As this semester is my first time living in a new country on my own, I have found myself occasionally becoming a little homesick. Luckily, the feeling doesn’t last too long. However, I have composed a list of tips and tricks to overcome these short periods of nostalgia that will hopefully be helpful to fellow travelers!
1. Photos, Photos, Photos!
This first one may seem obvious, but when you find yourself missing home, seeing pictures of the ones you love makes your heart hurt a little less. I have found that bringing photos from home to put up in my bedroom made the space even happier. Along with this, changing your screensavers to images with friends and family will easily brighten up your mood.
2. Happiness is Homemade
Being in a new country often comes with the privilege of getting to enjoy different types of meals than you’re used to, however you may find yourself missing dishes from home. In Scotland, Tex-Mex is cuisine rarely, if at all, found, but when I’m feeling a little homesick, I take a quick trip to the grocery store and pick up some ingredients to replicate a tasty home-cooked meal for dinner. This trick eases homesickness and hunger!
Sometimes all it takes to cure homesickness is a quick call to friends or family. Keeping those you love updated on your life abroad will not only make you feel better, but will also keep the relationship alive for when you arrive back home. Letting your friends know which apps/numbers to contact you on when abroad ahead of time also makes the process run smoother. Scheduling phone calls in advance may also be a good idea to make sure you’re not waking up a friend at 3AM due to time zone differences.
4. Planning Ahead
When there’s a time period coming up that you know is going to have your homesickness acting up, it’s a good idea to plan an outing during that time to focus on instead. For instance, this year I knew I’d be missing ACL for the first time in years, so I planned a trip with a group of friends during the first weekend that festival would have been. This made my experience abroad even more exciting, plus it distracted me from feeling down about missing something from home.
5. Just Feel It
Traveling abroad is a fantastic time for new experiences, friends and places, but sometimes it’s important to recognize and just feel your emotions if you’re down about being far from home. It’s okay to not be thrilled every minute of every day of your time in a new country. Addressing your feelings is a part of the experience, and, fortunately, the negative feelings won’t last too long, as traveling abroad is filled with plenty of high-spirited experiences.
This post was contributed by Brett Coulston, a 2019 Global Ambassador majoring in sociology. Brett is studying at the University of Glasgow, Scotland.
Don’t get left behind. Read more about Brett’s experience in Scotland>>