With the explosion of cheap flights travelling the world has never been easier and taking off on a gap year can be an awesome adventure. But sometimes there are downsides to that, and one of the worst parts can be missing your loved ones you’ve left behind back at home.
If you’re looking to alleviate the occasional heartache that comes from missing your family members and friends during your travels, check out these awesome ways to remain close to far away loved ones and make the homesickness sting much less.
Technology has changed the face of independent travel forever. Gone are the days where you would send a letter or look for an IDD phone at the back of an internet cafe to call home (seriously, you kids today don’t know how good you have it!) We’ve got the technology, so make use of it. It’s easier than ever to stay in contact with those we love most, even when we’re countries away. Whether it’s Skype or Facetime or any other video sharing app, being able to see your family member’s faces while you talk to them is more comforting than you might realize. Don’t just save the talking dates for special occasions either; plan a weekly or biweekly check in session so you can feel included in all the daily goings on back at home and see their smiling faces as much as possible. It will do great service to your efforts to fight homesickness, trust me. Keep a set date and time so both parties are more inclined to make it to these video chat dates.
The times that inspire the most intense homesickness are those that occur when we miss special occasions. Whether you’re off traveling the world, have a job in a new locale, or are studying abroad, missing out on family celebrations is one of the unfortunate side effects of moving far away from home. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t join in the celebrations and let your family know you’re thinking of them. There are so many gift ideas that you can orchestrate and send even from halfway across the globe. Send your mum a birthday or mothers day treat she can enjoy for example, or even just a card from any one of those online card design sites. It isn’t hard to stay part of the celebrations, even when you are away!
Share Your Travels.
Whether you’re on the road for work or pleasure, you’re bound to be encountering a variety of cool sights, so make sure you keep your family included on your travels by capturing those moments. Take plenty of photos and send them to your family and friends, or share them on social media. Making photo sharing a priority will keep your loved ones updated on your whereabouts and all you’re experiencing, and make your discussions about the places you’ve seen and people you’ve met more visceral. If you have the technology savvy and the time, consider creating a personal blog for you and your family’s eyes only, where you can upload photos of your journeys and write small blurbs about the things you’ve done. Not only will it be a great way to keep your family updated but it will also serve as a wonderful memento for you in the future.
Take Pictures along with you.
On the other side of the coin you’ll want to bring along photos of your family. It’s a proven science: looking at photos of our loved ones and of good memories makes us significantly happier. Not only that, they are great conversation pieces with locals you meet along the way, many of whom may ask about your family or pets back home.
Send Handwritten Letters.
Technology is great, but you really can’t beat that personal touch. If you want to let a special someone back home know how much you’re missing them, write letters about your days and make them sentimental with small trinkets from your travels. This is a real, rare treat for anyone who receives them.
Did you enjoy this article? How do you combat homesickness when on the road? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below or on my Facebook or Twitter pages and please feel free to share it with any or all of the social media buttons. If you want to get more great backpacking tips, advice and inspiration, please subscribe to updates via email in the box to your right.