Coping with Homesickness



I'm currently sat typing this from a cafe in Melbourne. The weather is beautiful, I've just demolished a delicious brunch and my friend and I are heading to the beach when she finishes work in half an hour. Despite all this, I'm not ashamed to say that I miss England.

Homesickness, or 'the travel blues,' is not an unfamiliar feeling for me. As much as I love to experience new places, I'm very much a home bird at heart and always have been. I've moved around a fair bit over the years and have always felt that tug of nostalgia at some point whilst I'm away. Therefore I felt inspired to put together a post detailing how I cope when I'm going through all the emotions!

Of course, homesickness doesn't just apply to those backpacking/travelling. You can feel homesick when you're at uni, working in a different city or studying abroad. Heck, you might even get homesick whilst you're on holiday for a week! Whatever your situation, here are a few steps you can carry out when you're feeling the gloom:

Rest
When we experience an exciting change - such as travelling or moving away for work/ university - we tend to put pressure on ourselves to have a good time. You might have overdone Fresher's and dragged yourself out every night in order to make new friends. Or maybe you booked yourself onto too many excursions during your first few weeks abroad and you're feeling a bit burnt out.

Don't force it. If you're feeling overwhelmed, take a day - or a few days - to relax and recuperate. Apply a face mask, watch your favourite series and stuff your face with chocolate. Even the most dedicated nomad needs some time off every now and then!

Socialise
When we're feeling miserable it's not unusual to want to sit indoors and feel sorry for ourselves. While I do think time alone is healthy (like I mentioned above), it's also important to talk to others. Hostels/halls of residence are an amazing way to meet people - everyone's in the same boat and it's super easy to make friends. If you're not in shared accommodation, you could book yourself onto a group tour or attend a local class. Being around others will distract you and help take your mind off your thoughts for a while.

Try not to romanticize 
The grass is always, always greener on the other side. Whenever I'm feeling homesick I tend to idealize my old life - I focus on all the wonderful memories and never consider the negatives. This kind of mindset isn't healthy and you can end up restricting yourself from being open to new opportunities. By all means reminisce but don't let it consume you!

Do something you love doing back home
Although it’s good to step out your comfort zone and try something new, a bit of familiarity can be just as refreshing. Dedicate a day or even a couple of hours to doing something you know you enjoy. Visit a museum, head out with your camera, go to the cinema or visit a pretty cafe and blog - whatever takes your fancy!

Recognise the difference between being homesick and being unhappy
Everyone gets homesick from time to time. Regardless of how much you’re loving your new surroundings, you’re always going to be faced with challenges. That’s life. Maybe you fall ill, or you run low on money, or you have a row with your housemate. Suddenly all you want to do is head home to your comfy double bed, watch back to back episodes of TOWIE and reconnect with all your old friends.

It’s normal to feel a little nostalgic every now and then, especially during the first few weeks of your move. However, if your homesickness seems to be never ending then perhaps it’s time to change your plans. Leaving University or flying home early from your travels seems pretty drastic and can almost feel like you’re ‘giving up,’ but it’s honestly not the end of the world! It isn't like you'll never do those things again. Obviously every situation is different and some decisions are much harder to make than others; however, the majority of things we choose to do are for our own pleasure if you’re not enjoying yourself then you’re pretty much wasting your time. It’s your life, you can do whatever you want and if something is making you miserable then change it! No one’s going to judge you.

Are you one to suffer from homesickness? How do you cope? x

4 comments

  1. This is such good advice. I had to cope with homesickness when I moved from my tiny hometown in Pennsylvania all the way to Copenhagen. Rest was definitely key as well as doing things I would normally do at home! I cooked foods my mom would always make and watched the same tv shows my family was was watching to stay connected. It was a small effort, but it helped!

    Madison | Breakfast at Madison’s

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    1. Thank you for reading! Sorry to hear you felt homesick when you first moved to Copenhagen, that's quite a way!

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  2. Your blog has such a beautiful photography xx

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