By DEBORAH GRACE HADY.

It’s all glam and fun and #travelgoals pictures on Instagram, but the homesick bug can hit even the most seasoned, and most adventurous of travellers. As exciting as it is, moving abroad – or long-term travel – can be complicated, and being away from home can be very hard at times.

So, what might help? While homesickness isn’t something you necessarily ‘get over’ overnight, or through a couple of yoga poses, we’ve got some tips to reduce those unwanted feelings.

 

#1. Keep in touch

Call your family and friends, and update them on your travels. A regular connection with people back home will make you feel like you’re still there-ish.

 

#2. Make new friends

While it is often easier said than done, a new confidante you can rant or cry to will help. Of course, I’m not suggesting that you dump all your old friends back home, but a new friend to help explore the city with will create new positive memories to treasure. You don’t have to tackle this world by yourself.

 

#3. Create a routine

If you’re more in control of your life, then you’re less likely to feel that everything is escaping you. You’ll be less likely to feel homesick or sad if you’re busy! Get yourself a new ‘normal’.  Keep yourself busy, but always make time for new adventures, and be open to spontaneous things!

 

#4. Exercise

Try out for a sports team and kill two birds with one stone – getting a workout and making friends at the same time! Win-win.

 

#5. Find out what’s really bothering you

Get to the root of your problem. Homesickness manifests itself in different ways. If you’re feeling lonely,  take steps to be more proactive in making new friends. If you’re missing a particular thing – like your mum’s home-cooked lasagne – phone her up for the recipe! If you feel like you’re losing contact with your old friends and family, create a set time for a Skype date.

 

#6. Make a home away from home

One of the reasons we sometimes feel homesick is that we don’t feel at home in our living or work space. Don’t be afraid to create a new home. Put up photos in your new apartment/dorm. Make friends with your neighbours. Find a local café/park/beach to be your new go-to favourite spot. After all, home is where the heart is.

 

While homesickness may seem like a first world problem, it is real and it can make you feel sad. It is a normal side effect to travelling, especially for young people who take the plunge and turn their own world  upside down. However, don’t let homesickness hold you back from enjoying what this world has to offer. Embrace the challenge!

Remember, if you ever feel like you need someone to talk to, you can always contact Youthline, even from abroad!

Student Travel is brought to you by YHA New Zealand.

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