Dealing with homesickness

Homesick
Photo by Taro416

Ahhh the so dramed trip, you’re already feeling like if you were in that place, you can almost taste that typical food. Any travel at the beginning is pure enchantment with the fresh new things you experience. This can be in a holyday or effectively moving to another country. It’s irresistible to pay extra attention to the qualities of the place and people instead of defects.

But time passes and reality shows a different face, a face that is not in guidebooks, promoted by travel agencies and even less in your dreams of perfect travel, and at this time you ask yourself, what am I doing here? You spend a few days repeating this mantra and voilá you are homesick.

You will miss your people, the food, service, culture, climate, the price and suddenly you’ll catch yourself facing the exact opposite of your dreams, even if for only a short period of time. There are people who cry, get in a bad mood, lock themselves in the bedroom and in the most extreme cases they end up buying a ticket and go home in the first flight.

None of these attitudes will make things more pleasant and here are some tips to deal with this (based on personal experiences and pub conversations):

Be prepared before leaving home

Before going somewhere read about it, try to understand the history, geography, politics, religion. Go through wikipedia. Understand what’s to come and get psychologically prepared to go through certain experiences so you can avoid the cultural shock that may be one of the symptoms of “homesickness.”

Now that you are prepared, leave home

Stay at home home-sick is much worse… Get out the house, go to the street, practice some sports, go to the museum, go to any party… Loneliness only worsens things.

Keep in touch with your country

Write a blog, an email, send SMS, postcards, eat the typical foods, read the news of your country, at last, it’s not because your body is distant that you are unable to be part of that. Fully quit with your origins, especially for a long time, may intensify even more the feeling of not being part of anything. When you assume a negativist position about your origins you enter a grey area where you not to want to be what you are, and can not be what you want. And this position will put new friends aside more than bring them closer.

Make friends – locals and expatriates/travellers

The fun of being in a new place is getting closer and making local friends, get immersed in a new culture, see new perspectives. With local friends it’s much easier to feel at home. Be friendly, comprehensive and pro-active. But this doesn’t prevent you to also make friends that are in the same situation that you are, they will understand better than anyone else what you’re feeling.

There is no right or wrong, just opposing points of view

Travelling is reviewing concepts, seeing the world with a new angle, be it the way to cook, the way to dress, and always classic themes as politics and religion. Try to see things from another perspective and you can find order in chaos (or chaos in order) and really take something positive even from the worst situations. So be flexible and tolerant, and you will feel much more at home.

What about you? How do you deal with homesickness? Do you have any technique/trick/advise/tip/ warning?

12 comments

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    • olga skroski says:
    • 20 August, 2008 at 5:26 am

    Então meu querido…está agora a pouquissimos dias para essa nova aventura….. acredito que será uma fantástica viagem com muitas novidades…muitas imagens…muitas verdades..verdade de cada povo…de cada cultura…. imagem de cada lugar com suas cores diversas……e novidades de cada novo dia de nova história….. sim, claro, vai ser enriquecedor…. e a cada parada de final de etapa dessa jornada..virá inexoravelmente acompanhada de uma reflexão que os remeterá as suas origens…. ao seus DNAs…..
    Irão sim fazer comparações e continuarão a viver a aventura das descobertas…mas o tempo…..esse ao final o trará para onde suas raízes foram plantadas…

    O tempo…esse sim….nao tem um limite determinado que o leve de volta, pois depende de cada um…mas o certo é que o tempo atuará e marcará o limite…..

    Te amo muito meu filho…. desejo-te muitas alegrias e descobertas…. e acompanharemos por aqui sua aventura…ansiosa pela sua chegada!!!!!
    muitoss beijos e divirtam-se muito!!
    com amor de sua mae…sempre junto de voces!

    Reply

    • ISABELA SPERANDIO says:
    • 20 August, 2008 at 8:46 am

    Gosto da terceira dica. Gosto muito.
    Mas tb sou da opiniao de que devemos nos respeitar e no dia que me vem a baixa, gosto de estar mais sozinha, de ficar em casa, de sentir o sabor das saudades, de segurar bem forte as lembrancas e conversar com ela, de dar um abraco imaginario em todas as pessoas que eu amo, de lembrar da voz e do cheiro de cada uma.
    AI! Vou parar, rs.

    De maneira controlada, procuro tb permitir que minha alma ultrapasse o momento, consciente de que em poucas horas vai passar. Nada como um novo dia.
    Pra mim, o segredo é amar o desafio. E que venha o próximo.
    :)
    Um beijo, queridos. To adorando viajar com vcs.

    Reply

    • Anthony says:
    • 21 August, 2008 at 2:37 am

    Oi! I made friends in the Atlanta airport before leaving to Rio. I´ve kept in touch via email, and hopefully today we´ll go see Botafogo play Cruzeiro. I think I may have had some homesickness for a day or two, but then I ate churrasco and forgot all about it 😉

    Reply

    • Murilo says:
    • 21 August, 2008 at 4:17 pm

    Oi Felipe,

    A mente é o que controla, e contanto que ela esteja ocupada, seja trabalhando, surfando, caminhando, estudando… a saudade bate pouco.

    É engraçado, mas às vezes prefiro os dias da semana porque fico tão ocupado que pouco tempo tenho para pensar no Brasil.

    Acho que a melhor dica mesmo é se envolver com as pessoas, sair para bater um papo.

    Outra coisa engraçada…Fui ao Brasil em Março, achei que ia ser muito difícil voltar mas não foi tanto assim….Todo mundo está vivendo a sua vida trabalhando, cuidando da família…
    Até senti falta da tranquilidade de Wlg…No Brasil, PTQ , ônibus lotado, atrasado etc… 😀

    Quando cheguei em Wlg foi tranquilo, já sabia o que esperar….Não teve aquele choque CADE TODO MUNDO????? :)

    Mas concordo com a Isabela. A ligação com o Brasil, família e amigos é muito forte, um lance espiritual e às vezes não adianta…vai bater o “home sick” . Achei muito legal a dica 3 também!!

    Abraços
    Murilo

    Reply

  1. This is so true, getting there is so much fun, the staying and tip back and be some what of a headache.

    Reply

    • Carrie says:
    • 23 August, 2008 at 9:17 pm

    Awesome tips Felipe! I also find that joining in on a class or two and/or making sure you get regular exercise also really helps with feelings of being homesick.

    Reply

    • Fernanda says:
    • 26 August, 2008 at 7:46 pm

    Oi Cris e Felipe!!!Td bem????
    Achei o blog de vcs no blog da Jeanine, e fiquei bem feliz de ver q tem mais curitibanos aqui na NZ.
    Me add no msn para conversarmos mais.
    Deus abencoe!!!
    Um abraco!!

    Reply

    • Felipe says:
    • 27 August, 2008 at 9:53 am

    First of all sorry for the delay answering you I’ve been quite busy with our last details.

    @Olga
    Sábias palavras. Te amo muito e estou com muitas saudades.

    @Isabela
    Pois é as vezes sinto essa coisa de degustar a saudade mas não saberia botar isso em palavras tão bem quanto vc colocou. Muito legal

    @Anthony
    Hey man looks like you’re having lot of fun there aren’t you? Keep writing is very nice to see our country for your point of view.

    @Murilo
    Como a minha vó já dizia “cabeça vazia é oficina do diabo”. A legal saber que vc pega onda tb sei que agora já é tarde demais mas vamos combinar uma trip quando voltarmos.

    @Debo Hobo
    Agree

    @Carrie
    The excercise are a good one, I always feel better when I go surf or even go for a walk on the beach.

    @Fernanda
    Pois é temos muitos curitibanos expatriados por aqui. te adicionei

    Reply

    • Bia says:
    • 27 August, 2008 at 10:55 am

    Minha dica para a saudade de casa e de quem(s) você ama é: VOLTE PARA CASA!!!

    Tô com muita saudades de vocês,
    Bia

    Reply

  2. I don’t really ever miss home but facebook, email, and skype are great ways to stay in touch with people and can help alleviate that homesick feeling.

    Reply

    • Andrea says:
    • 30 August, 2008 at 10:40 am

    When you’re travelling out there, just free your mind from any prejudice and embrace all the influence and information with tolerance… Instead of reaching conclusions, try to understand first. Sometimes there’s just no reason at all for some things. And it’s still beautiful. Why the hell do we need to come accross with thousands of ideas and theories and explain everything we see/hear/feel?
    Open mind+open eyes+basic and extra info. It’s you own experience.

    Reply

    • Andrea says:
    • 30 August, 2008 at 10:42 am

    Ahhh, e acho bom curtir um belo dia de homesickness! Faz parte e não podemos atropelar os sentimentos. Uma hora eles virão para fora a milhão e será bem pior. Mas um dia. Dois seguidos pode ser o início de um problema. :-/

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