t want to pack photo albums, teddy bears and all of your other sentimental items. But you don’t need to. You’ll have plenty of photos on your phone, so just put some important ones in an album so that they’re easy to look at.
Pack some other small reminders of home. Even things like your favorite pillowcase, that will help you to settle and bring back happy memories.
When there’s so much to see and do, and your head is filled with your exciting adventures, it’s all too easy to forget a phone call or stop updating your social media. Then, you realize that you haven’t checked in with home for a while and you feel guilty on top of homesick. So, schedule contact. But, be realistic. Don’t tell everyone you’ll phone every day, you won’t. But, get a Japan SIM Card to make contact easier, and set a standing date for a quick call or online chat and make sure you stick to it, whatever happens.
If you do start to feel homesick, the worst thing that you can do is sit and wallow. Let yourself call home or look at photos, but then get up and do something.
Head out for a walk on the beach or try a new restaurant. Book a tour or even go for a run. Get moving, and you are bound to start feeling better.
Get into a Routine
The first few days are always hard, because there’s so much going on. If you’ve traveled a long way and it’s taken a long time, you are bound to be tired when you arrive at your destination. It can easily take a few days to start feeling yourself again. But, when you do, it’s a good idea to try and get into a routine.
On a shorter break, you might be happy to spend your days lounging around the pool or walking on the beach. You might want to spend late nights taking in bars and clubs and enjoying long sleeps. But, on a longer break, a lack of routine can be hard on your mental well-being. You’ll miss home a lot more if you’ve got no purpose.
Try and get into a routine as much as possible. Get up at the same time (even if it’s late) each day, head for a leisurely breakfast and enjoy a relaxing morning. But then do something more. Be productive. Be creative. Meet new people and try new things. Give your mind plenty of other things to think about, and make sure you’ve got loads to tell your family about when you do check in with home.
Give Yourself Time
There’s nothing wrong with feeling a little homesick and sad. It doesn’t mean that you’ve made a mistake or that you should have stayed at home. Nor does it mean that you can’t enjoy your travels.
The first week or so might seem strange and unusual, but give yourself time. As soon as you start to settle into your routine and have fun, you’ll begin to feel less homesick. But, it might never entirely go. Throughout your travels, you might get pangs of sadness when you think of home. That’s fine too.