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What To Do When You're Homesick

Updated on June 12, 2013


When You Miss Home
When You Miss Home

Not All Travel Is Created Equal

Travelling can be very exciting. You get to see different things and experience different things that expand your life’s journey. For some, we can’t travel enough. Keep in mind however that there are different forms of travel.

Short Term Pleasure Trips: These are your typical vacations. Whether that be a weekend getaway or a 6 night 7 day cruise, travelling for pleasure is usually the best of both worlds. You get to see and do things you want.

Inadvertent Travel: These are the trips where you really didn’t have much planned, or you had something you were obligated to do, such as a wedding, funeral, or function, and you plan to leverage and make the most of it by taking a side trip.

Work Travel: Travelling for work can go one of several ways. You may have an job that takes you to different cities for short periods of times. If the places are great, like San Francisco, Chicago, New York, Miami or international destinations, these could be viewed as pleasure trips. If they’re to mom and pop towns, more regionally located, these may come across as inadvertent travel destinations where you simply try to make the best of it. Lastly, there are those long term – relocation travel assignments. The kind where you’re going to the same place week after week. These are the type of travels that can weigh on you emotionally and cause you to sit in your hotel room missing home. It is because I have been on numerous assignments like this, that I’ve come to value some good advice on how best to make it work. Lets face it, you would rather be home then where you are. What to do?

Small Town USA

Tips, Tricks and Hints for Dealing With Being Homesick

Stay Calm: Rule number one when travelling for NOT fun. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with a desire to be anywhere else, that you have to remember that it’s only temporary and stay calm. I find that I usually start the trip with some excitement, especially if it is somewhere new. Or it may be that it is a place you frequent often. In any case, keeping in mind that it’s only temporary goes a long way to setting the right expectations about your trip.

Different Place: Same Routine: Just because you’re out of town, doesn’t mean your world was turned upside down. It helps to bring a bit of home with you, and that doesn’t necessarily have to mean literally. What time do you normally wake up, go to bed and eat breakfast? Keep your routine the same while travelling as you do when you’re at home. This will give you something to relate to and allow you to keep a baseline of normalcy. One of the things we typically miss when travelling is our bed, our food, loved ones and just overall way of life. Just because you’re somewhere different doesn’t mean you can simulate the home environment. I tend to sleep on the same side of the bed, keep my alarm clock set at the same time, and even get ready at the same time, regardless of when I need to leave my hotel or not. All of this helps me keep my rhythm and sanity.

Eat Healthy: It is easy to get carried away with food and drink when out of town since most of the time when travelling with work, it’s on the company dime. Instead of steak, burgers and desert with every meal, try to eat the same foods you would normally eat. Lets face it, most of us don’t eat fancy meals every night of the week. Keep it simple.

Exercise: Don’t let the fact that you don’t have “your gym” stop you from your normal routines. If you normally get a workout in before work at home, try to do the same while on the road. It doesn’t have to be the same exact work-out, but mechanically, it goes a long way to keep your body in shape when away from home.

Explore and Keep an Open Mind: No matter where you go, there is always something you haven’t seen or considered. A good way to explore a place is to eat where the locals eat. Take a trip around the town and get a feel for the scenery. I always tend to evaluate a place as a potential place that I could or couldn’t live. While most of the time, it turns out not being a fit, I don’t get negative on it and start bashing my quasi home. There are a lot of good people living all over the world. Everyone has their own flavor, so just because it isn’t yours, don’t go negative. It will only make you miss home more.

Sam Houston Statue

There are usually unusual things in every town. You just have to look.
There are usually unusual things in every town. You just have to look.

When Tomorrow Comes

Let’s face it, after a week or two, the novelty of a place can wear off and you’re left with what appears to be nothing left to do. This is usually when the homesick feelings creep in. You don’t want to go out because you’d rather just sit in your room and fast forward time. At the same time, sitting in your hotel room only makes for an extremely long night. Some things to help keep you busy: read a book, write an article or two, find a hobby that you can participate in on-line. Whether that be selling things on e-bay, belonging to groups of like minded people, or simply spending time learning about the place you’ve visiting, doing something other than sitting in front of the tv for hours on end, day after day will help pass the time more quickly.

The trick is to find something locally to keep things exciting. Try to find a good restaurant or TV show that you follow and get something lined up for the next day. If you have a plan for the next day, you’ll have something to look forward to. Sooner or later, your next day plan will be coming home .

Do You Ever Get Homesick Travelling for Work?

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