Together with the great vibes and beautiful sceneries of travelling comes a variety of emotions. Although most of the time your travel experience is fantastic and every day feels like a blessing, as all long time travelers know that homesickness might start to creep up on you. It doesn’t always mean that you are thinking of actually wanting to go home but more that you miss friends and family and the comfort of being in a familiar place with familiar faces. Most of the time homesickness will occur when you are in a place you dislike, have a lack of sleep, being on the road for too long (read article travel fatigue) or don’t meet the right people.
To give you an example; in Indonesia we slept in very nice hostels with very comfortable beds, cool pools and showers and airconditioning. On a road trip in Western Australia all I slept on was a thin yoga mat in a 10 euro K-Mart tent where I had to lay in diagonally in order to be able to fit in it! Although both were great experiences you can imagine that the amount of hours of sleep in the tent was less than in the A/C hostel dorm. Living in a car and cheap tents increased any feeling of homesickness I had much more rapidly than when I was laying in a pool with a coconut in hand!
Nevertheless everyone reacts differently to traveling and being away from home. Even though you meet the most fun and nicest fellow travelers on the road it will still not always be the same as your friends and family at home. However, this shouldn’t get you down and stop you from carrying on with your ‘dream trip’. Always remember that you really wanted to do this trip and it was one of your greatest dreams and you actually dared to take the step to do it.
So here are some tips to change your mind and trip in order to not get so homesick that you want to head back to your own country. And don’t get us wrong, there is nothing wrong with being homesick once in a while! It is completely normal.
Tips for preventing homesickness
- Have some video calls with friends and family at home. In this time of outstanding connectivity it is very easy to keep contact with people through an array of services. Even though it might seem weird to hear how life is back home it will give you a very comforting feeling of being close to home and having a slightly more deep conversation than with people you meet on the road.
- When you dislike the vibe and surroundings of the place you are staying at (hostel, town or even country) try to find a solution for it yourself. There is no shame if you haven’t seen every statue, nature park or church there is to see in that particular area. When you don’t like the vibe carry on with your itinerary and go on to the next place.
- While travelling on a budget you will most probably spend a majority of your time in hostels with other backpackers. You will meet all sorts of characters which can sometimes mean that you might not get along with the people due to different interests, age difference or attitudes. Don’t feel bad for telling the hostel you are going somewhere else and don’t try to change yourself to fit in. Sometimes a change of accommodation or even just going to a place that all to yourself where you have your privacy can do wonders as well!
- After a longer period of travelling you will tend to forget that you are seeing places not many people get to see. Pinch yourself and remember that you are one of the few lucky ones that made the decision to go travelling and see all those beautiful places! Someday you might get home and think back about this beautiful adventure and think “no one can take this from me and the things i have learned along the road!”.
- Travelling continuously can get very tiring and after a while your reactions to wondrous sites can become numbed and unexcited. After my two week road trip in Western Australia for example I was exhausted. I really needed to stay somewhere for at least a week or two to recuperate. So listen to your body and stay in one place for a while. You will be able to meet people, get to know your favorite bars and places and it will give you a feeling of having a temporary home.
Hopefully these tips can help you along the way and feel free to comment if you have more tips to help out our fellow travelers getting the most out of their long term travel experience!