I think there is the assumption that those long time travellers don’t get homesickness, but the truth is that everyone suffers from it now and again. It doesn’t last more than a couple of days, but can range from feeling ‘off’ to full out tears and misery. If you’re ill, having a bad day or missing a special one back home, you are more likely to feel a bit down in the dumps. Don’t worry. Here’s our list of do’s and don’t’s to get you through those blues.
DO speak to your loved ones. You’re missing them, so why not catch up with them and let them know what you’ve been up to. This has the duel effect of making you realise that absolutely nothing has changed back in your home town, and gives you a feel good buzz as they ‘ooh’ and ‘aaah’ over your latest adventure.
DON’T tell your loved ones your feeling homesick. For those at home worrying about you, this sounds like a catastrophic event that can only be fixed by a plane ticket home and a good dose of mums shepherd pie. It’s not. Calling my mum from Halifax when I was homesick had me searching for the best price home. Two hours later I was dancing on a double-ended piano, polar bear shot in hand, and covered in Mardi Gras beads.
DO something! Anything! Often homesickness kicks in when your stuck in a rut. Grab your camera and head to the nearest beach, mountain, building, market, whatever. It’s hard to remember being homesick when you’re haggling with a man in a souk over pennies. If for some reason you can’t, then plan your onward adventure. Book a bus, flight, or tour, and then start looking forward to it!
DON’T stay in your room. The temptation to mope is overwhelming, but your hot, airless dorm room was never going to win any prizes for the most cheery of places when you were feeling great. Now? Trust me, not great.
DO have a bit of what you fancy. I’m a great believer of listening to your body. If you just can’t face another curry then don’t beat yourself up about it. It’s time to swallow your pride and turn to that irish bar/American diner on the corner that you’ve sneered at every time you’ve walked by. The lasagne won’t taste anywhere near as good as your grans, that burger isn’t a patch on the one served from your local. But in your heart you’ll be a bit more comforted. And your stomach will thank you for the switch back to curry tomorrow night.
DO play the ‘where would I be on…’ game. The realistic, not the romantic, version. ’10am on a Tuesday and I would be at work counting how many seconds there were til Friday’. ’10pm on a Saturday and I would be at the local bar with the usual gang, again, arguing about which of the two (equally awful) clubs we could go to’. ‘2pm on a Sunday and I would be wondering if faking an illness would get me out of this awful family lunch before I maim a family member.’ Isn’t this why you left home in the first place?
DONT worry if your travel companions don’t feel homesick too. It hits everyone at different times with different triggers. You’re definitely not enjoying yourself any less. Just see it as a blessing that you’ve been sent a personal clown/clowns to keep you on the up.
DON’T think it will last forever. You’ll probably have already forgotten your homesick by the time you finish reading this blog. Now close the laptop, put your iPad away and look out your window. There’s a whole world out there and you’ve already signed up to see it. Enjoy it.