The learning and fun that every new destination gives us is enough to have anyone constantly look forward to their next trip. Before the trip, most of us will read up on things to do there, plan out our days and pack everything that is needed on the trip to ensure we don’t leave back anything. From medicines to travel insurance, we normally have it all covered. But the idea that the trip might get ruined because of homesickness simply doesn’t register.h
Take a group tour
Tours can take off your mind from feeling homesick by teaching you a new skill or getting you a new experience. Meeting other travellers with a similar mindset will not only help you make new friends but also remind you of why you are really there. If you are staying in a hostel or even a hotel, you are most likely to find the staff there running tours for the guests. Not only will it keep you busy for hours researching on where to go, but you will also find it easier to explore a new destination from a local’s perspective.
Make new friends
Going travelling by yourself can be daunting and the feeling that you might be the only one facing this is normal. But you would be surprised at how many backpackers are in the same situation. Go to the common room or check out the notice board for any social events that may be going on. If you choose to speak to people at these places, your fellow travellers may likely have some friendly advice or helpful tips as well that will keep you distracted.
We usually associate home with a busy routine -after all, we eat, sleep and go to work at the same time back home. Similarly, if you stay busy during your trip, it will be hard to spend any time thinking about home. Try and plan long days full of excursions and activities. The more you jam-pack your day, the better the memories will be. Having days where you go bed completely exhausted but full of a new experience is a day you would love to remember later.
Use your travel adventures to stay connected to home
In this digital age, it is easy to have your friends and family along with you wherever you go. From a hostel room to showing them the view from a mountain top, there are ways to feel connected to your loved ones back home. Send out a postcard or take a funny photo or even pick up a souvenir that they will love and cherish. Because they will be missing you too, they will appreciate the gesture. Stay away from being overly connected however, as constantly keeping in touch with people back home may have you missing them even more.
Experiment with food
In some places, you might not be comfortable with the local cuisine and the familiar feeling of a home-cooked meal can be a reason to feel homesick. But experimenting with food is a huge part of learning about local culture. Try something new that you never thought you would try back home and you might be surprised to learn that it is your new favourite dish. If eating home cuisine is what your heart still desires, try looking out in the supermarket for brands which are similar to the ones back at home or simply buy a few local ingredients to cook a feast back at your own apartment.
Look after yourself
A lot of homesickness is about getting a culture shock and feeling uncomfortable in an unfamiliar situation. You can fight this out by rewarding yourself for continuing the journey till now. Take a day out to pamper yourself with whatever makes you happy. Maybe a day full of spa treatments and shopping or getting a haircut or even simply relaxing in your room binging on your favourite movies with some room service. It’s all about bringing back a sense of normalcy in your life again. Just a few simple indulgences can get you back on your feet again.
More importantly, remember that you will be heading back home soon enough and feeling sorry for yourself on the trip isn’t going to be helpful. Don’t lose sight of why you set off for this trip in the first place. Because once you are back home, you are more likely to feel “homesick” about the place you left behind.
‘Curated by Neha Bhise’