Homesickness has been something that I’ve learnt to tackle fairly well over the past few years, and ever since I moved away from home I’ve been learning and experimenting with what works and helps me get through it.
I’ve been wanting to write about it for some time now, as it’s something that I’m passionate about, something that I find easy to explain and share my wisdom on.
Living in a new country with incredible experiences, new people and a look into a completely different culture is amazing on it’s own, but all of that still doesn’t stop the regular tug of homesickness that sweeps over you from time to time.
For a year I was able to call Barcelona my home, and while I was there I discovered and learnt so many different ways to deal with not being with my family and friends. I found methods that comforted me, things that made me realise just how lucky I was to be where I was, so I thought I would share them here on my blog, with ten different ways to make your homesickness that bit more bearable…
KEEP IN CONTACT //
This is a no brainer, but after time and falling into your new routine in a completely different place, sometimes keeping in contact gets a little difficult and it isn’t such a regular thing any more. This is something that I can own up to and say I’m guilty of.
Organising a Skype call or a even a FaceTime date can really cheer you up after a day at work or whenever you crave to be at home, and being able to see the faces of the ones you love is an instant perk.
You could even kick it old school and write letters, it’s therapeutic as well as personal.
EXPLORE THE CULTURE //
I know being homesick sucks and I know that it’s a feeling that may take a while to pass, but why let the amazing experiences around you go to waste?
Go and visit the museums, try the different food, throw yourself into what it’s like to live in the way that you’re new country or new place does, just go explore and enjoy every possible minute of it.
IN ADVANCE BOOK A TRIP HOME //
Whether that’s weeks or even months from now, it’s something that you will vaguely forget about, and when you remember, it’s a serious heart warmer.
I was lucky to be able to fly out to Dublin a lot, and I was always so excited to see all of the faces that I love more than anything in this world. I would book my flight ticket months in advance, and while I waiting I was making memories, developing stories and experiencing moments that I was able to then share with my family.
MEET NEW PEOPLE //
Yes, sometimes it’s daunting, but you can do this in so many different ways, and there’s nothing more interesting than meeting new people from different cultures and backgrounds, the trick is just not to be afraid to.
I know that it’s scary to put yourself out there, I know that for myself, but it’s important to do so in order for you to better yourself as a person.
Being in Spain, I had grown to love myself so much more as a person. I find that I don’t put myself down even half as much as I used to, and I am so much more confident within myself as a human being on this planet.
This is all due to the new experiences and the people that I had met and surrounded myself with, they have all made me the person I am.
So please, don’t ever be afraid to go out there and meet new people.
PLAN, KEEP YOURSELF BUSY //
So, I don’t mean pack up your calendar with different events and plans so that you don’t relax and have time to yourself. What I mean is that you should make plans in order for you to make the most of your time with the opportunities and people around you.
I’m a sucker for staying in bed at the weekends and sleeping the day through, but my mindset has changed a little since I know there is so much out there that I want to see and do.
I want to spend time with the people who make me happy, and it’s important to always do that, even if it’s just something as minuscule as spending the day at the beach.
KEEP PHOTOS //
Always have photos around you from home. Whether that is photos of your family and friends, your pet cat or even places you have visited, always have little reminders of home, but reminders that make you happy.
Having posters, photographs and polaroids on the wall of my room is comforting whenever I feel homesick, and it’s great to know that no matter how far away I am from my family and friends, we will always look forward to creating more memories to stick up on my wall.
I don’t know if this one applies to everyone, but this one is very important to me, and that’s to listen to music that reminds you of being at home.
Van Morrison is a trigger for me, but a happy one that brings me back to the times I would grab coffee and walk through the city of Belfast to University in the mornings, and I feel so blessed when I think about just how content I was in those moments.
WRITE IT ALL DOWN //
This may be sappy and a lot of people may have rolled their eyes while reading this point, but I find this to be very important as it helps me clear my mind on the daily.
I like being able to spill my brain onto the pages of a journal, to then go back and read about all of the times I felt different and certain ways.
I write about situations in my life, what’s happened to me and how I am feeling, and a lot of it is detailed, intense and often personal, but it helps me and my mindset realise my intentions and why I’m making these changes in my life.
Take pictures, film short videos, write it all down. Always document what you are doing, but document it all in a way so that you don’t miss out on all of those important moments at the same time.
I don’t mean walk around and Snapchat every single aspect of your day, I mean create memories for yourself, and think about what it is in that moment that you want to remember.
HAVE ‘YOU’ TIME //
Time to yourself is so important. Being able to unwind and relax on your own is necessary from time to time.
I find that time on your own heals, it’s refreshing, it’s just so important to repair and look after your body and your mind physically and mentally.
In fact, if you’re homesick or not, go right now and treat yourself to some quality ‘you’ time.
That could be watching a movie, catching up on that book you’ve been reading, or even just listening to some old EP’s, whatever it is, I’ve already got the kettle boiled…