12 Apr Homesickness Abroad and How to Deal with It
Homesickness is something that can affect any of us at some stage in our lives. You may have felt it as a child during a camping trip, or whilst staying with a friend or relative for the weekend. Perhaps you experienced the blues when you moved away from home to begin your university adventure. Maybe you’ve never felt it at all, in which case, lend your ears to those less fortunate, homesickness can be a brutal travel partner.
What we call homesickness is basically a form of anxiety. It stems from feeling disconnected from people and places that are a part of your normal routine. It’s totally normal, and totally natural. We’ve always got your back, which is why we’ve put together a list of our top 5 fixes for beating the blues on your international adventure!
Take Care of Yourself
Plain and simple. If you’re not in good shape, nor is your mind. Routines and health are things that can keep you on top form, so if you normally exercise, go for a run. If you enjoy taking walks to clear you head after a busy day, find a park and relax for a while. Just because you’re in a new location doesn’t mean that you have to give up the activities that keep you sane. Make a salad, eat healthy foods, whatever works for you. If you need a running partner, ask one of your fellow interns! Maybe their pace ends up being too slow for you, but you’ll bond with someone, work up a sweat and explore your new surroundings all at the same time! Triple win.
Check Out the Local Food Scene
Let’s be honest, for many of us, food is the main reason to travel the world. Sure, sometimes the local delicacies can prove a little challenging, but if you don’t give it a go, you’ll never discover that it’s your new favourite flavour! Food is something that brings people together, across cultures, across languages even. So whether you’re visiting a produce market or a local eatery, you’ll be amazed at the barriers a smile and a good meal can break down!
Step Back from Skype and Social Media
In our constantly-connected world, it’s all too easy to spend your time abroad messaging with friends back home or constantly updating family members about your every experience. If those are the activities taking up the majority of your time though, you probably aren’t focussed on connecting with a new city and culture. New friends, new skills and new memories is what it’s all about. This is your chance to become the awesome, independent individual we know you can be! So reign in the relentless reporting and get out there. Show them the photos when you get home.
I know. It’s easier said than done. Nevertheless, if you approach every day like a gift, trying your best to enjoy the sights, sounds and smells that you simply wouldn’t he exposed to back home, you’ll find yourself appreciating things a lot more. Another important thing to remember is that you’re not alone. You’re surrounded by a smart, diverse group of people just like you. Get to know them. Sometimes just having a good laugh can make a huge difference to your overall perception of a new place.
Talk About Your Homesickness With Other People!
We’re communal beings after all! The way you’re feeling is nothing to be shy about, and opening up to someone might be a cathartic experience for you. What’s more, you never know, they might be needing to vent a little too! Give them the green light by having the guts to go first. Being brave enough to confide in others a powerful trait to learn.
Homesickness sucks. We hope you’re too wrapped up in the fun and excitement of your experience to even consider whether you’re homesick or not, but if you are, refer back to this post. Don’t forget, your intern coordinator is available 24/7 too, so if you need someone to talk to, there’s always a friendly ear ready to listen.