Greetings from the City of Dreams – Mumbai, India!
I’ve been living here for two months and while I’m literally living my dream (I mean, I work at the crossroads between fashion, film, and social media – what more can I ask for?). Having said that, I do still get homesick from time to time. I never thought I would end up missing Calgarian winters!
Whether you travel for school, work, volunteering opportunities, or just for the heck of it, I thought I would share my best tips for overcoming homesickness for short-term and long-term travellers alike! Continue reading below to see my top 5 ways to cope with homesickness:
1. Reach out to family and friends
A simple 5 minute phone call or FaceTime sesh can go a long way! Even if it’s been ages since you’ve last spoken to someone, don’t be afraid to reach out and ask them about their day. Tell them about your adventures so far! Gush over the ups, and bitch about the downs. Don’t forget that a lot can happen back home while you’re gone, so ask them about what’s changed – that way, it’s easier to cope with reverse culture shock when you return.
2. Eat familiar foods
I’m a huge foodie. No, seriously, I’ll eat anything once. As an avid traveler, I always go out of my way to try local dishes (did someone say street meat?) with little regard for how my stomach might feel afterwards. While this quality has #blessed me with a hella strong immune system, trying new foods can make a strange, unfamiliar place feel even more strange and unfamiliar. One of the joys of traveling is enjoying new cuisine, but don’t feel ashamed if you need to hit a familiar restaurant chain for one meal. After all, McDonald’s is available in 119 countries!
3. Maintain a routine
Are you an expat or participating in a student exchange? Chances are, you’re going to be attending a variety of cultural festivals, seeing all sorts of historical wonders in your city, and more! You should probably incorporate a proper routine while living abroad, preferably in the morning. Your morning routine is your time, and you can choose to work out, write in your journal, make a yummy smoothie, or whatever you want. Just make sure you complete the same routine, every damn day. Because you’re in a foreign country, you’re going to experience something new on a daily basis. This constant wave of culture shock can overwhelm even the most experienced traveler, but luckily, it can be counter-balanced with a daily routine.
4. Meet other foreigners
Living in the Information Age as digital natives makes meeting other travellers a piece of cake! Wanna meet other foreigners in your city? Join a Facebook, Meetup, or Couchsurfing group. Heck, you can even use Tinder. Whatever floats your boat. I’m part of a WhatsApp group appropriately deemed “Mumbai Trainees”, where we arrange weekend plans, coordinate coffee dates, and help each other out with visa information. It helps to connect with people who are going through the same time adjusting to a foreign country as you, and will be more than happy to share advice.
*Tip: When meeting anyone for the first time, make sure to meet at a public place, like a coffee shop or a shopping mall.
5. Avoid retreating into your room
When you’re homesick, it becomes incredibly tempting to retreat into a safe space. There are days when leaving my room is an accomplishment in and of itself. But isolating yourself can make you feel worse. Go for a walk. Sign up for a weekend dance class. Opt to study in the library. It’s okay to have alone time once in a while, but don’t miss out on memorable cultural experiences unavailable back home by staying in your comfort zone.
What are your best tips for dealing with homesickness? Share them in the comments below!
Oh, and don’t forget to check out my #LuluEatsWorld foodie stories on Instagram and Snapchat!