I’ve come up with a check list to identify homesickness, and what I do about it. I hope it helps you fellow travellers…
1. You start missing friends and family from back home unbearably: Try calling, emailing, or Skype-ing someone back home to chat and get caught up on small talk and find out how everyone is doing and hear a familiar voice. If you dont have technology to facilitate that, keep a diary you can share later or write an old fashioned letter and use snail mail.
2. You stop trying to submerse yourself in the place you’re traveling: If you stop learning bits and pieces of the local language, or stop being adventurous about trying the local food or experiencing local customs, then you are probably missing the familiarity of home. The only way to get over that is to realize that you aren’t home and you should decide to make the best out of where you are instead; don’t miss out on any unique opportunities or the possibility of meeting an amazing local!
3. You are sick of living out of a backpack: Backpacking usually makes travelers realize they don’t have enough stuff, or that they have too much stuff and get sick of carrying it. Either way, remember that the only thing you need for an amazing travel experience is yourself, the clothes on your back, your passport and some money! So be glad to have what you have, or downsize if you can since “stuff” is superfluous.
4. You’re getting bored: Go somewhere else! Change the perspective you have of a place by seeing it from a different point of view, or just go somewhere new and exciting.
5. You’re lonely: Talk to anyone and everyone you meet, share stories, make new friends, get out of your comfort zone and try communicating without words if you experience a language barrier since body language and simple gestures are an amazing cross-cultural communication tool.
6. You are sick of being treated like a walking wallet wearing a “tourist” label: Try to blend in as much as you can, by dressing differently or acting differently, so that people can’t tell if you are local or not (if possible).
7. You just want to go home: Then, really, your homesickness has taken over completeley and the only way to cure it is…to go home! Thats the beauty of travel, you can always travel again after a short visit home, and plan your next trip for shorter or longer depending on what kind of traveler you are.