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?