“It’s important not to let your homesickness prevent you from enjoying the travel experience.”
Don’t worry. No te preocupes. You’re not the only one who gets a case of homesickness every now and then. It’s completely normal and there’s nothing wrong with it. Acknowledge that it’s okay to feel this way and take the initiative to move past it. Here are a few things I found helped me when all I wanted was to be back home.
- Stay occupied
I’d most often find myself slipping into another wave of homesickness was when I was literally sitting in my room doing absolutely nothing. I’d either be staring out the window, pointlessly scrolling through my newsfeed or keeping to myself quietly in my room (usually while the other girls were in the lounge room… loner). If I have nothing to do I tend to think of everything and everyone I left back at home then all ‘dem feels’ roll in. The best thing to do to counter this is to stay busy! If your friends invite you out, take them up on it! Or take the initiative yourself and go out. Visit a museum, try a new café or go for a run in the park (cause we all know I do this).
- Read a book
If you’re not digging where your mind is wandering, why not put yourself in another world? I know that reading isn’t every one’s favourite thing to do but trust me, it diverts your mind from ‘reality’ and allows you to live through the characters in your novel.. whose lives are usually pretty fab. If this doesn’t tickle your fancy, try a comic or even a blog. Read about the amazing adventures others have gone on – and you can know for sure that they too have gone through what you’re feeling right now. Heck, even the protagonist in the novel I’m reading now gets homesick every few chapters!
- Keep a journal
This was probably the most helpful thing for me. When I was feeling especially sad (wallowing in my own self pity, flicking through old photos, listening to Adele on loop, wishing I was back at home in my own bed) but didn’t want anyone else to know I was feeling this way, I’d write it all down in a journal I kept next to my pillow just so I could get it all out. When I started settling, I found myself writing in it less and less and now I only seem to write if something exciting has happened. It’s also a great memento to look back on to see how far you’ve progressed and how your incredible journey has taken course!
- Make your room your own
If you’re going to be staying there for more than 3 months I’d say it’s worth the money to spend a bit to make your room a touch more homey or even your apartment in general. You want to make it a place you’ll look forward to coming home to everyday and have it be something to call yours. I bought a few picture frames – at the affordable student price of 1€ each – and some bunting to hang all the photos I brought along with me of my friends and family. I can confidently say that I adore my room and really don’t mind the nights in (wooo totally living the #granny student exchange life!)
- Take advantage of the opportunity to meet new people
Meet new people! Make new friendships! Have fun! I’m not saying you’re finding replacements. But I am saying that there is no harm in having new people in your life – your new life. Just like you have a network of people back at home, you’ll need a network of people where you are now. I’ve been fortunate enough to end up living with some great people who I’ve become close with and it’s reassuring to know I have them to fall back on. I also make the effort to invest in my developing friendships at university and with people who I meet through friends. I really have nothing to lose and neither do you. Plus, everyone loves meeting people from different countries!
- Take a break from social media
At times it can be a bit too much seeing what you’re “missing out on” back at home. Sometimes it becomes a reminder of all the events and moments your loved ones are experiencing without you (#FOMO). Remind yourself that you’re not really missing anything and you’ll eventually be able to experience moments with them again soon enough. Embrace your life now. Focus on what you are experiencing here. You never know, maybe they’re looking at your life and wishing they were here with you instead.
(lel jks, instalyf)
Of course there are a tonne of other ways to tackle homesickness but I found that these worked best for me. I hope this helps you when you’re not feeling fantabulous!
Til my next post,
Besos para ti xx