During the trip:

Stack of photos, ©iStockphoto.com/kemie

Homesickness is tough.

Most people have experienced this at least once, and it's perfectly normal when you're traveling. It doesn't matter how long or short your trip is, anyone can still get home sick.

When backpackers travel, especially those who are going solo, we sometimes miss a familiar face.

...Or a familiar smell...

.. Or a familiar surrounding.

And different things can cause this; like culture shock, a bad day or your girlfriend keeps texting you, saying she loves you.

How do you know if you're home sick?

Well, you're probably depressed, anxious and longing to be back home. You don't feel like socializing and therefore you withdraw from your surroundings.

So, how do you cope
with home sickness?

Female traveler alone on a beach, ©iStockphoto.com/FredFroese

Remember that different people cope with home sickness in different ways. Just because you follow these tips, doesn't mean you automatically get rid of it. But I do hope that the tips will make it easier for you!

  • Don't pretend that you're not home sick when you are in fact longing for home. I'm not a shrink, but it makes sense that you shouldn't repress your feelings. It's like frustration or anger. The longer you deny it, the bigger chance of worsening it.
  • Keep in touch with home Use e-mail, MSN, Skype, overseas calls, sms or postcards to keep in touch with family, friends or boy/girlfriend. But phoning every day might worsen it... You're not in Asia to use all your time on e-mailing or Skyping, so try to restrain yourself. Have in mind that you've paid for this trip, so make adventures out of it!

Let me tell you about my experience... After 2 months of backpacking, I got homesick in Thailand. I texted my boyfriend like 10 times a day in a week (bad idea). Fortunately my travel companion took my mobile, and hid it for a couple of weeks so I could get back to earth. So, use the help of your traveling companion if you have to!

  • You should get into activities and meet people so you keep your mind busy. Join a cooking class or a meditation retreat. Have some drinks and get to know people. Keep yourself occupied.
  • Talk to your travel companion about it. Cry if you need to and get it off your chest. If you want to spend some time on your own, do it. Only you know your personal space.
  • Read your local newspaper online and read about the latest news in your homecountry. I did this a couple of times, so I didn't feel "left out".
  • Get to know travelers from your homecountry. My point here is not to look for your fellow citizens, but if you do meet backpackers from home, that's cool. When you're homesick and have the opportunity to speak your native language, you feel a certain connection to home. That's because you likely know the same things about your homecountry, share the same humour etc. And it's a good distraction!

An example... I'm from Norway, and when I met two Danish girls in Bangkok, I felt a lot better. Danish is not Norwegian, but at least we understood each other.

  • This might be the time to pull out pictures of your loved ones (if you brought it with you), but don't gaze at it too much. It can backfire, and make you even more homesick. 
  •  If you're traveling during the holidays, you might want to make a call or two. I felt a lot better after I called my family on Christmas Eve (it was my first time being away from my family on Christmas and that was tough).
  • Pull out your iPhone and listen to your favorite music, read a book or eat a garden of different fruits! The choice is yours!


Have in mind that you're on an adventure in an exotic place, and that it's a one in a life-time experience !!! :-)

You have been looking forward to this trip, and you saved up loads of money to get to Asia.

You'll be having a great time, and before you know it you're already home... You won't believe how quickly time will pass! (I bet that when you return home, you'll probably miss traveling.. ironic or what..)

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