Dealing with Homesickness on the Road

by Howard Gerber on May 16, 2013

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Starting a travel assignment is a great opportunity to meet new people, see a new part of the country and learn new skills. Although it is an exciting time, it’s normal to deal with some level of homesickness. This may especially be true if you are leaving children or a significant other behind. While you don’t want to forget family and friends back home, you don’t want homesickness to spoil your time. Consider some of the suggestions below to cope when you are missing home.

Use Technology: With today’s technology, there are several ways to stay connected with family and friends back home. For example, you can regularly have a Skype time each week to catch up. Texting and emails are also a great way to know what is going on with your loved ones. If you are feeling particularly homesick, sometimes a phone call and hearing your friend or family member’s voice will help you feel better.

Consider a Visit: If possible, plan a quick trip home when you have a few days off. Of course, you may not want to spend all your free time traveling back home since there may be a lot of new places to see. But if you are feeling really homesick, a short visit may help. Another idea, which may even work better, is to have a friend come visit you. This will give you a chance to visit and also show your friend around your new area.

Get Involved: One way to combat loneliness or homesickness is to get involved in your new community. For instance, join a local group, which is centered on one of your hobbies. For instance, if you enjoy hiking, consider joining a local hiking club. Not only will you stay busy doing something you enjoy, but you will meet new people in the process.

Make Your Home Homey: If your environment does not feel like home, it may make you feel even more out of place and homesick. When you’re working as a traveler, you might be staying in a furnished apartment surrounded by things which are not yours. You can add a little bit of home, by placing photos around, candles from home and other mementos that make your new place feel like home.

Allow Yourself a Little Time:  It is common to feel homesickness when you are away from your family and friends. If you are new to working as a healthcare traveler or this is the first time you will be away from home, it is naturally going to be a bit of an adjustment. Don’t immediately decide working as a traveler is not right for you because you are missing home or missing your loved ones.  Realizing it may take a little time to feel at home in your new environment may help you deal with your feelings.

Keep perspective: Keep in mind, your travel assignment will not last forever. Working as a traveler is a chance for adventure, new experiences and of course having fun. Try to think positive and realize the opportunity you have.


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