So you’re on a 2 week / 6 months / 2 year trip doing what you’ve dreamed of doing most but something at the pit of your stomach is grinding away from you. (It could be the curry you ate the day before.) That feeling and longing of warmth from familiar friends and family is slowly eating away at you. You just want someone to know who you are without explaining your life’s backstory in a few minutes.
It’s natural. Both new and veteran travellers alike get this feeling. How you overcome homesickness is entirely on yourself and how you want to deal with these emotions.
Following some of these tips can help you enjoy your trip longer and create new and exciting experiences:
1. Start as a Tourist. Get Comfortable.
Google: top 10 things to do [city]. The search result is bound to hit you back with a bunch of links to the top destination sites, whether it is the Louvre, the Dead Sea, Machu Picchu. Go out there and check it out. If you’re feeling lonely and don’t want to do it yourself, join a small tour group – that way you’re bound to make some friends and have people take pictures of yourself! If you’re staying in a hostel, that is the opportune time to chat with other tourists and seeing the sights together. You’ll create new friendships and even better memories.
So you’ve hit all the major sites by now. So what? Create your own world of comfortable! You are on this magical journey and you get to curate what activities you get to do. This could be a morning jog around the park or joining that yoga class. Find “your people”, your space and get in tune with the place.
2. Take a Break from Skype
Social media is a great tool to share your experiences with friends and family back home but it also allows you to see everything that’s still happening when you’re not there. Birthdays. Engagements. Deaths. Weddings. Pregnancies. You name it. The world will still keep trucking along.
FOMO, also known as fear of missing out, is a serious thing while on the road. If you’re spending a few hours talking to your folks, it means you’re spending 2 hours not exploring or connecting to the sweet place you’re at right now.
2. Consider taking a Break from other Social Media
So everyone you knew including their cute pets had this huge party on the weekend and where were you? Not there! Don’t let your FOMO get the best of you. While on the road, parties and events will be missed. That’s the nature of the beast.
On the flip side, I’m quite certain that YOUR EXACT SAME FRIENDS are saying how awesome and brave it is for your to be gone for such a long time. Guaranteed, they are waiting in anticipation for your next check in location, your next tweet about some crazy activity you did, and even better, your next photo in a foreign land.
Taking a pause from social media isn’t a bad thing. It can help clear your mind, and let you live your daily life NOT behind a camera / phone screen. You’re taking hundred and thousands of photos of these new places for who exactly? You. Understanding that you’re doing this for yourself, appreciating the moment are things that you can never capture on camera and cannot fully explain to others.
3. Plan a Trip with a Friend from Home
You’re able to convince a friend back home to meet you in an exotic place. This gives you something to look forward to and also allows you to experience this memorable moment with someone else who will get it.
Instead of talking about what you miss from home, you’ll be talking about how you experienced petting a baby tiger and how little fishes ate the dead skin off your feet in Thailand.
4. Create your Routine
Figure out what you want to do daily / weekly/ monthly. If you know you work better with some exercise, then, exercise! Don’t forgo all of your “normal life” habits while you are on the road. Incorporate something fun like going to the local market to buy groceries or going out for drinks with your new hostel mates may give you the social aspect that you’re looking for.
5. Have FUNNNN
This trip is for you! Splurge on yourself once in awhile and make every day a little bit fun! Create your new normal!
How do you deal with your FOMO on the road?