i know it's a bit pathetic, but this is my main concern about my round the world trip. i live with my family, and have never gone away for more than about a week, and suddenly i'm leaving for 5 months.
i just wondered how people in a similar position to me coped. i'm sure once i get used to it i'll be fine, but i'm scared of getting to hong kong and being all alone and not being able to snap myself out of feeling unhappy.

i would go out tonight, but i haven't got a stitch to wear
The key is to keep yourself busy and meet as many people as possible. If you mope around too much it will make it alot worse, trust me. I went away for five months last year in my GAP year, fair enough, I had been at boarding school for two years, but I hadn't been out the country for more than a fortnight. Keep in touch with people back home by all means - when you get there, let them know that you have arrived safely and then don't contact them for a week or so - in this way you will not be constantly reminded of them. It will get easier as you are away longer and remember, it happens to everyone!

'may you live in interesting times'
hey kate,

don't be so harsh on yourself - having a fear of getting homesick is not pathetic!! Eventhough I have been overseas before and travelled by myself, I know I will still get homesick at some point next year. Generally it doesn't last for long - I found that when I would feel lonely, I would seek out some tourists to have fun with, re-charge my batteries, and then head off on my own again.
When I get homesick I generally call home - by speaking to my family I realise that nothing has changed at home and that its okay for me to keep on travelling. Its enough for me to realise that what I am missing will still be there after my year travel, so there is no use worrying about it now. It is generally my mum that I miss the most, so having the chance to chat with her and telling her about my adventures helps heaps (although this is mostly done by email).

Just go knowing that its okay to get homesick! If you do, do whatever you want to make yourself feel better and before you know it you'll either meet someone who'll brighten up your day. Home will still be there after the five months.

I too am a Smiths fan.

Team up with other travellers for a day, or a few days at a time - there is always another solo traveller who is glad of some company. I have also booked myself on day tours, once a 2 day tour, mostly to meet other travellers when I am feeling lonely. Works every time. Enjoy your trip

It is better to travel than to arrive
Stop whining and GROW up or stay home. Pathetic!!
Almost everyone traveling more than 10 weeks hits a wall at about that point, for some it is homesickness, for others it's loneliness, mental exhaustion, illness, depression. If you it happens to you, then stay put someplace for a few extra days or weeks. Call home. Do somethings to take care of yourself. Go out someplace nicer for a meal, dress up, get a haircut, buy yourself a treat. The suggestions of #3 are also useful.

Don't worry, it's nothing else than normal, I've been away 3 times now and I always cried at the airport... For me, it's always the beginning of trip that's hard... Once you've found your pace of travel, it gets better...
If you ever feel lonely, don't hesitate to send a mail to your best mates, and be honnest, tell them how you feel...
As someone else said, when you call home and see that nothing has change there and that, you, you've met so many people, discovered so many things, then, you feel OK...
Follow what the others said and make the best of your trip, because when you are back home, after a while, you only want one thing, to hit the road again... and that's worst than homesickness for me...
Personally I've never been homesick during my intensive travels the last 13 years but then I'm relatively introverted. The closest I've been to homesick has been a yearning for where you're heading: Hong Kong. I can recommend Garden Hostel on the fourth floor (to British third floor) in the Miramar Mansion on Nathan road near the Chung King Mansion (best place for exchanging money) in Tsim Sha Tsui, on the tip of Kowloon. I met a lot of nice people in the Garden Hostel including the people working there! You'll meet a lot of other travellers there. Hong Kong is also a relatively safe destination.

Why fly when you can travel surface! Bon Voyage!
You should rejoice that you're lucky enough to have a family that you will miss! I worry about people who DON'T get homesick.

Email is everywhere so I constantly used that as a way to feel connnected. If you KNOW where you're going to be for awhile I had a couple "care packages" sent to GPO, as long as you don't think you'll get ripped off, like what hap'd to my "package" in INdia. Letters, shld be ok.

I lined my journal with photos of friends & family

and when the going got real tough I splurged and called home just to hear their voices live. even after being gone a year I was still homesick, the worst being around month 6.
cheers dudes ;-) your input is much appreciated. i think i just have to accept that there will be times when i'll feel lonely and homesick, and be prepared for them.
fi - the smiths are a genius band! glad to see a fellow fan hehehe

i would go out tonight, but i haven't got a stitch to wear
Hi there,

I was away for 10 mths and got a bit homesick.
Emailing is great and if you've got a friend who answers immediately it feels like being at home again. Or use a MSN messenger.
Another one was booking a couple of tours just like #3 suggested.
One more -go to a book store and have a look at books or magazines of your country. Helps a bit!

However, travelling wins home always!

Happy travels!
It's interesting to me how nearly everyone recommends contact as a cure for homesickness. I'm probably more like scott (#7) and I date back to when email didn't exist and even phone was usually impossible or impractical. I usually (even now at my age) experience some misgivings early on in the trip, then I get past that to the stage where the trip is more real than everything else.

The last thing I would do when homesick is call home, I think it would disrupt the process of breaking free. But probably the world has changed, and I wouldn't necessarily recommend this way of doing things.

Why should I feel lonely? Is not our planet in the Milky Way? Thoreau
Apart from all the other tips above, a good remedy for homesickness is also to go and have a meal at McDonalds. :-) In certain countries it can be the ONLY thing around that has some things that are the same as at home. Amazing how the hamburgers and fries taste the same all over the world. I think McD in general is a ghastly place and I hardly ever go there at home, but after weeks of total culture shock and finding that EVERYTHING is different from home, it can be a great relief.

Other things that help me through periods of homesickness:
- writing letters or my diary.
- reading letters and e-mails from family and friends.
- making a list of all the silly little things I miss; hilarious when you read it a year later!!
- finding food that is somewhat like at home, i.e. cheese that is like the Dutch one, or liquorice.
- going to see a movie.
- stopping and really thinking about how lucky I am to be out there; and how boring it would be to be back home to all the routine.

I think it's totally natural to get homesick. I am glad I have it; if I didn't, it might mean that I do notlike my home and would forever feel restless, not being able to settle in one place. There are many people who are like that, but I'm glad I'm not. I love Amsterdam and my home country the Netherlands despite it's many flaws. I love to travel also, but I always want to return here.
Also, being homesick is a sign of your bond with friends and family, which you can only be happy with, right? If you didn't miss them every once in a while, what kind of friendships would you have?


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homesickness is one of those things you cant plan for, it might be the least susceptible people who get hit the hardest. How much time do you spend on your own right now? How often do you call your family? When I got hit just before CHristmas, Iwas nearly out of cash and thinking about heading home for Christmas, I wrote to my Aunt who wisely pointed out: OK come home if you must but CHristmas Day you will just be sitting around with Uncle blah blah and doing the same thing and nothing will have changed. I went to India instead and had a agreat time.

Remind yourself that the grass is always greener and that you wiill one day be missing your time on the road. Failing thta go and talk to some complete stranger and say hi!