5 Ways To Beat Homesickness When Travelling

“Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in.”

~Robert Frost, The Death of the Hired Man

A sad girl
Feeling a bit homesick in the Philippines

 

When you constantly travel, you get to miss your friends and family members, that’s obvious. Although I’m a tough girl, I do sometimes get homesick. It usually happens during Christmas, Easter and other big events and holidays I can’t attend because I’m on the road. Homesickness comes and goes, that’s the way it is. How do I cope with it? Sit down in a closed room and cry? Try to find the quickest way to get back home as soon as possible? Not really! I have a few tricks I keep using to be less homesick or not to feel homesick at all.

Here are my top 5:

1. Keep yourself busy and active.

Exploring Banaue
Exploring Banaue

 

I travel constantly and live actively so there is not much time for being homesick. My schedule is always tight and I’m usually out and about exploring various places, taking pictures, eating different food and having a blast with locals. When I get back to my hostel room or apartment, I’m so knackered so I fall asleep immediately.

A girl is jogging
Time for jogging, Dongguan, China

 

When I get homesick I often go jogging, dance, cycle or go for a walk. When you exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins which make you feel much happier. Moreover, the first thing I do after my breakfast is shooting a few e-mails to my friends and calling my mom on Skype. That gives me a lot of positive energy for the rest of my day!

A girl is cycling
Cycling in Crete, Greece

 

 2. Call home.

When I’m very homesick, I call my friends and my mom immediately and we can talk for hours. Releasing your emotions is a great way of dealing with homesickness. My mom usually tells me to shut up, stop being silly, go sightseeing and send her some pictures of me having a blast on the road. She also explains to me how lucky I am to be able to be in these wonderful places and if I don’t want to be there, there are many of my friends who would wish to swap with me. It’s a great push for me!

A girl is surfing the internet, Banaue
Catching up with friends and family, Banaue, the Philippines

 

3. Eat, eat, eat!

A girl and Chinese boy are eating
Dining out with my Chinese friend

 

Sometimes a nice dinner or lunch with locals can make my day and I stop missing home. I always buy the food I enjoy, have some extra dessert or drink fruit shakes when I feel homesick. Treating yourself with your favourite food can easily make you forget how much you miss your loved ones.

A girl is eating jiaozi
Time for jiaozi!

 

4. Talk to someone.

A girl with a boy in Banaue
Interacting with locals in Banaue

 

When travelling, I always bump into people who, like me, are sometimes homesick. Talking to them can cheer me up and makes me realize I’m not the only one who has moments of weakness. The “I’m so homesick” conversation might turn into a nice chat and I quickly stop thinking about feeling lonely.

5. Carry photos of your loved ones in your wallet.

Two girls in Crete
Me and Maddeleine in Crete, Greece

 

 I always have a few pictures of my close friends and my mom with me. If I know that I’m going to stay in one place for a long time, I stick these photographs on the wall and keep looking at them till I feel like they are all with me. I can look at them all when I wake up and go to sleep every day. The pictures I take with me are the funniest ones so I can smile every time looking at them.

Everyone is different and we all have different ways of dealing with homesickness. The most important though is to find your own way of beating it and always stay positive!

[box type=”info” size=”large” style=”rounded” border=”full”]Travel update: In less than 7 weeks we are coming back home for summer so we can’t wait to see our friends, family members and fellow travel bloggers from Poland. Cez is going to Poland, whereas my plans are a big secret for now! Thank you to Webjet Hotels for a gift voucher, which will allow us to book a few nights stay in a hotel should we need it. [/box]

What’s your best way of beating homesickness when travelling?

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93 Comments

  • I think you sum up the secret perfectly and that is to keep busy. Keeping your mind occupied and busy stops you thinking about things which might make you feel sad/lonely. There are always friends to make and interact with, you just need to go and make it happen.

    Exciting news of your forthcoming trip home. Also looking forward to you revealing your future plans!!!!

    Nice gesture by Webjet Hotels. I hope you give yourselves a very special treat, you deserve it.

    • Thanks a lot! I am going to travel with my mom a lot as I want to teach her how to travel on the cheap, but she doesn’t know that so shhhhhh :)!!

  • I also keep myself active when I start being homesick. That’s the best possible way to handle it in my opinion! Your mum seems to be great, telling you to go sightseeing and enjoy your life on the road! It’s important to have the people at home (which are important to you) supporting you and your way of life.

  • Good post Agness. I’m very like you – I keep active – always busy and for me and I never get “homesick”. I also have some peculiar traits like wearing a football shirt of my home teams and flying my country’s flag (Northern Ireland) so it feels like my home is somehow travelling with me. In fact, I’ve never actually been homesick, I have to admit it. I’m not sure that day will ever come. If it ever does, I probably won’t know what to do…Safe travels. Jonny

  • Great tips…I have to say this is something I am a little worried about before I set off on my travel adventure in 6 weeks. I’ll definitely follow your advice. I particularly like “eat,eat, eat!”

    Have a great time back home :)

    • Don’t worry about it. As long as you keep yourself busy with exploring new places and stay in touch with your family, you will be absolutely fine!

  • Well Said, Agness – I completely agree! Sometimes it helps me to eat some foods from home, too. :-)

    My husband and I both agree that holidays are the most difficult times during our travels. Christmas is my favorite holiday and my husband’s favorite is Thanksgiving. We definitely plan to be HOME next year for both!

    :-)

  • Totally agree with you there. Nothing is better than keeping busy. I have noticed the only time I start feeling down is when I am doing nothing. Nothing may sound relaxing, but, it really is a killer to the mood. Not to mention all the physical benefits of staying active. Creating memories is fun, and it keeps your mind off of things like being homesick. Great post!

  • These are great tips, but I think that embracing the homesickness is a vital part of walking away from traveling with a greater understanding of the world and yourself. Things can get very lonely on the road, but without that experience, you’ll never learn to grow as a person.

  • Love the blog- it’s so easy sometimes to feel so far from home and every now and then that little kick from someone reminds you that you’re not missing out on much and usually were in the most amazing places that we almost forget. Food always helps too ;)

    The worst is when you’re that little be sick or ill and just want that hug from your mum but it’s usually then, when I’m at my lowest, that I normally find my interaction with the local community steps up a notch. You seem to open yourself up more and they do the same.

    Travel safe ;}

    Brad

    • I totally agree. Being sick sucks and I know something about it. You wish you were home with your mom looking after you and cooking for you :)!

  • Agness, you are coming home and your plans are a big secret? Well, if you are really that home sick, then I guess you will be sitting at home with your loved ones until you are ready to listen to your mom again. I really like her advice by the way… :)

    • Hey ho Dennis! Yes, I am going home soon but only for a few days. I will be travelling with my mom around Europe a lot, but it’s a kind of surprise so shhhhh :)!!

  • Hi Agness, great article. My wife misses her mum a lot, so they are constantly on Skype. Our 2-year-old Jack even knows how to switch on the iPad, fire up Skype and call his “Nonna”. I think everyone should download Skype and Viber on their phones, make sure everyone they want to keep in touch with does the same, and contact each other whenever the urge arises and you have good wi-fi connection.

    • Skype is great to keep in touch. I skype with my mom daily and that keeps me alive when I travel :).

  • These are some great tips! When I lived in Thailand I was lonely and homesick from time to time. Skyping family members at home was great. I’m so glad that we have things like skype, email and facebook to keep in tough with people at home ;)

  • I always try to keep myself busy so my mind is temporarily occupied, making a phone call at home and chatting with friends always help too :)

  • running definitely makes me stay sane, and I’ve starting biking too. It helps with homesickness and just the stress of being abroad in general I think. I always feel better on days I run then on days I don’t. Also a good meal does wonders for the soul.

    • Do you fancy biking as well? I go to work by bike every day and I love it! Jogging is amazing for your brain, skin and mind!

  • Love the exercise tip! When I get homesick or “culture sick,” I do one of two things: hit up a fancy hotel and have a coffee in their lobby (fast WiFi, staff speaks English, etc)OR I find a mom. It could be a local friend’s mom, or maybe the woman who runs my guest house. Most mothers have great instincts, and even if you’re not “their” kid, they’ll take you under their wing and make you feel better.

    • Coffee in the lobby? I used to do the same thing! There is nothing better than a nice skinny latte and fast WI-FI, huh? :) My mom also has a great instinct and she knows how to make me happy! :D

  • There’s nothing better than a long skype call with someone back home for me. Catching up on the all gossip, chatting about nothing as you do with the people you know the best and maybe a few tearful, I miss you’s, always gets the homesickness bug out of my system until next time.

  • What a great post – homesickness is such a real thing and it does hit especially hard when something big is going on at home! I can’t believe only 7 more weeks and then you and Cez will be splitting up…I can’t wait to hear about your big plans!!!

    • I agree. I miss home the most when Christmas and Easter come… Yep, me and Cez are splitting up, but we have already planned some adventures together for 2015 :D !!

  • I’ve found that a combination of letting myself sulk for a day and THEN getting super active works the best for me. You can’t stay homesick forever, and the best way to appreciate what you have away from home is to get out there and enjoy it.

    Still, even though I’ve lived abroad for nearly 3 years now, I always get really homesick during the winter because the cold bothers me so much. I’ve yet to find a way to deal with that one!

    • So true- you can’t stay homesick forever and I am not homesick very often – perhaps once a week, usually on Sundays when my family gets together!

  • I agree the being busy and active is important. Often, I find I’m doing so many new things and there are so few reminders of home when I’m traveling that I almost forget to be homesick. It’s not until I actually visit home that I realize how much I missed it.

  • homesick? i don’t think I ever feel it…what I do really miss is my friend around the world and to get in touch skype and facebook are amazing tools!!

    • Lucky you Noelia! I am so happy for you right now. Congratulations! Your baby is so amazing!! I can’t wait to see you two on the road one day :)!!! XxX

  • This is so wonderful.
    I always love your stuff. You’re a HUGE blogging (and travelling) inspiration~

    I get homesick living abroad sometimes, I’ve also found it helpful to exercise and call home from time to time.

    I hope you have a great summer!

    • Thank you so much Grace. You and your husband are real role models to me and it’s incredible that although there are so many cultural differences between you two, you can still love each other and travel together. Working out helps me a lot, especially jogging. I hope you will also enjoy your summer! All the best!

  • Brilliant post Agness. What I do to beat homesickness is to walk and walk and walk. And sing nursery rhymes and songs that I used to learn when I was a child.
    I also very much like looking at my photographs and videos and sniffing randomly. If it all gets too much, I’ll take the cheapest flight that I can find and spend a weekend, and then fly away!

  • Great tips Agness! I am the same, when I feel homesick I always call home, then I go out and have fun. I also love hanging out with my local friends too! Then before you know it, you’re on your way home for a visit!

  • I know that feeling very well. I am really conected to my family. There are lots of hard moments, especially when I see or do something amazing and then I think how I wish my mother or my sister could be with me. Then I usually hear some happy music, talk with my family and give a big big hug to my beloved boyfriend that is traveling with me!(=

  • I agree with all of these, homesickness can be very hard. I’ve found over the years that I can get really homesick in certain countries and then not at all in others. I think it has a lot to do with how busy I am.

  • Great tips here, I think that keeping busy will definitely keep you from missing things. When you aren’t doing anything is when loneliness will set in.

  • My best way to beat homesickness while travelling is eating and shopping. I really love food! Haha. I would try any specialty of the place I have visited. Like for example, Bicol Express in Bicol, PH, Suman in Clarin, Misamis Occidental, Otap in Cebu City and many more.

  • I’ve been getting homesick a bit more than usual the past few months because of the fact that I hadn’t really been exploring much, staying active, or meeting people. But I’ve been starting to email home much more often and it seems to help a tad bit =)

    • That’s also a great way to overcome homesickness. I prefer watching movies instead of reading books though :-).

  • I really like point #4, talk to someone. The whole world around us is so exotic, we’re bound to meet some precious souls out there. When I feel (very) lonely, I’ll oftentimes meet up with a fellow traveler and trek together for a week or so.

    Love the coordinated pink jogging outfit lol

    • Totally agree. People stick to their phones all days long and they often forget to log out and live their lives!

  • It’s a very important theme, both for travelers and expats!
    And yes it’s fine to get distracted by doing something, but if you really attached to your family this thought that time goes by, our family won’t live forever and you cause them also pain not being with them just kills.

  • I find some places I get home sick and other places I don’t not sure why this is as both places are never home. What are your thoughts on this?

    • I had the same sometimes. There are cities such as Hanoi where I really missed my family. That’s a cold and depressing city and obviously I was missing home there a lot.

  • When I get homesick, I take some time to remember the fun things I usually do at home and with whom I do those fun things. Once I can figure that out, I take out my phone and call the person. That way, I just get to feel like I’m at home.

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