Long trips are often the only practical way to see a certain part of the world. Given that the cost of flight accounts for a sizeable chunk of your holiday, it’s far more affordable to book one long-distance flight than it is to arrange several trips. A longer holiday will also allow you to lose yourself in the country you’re visiting, and offers a feeling of escape that a shorter European city-break simply can’t replicate.
If you’ve travelling for weeks on end, or even months, then the feeling of culture shock can become overwhelming. What’s more, you might not realise how much you miss your mum’s cooking, builder’s tea and the shipping forecast until these things are taken away. For some of us, this feeling is barely noticeable; for others, it can get in the way of the enjoyment of a holiday.
So how do you deal with homesickness when you’re travelling? There are a few winning strategies that’ll help you to take the edge off.
Keep in Touch
It’s only natural that you should miss the people you love back home. If you didn’t, then something would probably be amiss. Indulge your homesickness every once in awhile by arranging a phone-call back home, via Skype or some similar service. Agree on a weekly appointment with your friends and family (accounting for any time discrepancies), and make it a regular timeslot. That way, you’ll have something to look forward to whenever the feeling of homesickness kicks in. Just be sure that the place you’re calling from has free WiFi thrown in.
Arrange a Care-Pack
If you know you’re going to be staying for a long time in a given location, then you might have someone from back home ship a package of familiar foods there. You want to be careful with this strategy, as it risks making your feelings of homesickness that little bit worse, and may even defeat the purpose of travelling in the first place. But getting an actual, physical package from back home can be reassuring, particularly if it’s accompanied by a handwritten note. International shipping is more affordable than ever before – so it makes sense to take advantage!
Write Things Down
Keeping a record of your thoughts can be enormously therapeutic. If you’re going to be taking a long trip, then documenting the whole thing can also provide a great source of nostalgia when you finally do get home. The chances are that when you look back on your trip, you’ll wish that you were still on it. This just goes to show how important it is to enjoy yourself while you’re out there – a once-in-a-lifetime trip should be regarded as such while it’s underway!
If you’re always doing things, then you might not have the mental energy to think about homesickness. On the other hand, if you’re spending every day lounging around in the sunshine, then you might. For this reason, a structured approach to every day is worthwhile. Plan all of your activities in advance, and don’t leave much time to spend thinking about what you could be doing at home.