Traveling to far away destinations, leaving home and the familiar behind, seeing exciting new things, it's all amazing and wonderful, and something many of us yearn for while at home, but once there do you ever experience homesickness? How do you cope with it while traveling for extended periods of time? and what is it specifically that you miss the most?
for me, I miss camping and those long summer nights (right now, will definatly change in the winter lol).
I'm in South Korea at the moment and my husband (Dax) is back home in England; I have been here for 2 weeks and the 1st week was horrible: I missed Dax so much I couldn't stop crying, specially at night. I miss him, and eating together and going out for walks... and my friends, my books, my bed, my kitchen... I missed everything and I was even considering going back home (I have another 3 weeks here)...
Thankfully I met very nice people and started to go out to see the city (Seoul) and that helped a lot; also I use skype to speak with my husband/family/friends every day!
Something that really helped as well was to read blogs of solo travelers, and specially Maisondubonheur
, who has a super-positive approach to life (even though he's only a solo traveler every now and then)
😞 that must be really hard being away for such a long time. Scott went to Norway last year for a week and I had a pretty hard time with it (although a week now seems like nothing). I'm sure the 3 weeks will fly by though. It's good that your out keeping busy!!
that's funny that you metioned Maisondubonheur
, he was the first blogger from the site that we met in person, and one of the most helpful people when we first started traveling!! He does have some very good blogs!!
I hope the rest of your time in S. Korea is amazing!! and safe travels on your trip back home to your hubby!
We miss certain foods mostly - licquorice for me (Donna) and Cadbury's chocolate for Neil. The other food things we miss are apple pie, Heinz beans - we can manage to get most things but some we don't and we do crave them. I do miss baking and cooking properly as I love to bake and cook!
The other thing we sometimes miss is how easy it is to do things in your home country, sometimes it's nice to do things without really thinking about them like going to the shops or trying to find certain things like a sewing kit...in your home country this is so easy to do. In Asia it can sometimes be a bit of a mission to find basic things and it can get frustrating trying to explain what you are looking for!
We did two blogs about reverse culture shock when we returned to the UK after almost 3 years away and it's weird the funny little things we noticed and what we realised we missed! They are here What is this strange country...reverse culture shock is really something!
and here 4 meals of Yorkshire puddings and a wedding
One of the ways I've used is to focus on what an opportunity I had, and the thought that one day, soon enough, that opportunity will be gone forever.
For the 3 years I was in Japan it was less a feeling of not being comfortable where I was, but more a renewed appreciation of home when I did come back one Christmas - being mid summer the Pohutakawa flowers were out, which I enjoyed seeing far more than I expected.
That bit between saying goodbye at the airport, til I was back in Japan was far tougher than I thought I would have let it be...
Ironic that this showed up today on probably the lowest day of my journey so far. Today consisted of:
1. People lying to us
2. A missed bus because of lies
3. Another missed bus because of aforementioned missed bus
4. Getting dropped off at a bus stop Lonely Planet said would connect to another bus that no longer exists
5. Starting a hike during a downpour which resulted in turning right back around to do all of the above in reverse to get back to point A.
I find that on these types of days, homesickness can really set in. To cope with that I try to do small things I know will cheer me up like watching a favorite movie. I just watched National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. Not the right time of year, I know, but it always makes me laugh! I also find that Skyping home helps. Most times my family says something to rejuvenates my spirits or at least fill me in on what's happening at home to make me feel like I'm sort of there. But most of all, I remind myself that in the end this is all completely worth it. Today wasn't so great but I would have rather done that than spend my day at a job I hate. We're out seeing the world and these are experiences we'll never forget.
Like Kristy, I miss summer nights! I also miss Mexican food. No where in Asia seems to do Mexican food very well!
OH MEXICAN!!! I orderd a chicken taco in Hue and got some weird variation of a taco salad, just bits of cooked chicken, some cheese, lettuce and weird crispy chip like things. so random.
That sounds like a pretty tough day, whenever I find myself in one of those situations where I feel so miserable I wonder why I'm doing it, I try to think that this is why I came here, to experience the un-expected. Plus the horrid days always make the best stories and memories I find!! sure I remember the great days (like seeing Bayon at Angkor Wat in a rain storm, it was almost poetic), but the bad days make them so much more worth it!!
Hope tomorrow is a brighter day for you!!
another miss, Smores. I think it's only a North American thing though.
This will sound awful but we didn't miss our family & friends as much as we thought we would... don't get my wrong we missed them, but for me especially (Sophie) this was something I thought I'd really struggle with and it really wasn't as bad as I'd thought.
I found that long bus journeys were the worst times as that's when your mind starts wandering and thinking of the things you never normally have time to think about. I also felt quite low when I had to say goodbye to my family after skyping them too 😞
As far as what we missed... Cheese and proper milk in Asia... a proper cup of English tea... the seasons (you never get 4 seasons in one day in Asia!)... the British sense of humour... forming a good old fashioned queue!
Aside from the mexican food, isn't it disappointing when you see something on the menu that you really fancy and when it rocks up it's nothing like the one you had back at home! We found it was just easier to avoid Western dishes altogether as the disappointment was just too much!
When I went to Vietnam and Cambodia I felt homesick although I was enjoying my travel at the same time. It was very hot compared to where I reside in Toronto, Canada and maybe that's what made me homesick, suddenly I started missing my family and friends... but how I cope with it? I just started looking around me and remembering how lucky I am to be able to travel and experience the amazing culture that surrounds me and how every step I make in that foreign place is a learning process.... then after that I started coping from homesickness
Certain music!! I was listening to Fleetwood Mac the other day on a bus ride and started remembering the summers from when I was younger, going camping with my family.
Oooh. Homesickness! It always happens to me. What I always do when this comes is to try to divert my attention and keep myself busy with the trip. However, sometimes it is really inevitable. I just cry myself to sleep sometimes. 😞 or I find ways to communicate with them and hopefully they are not busy too.
For me "homesickness" seems to better describe the malaise and sickness I feel when I'm at "home" between trips! Like Sophie said, when I'm away I very rarely miss England, after all I've invariably spent the previous 2 years slaving at a crappy job, barely going out and with only regular summer holidays to bring temporary succour.
Perhaps homesickness should better be called travelennui or something? as this would perhaps better describe peoples strange longing for home, as it seems these longings only occur when the travellings no longer inspiring, fun or easy! It is a bit like reverse culture shock upon getting back home afetr a long trip away, human nature always seems to find the grass greener on the other side and I'm sure that all who have posted here about homesickness will experience a crippling bout of travelsickness within 2 weeks of getting back to all those comforts they were missing when away! We are strange and fickle creatures!
I like to take photos with me when I am tavelling but also - just stay in touch! There are phones, the interenet, facebook and skype! Thesse are all great ways of keeping in touch. When i lived in Thailand my mum and I used to speak on skype with our webcams and it was like being in the same room together!
ahh scottanddanny I think you nailed it there!! I was very half-heartedly considering returning home, I know though that within days of arriving I would want to leave again!! haha.
Never lived in another country- but I never get homesick!
Yes Scottandanny I totally agree with you. When we get homesickness we just pack our bags and go on another trip. Wish we'd done it earlier this year though because New South Wales is having its coldest weather since 1949, so glad we have global warming or we'd be in real trouble. Anyway only three weeks to wait then we'll be touring Italy, UK and France with a four night stopover in Singapore on the way home, seven whole weeks of buffet breakfasts, fantastic. Incidentally, in spite of the travel industry spin (hurry not much room left etc.), there are still plenty of last minute bargains and we even managed to get seats on our favourite airline SIA.
We miss many thins, and so we wrote a blog about it, to ventilate...Missing in Action
ohhhh monsoon rains in Hanoi mixed with an open window and aircon (I know we're so power smart). Feels like early summer rains in Vancouver!
I like to go to backpacker haunts, because it is nice to go where people speak English and I am one of the crowd, rather than a spectacle for everybody to stare at and ask endless questions to.
I used to really miss good coffee, when I was in places where they did not have it. These days I take some with me when I travel, because I have proven to myself over the years, that I am too much of a whimp to do without it.
The major homesickness happens, when I have a bad experience with somebody or some people. It makes me just want to get home and be with people who care about me.
For me when I feel homesickness I just go out and play basketball or table tennis that way I could release that homesickness I have or go out with friends and have fun.