There are many reasons to embark on a long-term holiday, not only to experience beautiful scenery and new cultures, but extended travel tends to take people outside of their comfort zone, which brings many benefits, like learning to adapt to new circumstances easier and gaining a new perspective on life, as multiple studies have found.
But, long-term travel can also come with bouts of homesickness, being away from family, friends, pets and familiar comforts. If you put your home on the market among Houston condos for sale and flew off to an exotic foreign place like Thailand, for example, it’s completely natural to miss things like sleeping in your own bed or that delicious Tex-Mex cuisine. While homesickness may be a natural human response, there are plenty of ways you can overcome it.
Seek Out Others from Your Home Country
Oftentimes homesickness results from culture shock and a language barrier. If you can meet up with others from your home country, perhaps by staying in a hostel, chatting with tourists in the pubs or bars, or even checking out Meetup.com or Couchsurfing.org to look for get-togethers with expats and other travelers in the city you’re in, it can make a world of difference. You’ll be able to communicate more easily and reminisce about what you’re missing back home.
If you sit in your hotel room constantly checking out Facebook to see what all your friends are doing back home, it’s only going to make homesickness worse. By getting out there and experiencing the attractions and various activities in the destination you’re in, you’re likely to forget all about that. The more adventurous the better. When you get your heart pounding, perhaps going for a hike, swimming, zip-lining or even surfing, those “feel-good” endorphins will kick in, transforming your mood and reminding you for the reasons you’re traveling in the first place.
Chat with People Back Home
Sometimes, you just need to connect with those you love back home. Thanks to technology, it’s easier than ever today. Video chats like FaceTime, Skype and the like make it feel as if you’re almost right there with them. Scheduling regular video chats can help prevent that homesickness from settling in altogether. If that’s not an option, these days many cell phone carriers offer cheap international phone plans that make it easy to call friends and family back home.
Seek Out Your Favorite Foods
Depending on your location, you may be able to find a restaurant that serves some of your favorite foods, which can be great comfort when you’re missing what you normally enjoy back home. If you aren’t sure where to go, ask hotel or hostel staff, your B&B host or in expat circles – oftentimes a Google search will take you where they hang out online and off. Facebook groups forums focused on your destination can be a great place to get all kinds of advice. For example, if you’re in Baja, Mexico, look for the group “Talk Baja.”