For many people, the true “dream vacation” is more than just seven days exploring the beaches of a distant location. In fact, many globetrotters discover that their love of exploration takes them further than ever before, to the trip of a lifetime that can last for months, or even years.
Unfortunately, as exciting as this new page in a traveler’s life might be – it’s also worth noting that many people go on their dream trip just to find themselves suffering from a serious case of homesickness. Homesickness is no small thing, either – it can leave you feeling depressed, emotional, and make enjoying your time away from the world you know and love incredibly difficult – regardless of whether you have access to some great travel accessories, awesome restaurants, or incredible local hangouts.
Traveling the world for weeks, or months can be an amazing experience, but homesickness is often inevitable – so what can you do to make the most of your adventure when traveling long-term?
How to Avoid Homesickness – Know What Triggers You
When you’re at home, living your nine-to-five life, the chances are that there are some things in your typical routine that can leave you feeling stressed or unhappy. Perhaps, in this case, it’s something like arguing with your boss over a huge stack of paperwork or seeing your ex-girlfriend when you’re picking up the groceries. The same kind of phenomenon occurs when you’re traveling long-term, however, in this instance, the things that trigger you might not be the things you expect.
As much as you love your family, and can’t wait to get back to them with stories about your adventures, seeing their photos everyday beside your bed, or in your money travel wallet could cause some serious heartache. Try to avoid making your loved ones the wallpaper of your tablet, computer, or smartphone for the same reason. Instead, consider using an incredible photo that you got during your travels – to remind yourself of how great your experience is.
How to Avoid Homesickness – Keepsakes Are Helpful
The chances are that you’ll be looking for ways to keep your luggage as light as possible when you’re first packing for your long-term vacation or trip, but remember that the odd much-loved item can act as a port of safety in a storm of homesickness emotion. When you’re traveling long-term, a keepsake from home can help you during needy moments. Something simple like a childhood teddy bear, or your mother’s necklace can keep you feeling strong.
The keepsakes you take with you will depend on your personal relationships and connections with certain items at home. Just remember that they need to be small enough to carry, and meaningful enough that they’re going to help you through in those painful times.
How to Avoid Homesickness – There’s Nothing Wrong with Comfort Food
When you’re on a long-term vacation, you’re already doing something incredibly brave. In other words – you don’t have anything to prove to the people at home or even the people around you. If you’re sick of trying the local food from cafes around your temporary home, head to the grocery store and look for some simple ways to recreate your favorite meals.
It’s okay to enjoy some comfort food now and again – or in fact, as often as you like. Mac and cheese or the occasional pizzaare just as good for keeping you going as a bowl of noodles or some fresh sushi. There’s a reason why your favorite meals are called “comfort foods” after all – eating them can be everything you need to find your inner strength.
How to Avoid Homesickness – Look for Some Company
If you’re staying in a hostel, then you have the perfect opportunity to find some community or make some new friends during those times you’re feeling lonely. Some hostels have a fantastic party atmosphere, whereas others are simply brimming with people who are happy to share their stories and make you feel better when you’re traveling long-term.
If you’re not staying in a hostel, that doesn’t mean you can’t drop in for a single night during those times when you really don’t want to be alone. On the other hand, try speaking to some of the locals in your area and asking for their advice on things that you can do to tackle your homesickness. You might be surprised at how helpful people really area.
How to Avoid Homesickness – Get Online
Finally, if you have your worldwide travel adapter plug, then you might have everything you need to fight back against homesickness. There’s nothing wrong with charging up your devices, getting online, and letting your family and friends know that you’re struggling. These people love you, and they’re going to be willing to offer you encouragement when you need it.
If you’re in a particularly dark place and you’ve got your worldwide travel adapter plug on hand for those battery-draining moment, consider making video-chat dates with the people you care about. Plan for video calls when you need them, and even when you don’t – so that you have something positive to anticipate.
On the other hand, if you don’t need to chat with friends and family, you might find that you’re simply burned out from all the traveling. It’s absolutely fine – in this case – to sit down in a safe place and hole up with some good meals and your Netflix account. Just as you would at home, long-term vacations can leave you feeling the need to recharge – so give yourself exactly what you need.
Remember, You’ll See Home Again
When you’re struggling with the process of traveling long-term, try to remember that your “Once in a Lifetime” trip is probably exactly that – a one-off experience. You may never have the chance to do this again – so you need to make the most of your time while you can.
Call home, read, or binge Netflix if you need to – but don’t give up on your dreams. See your plan through and remember that one day you are going to return home and see everyone you love all over again. With that in mind, it only makes sense to get out there and create some incredible stories to share.