We all like comfort, we all like things we know well and understand. Home is safe – home is easy. Move away from it for a bit and you soon realize you miss a lot of things. You miss home most when things go wrong such as when you’re down or sick. Birthdays and Christmas can be low points too. Adjusting to a new surroundings, expectations, friends, and routine takes a fair amount of time and patience. Moving away from home, though voluntarily as in the case of travelers and backpackers, can still make you miss the comforts of your home. So, how can you go about relieving this?
1. Keep in touch with family
Keep in touch with your parents, wife/husband back home through email and digital pictures. This will help both of you adjust. There are several app that you can use such as Facebook, Skype, WhatsApp, Telegram etc., although Skype is the most common among expats abroad. But if you are lazy to write a letter and the cost of regular phone calls is the reason for your ten day fast, it’s probably time to make use of more modern technology. Send e-mail to each other or set up your own web site for correspondence from friends around the country.
2. Keep Your Traditions
To make your new home feel like a home away from home, maintain the traditions that you most enjoy. You would never know what sparks your homesickness, but I have found that it is when you miss an annual tradition that hurts most. However, there are ways you can continue this thanks to digital media. Skype in for your family Christmas dinner! Invite your friends for Words with Friends on game nights! For me, I have almost enjoyed international sporting events with my friends; this year, we will watch Winter Olympics live together over a Skype call.
3. Visit local food joints
A trip to the local food snack hang out or food joint can cure most anything. A roommate, friend, or someone you can confide in can help make your transition from home a little easier. You might even discover your friend is struggling with the same problems as you. Every once in a while, search out a favorite food or cook it at home. Familiar things from back home will cheer everyone up.
4. Chat with your friends and participate in social events
Talk about being homesick with your friends rather than bottling it up and hoping it will go away. This helps enormously and goes a long way to creating that ‘we are in this together feeling. Social groups and events are also a core part of your traveling experience. You could likewise volunteer to work with other backpackers or travelers from your own country at a local club or organization. You might build new relationships and enjoy the satisfaction of helping others.
5. Put your thought in writing
Try writing in a journal, diary or blog the next time you are feeling down. Just write down what’s on your mind and express some of your worries and fears. Over time, you can reflect on what you wrote and see how far you’ve come. You can even take up blogging as a hobby!
All Black & White images courtesy of Shutterstock.