How to beat homesickness

How to beat homesickness when traveling alone

Traveling can be a wonderful, mind-changing experience. It can also mess with your head and make you feel homesick when traveling alone. It took me quite a while to find strategies on how to make myself feel better when I’m alone in a hostel and need to beat homesickness.

Here are a few things that I do, so that I won’t feel lonely when I’m traveling alone:

1. Get out and explore!

Even if you feel tired and jet lagged and alone in a city that just feels different: Get out and explore your surroundings. I often that fresh air is the best for me and that seeing other people and new places takes my mind off feeling lonely. I get some coffee and start walking or I sit down in a nice café and just enjoy some people-watching!

2. Enjoy the peace and quiet around you.

Life is busy all the time. Being away from home is an opportunity to sit down, put your feet up and enjoy a few moments of silence. Choose a nice spot or use your hostel bed for that, in no case, do ever feel bad for doing so. It’s your time, and you should spend it the way you want! Make yourself feel relaxed and beat this dreadful homesickness!

3. Stay in contact with your loved ones.

Time difference and distance can be a bummer! Thanks to social media and skype you are still able to keep up with your loved ones! I find it helpful to text or skype with family and friends if I start to get homesick. Just talking about what I have seen and been doing, helps and always makes me realize just how lucky I am and how much I like traveling!

4. Step outside your comfort zone!

As a very introvert and quiet person myself, this is always the hardest part for me: Getting to know other people. I usually start by introducing myself to the girls in my dorm, making small talk and asking about their destinations. Many of them are solo travelers as well and appreciate a chat. Very often this has led to great company for dinner, a drink or even longer parts of my travel.

5. Find a good streaming service!

Most hostels and hotels provide free Wifi which often works quite well. For me, I prefer to have a streaming service such as Netflix and/or Amazon Prime Video set up on my Macbook or iPad. Netflix is great in the US, whereas when you are coming to Germany you might want to get Amazon Prime Video instead! In case that I feel exhausted or lonely, I simply watch one of my favorite shows or start a new one. You’ll often see people doing the exact same thing and there is no better way to start talking to people than about a TV show!

What are your tips and tricks against that dreadful feeling that sometimes comes up? How would you beat homesickness? Feel free to share!

How to beat homesickness when traveling alone. Traveling can be the most amazing experience, but it can also leave you lonely in an unknown place. I'll share with you my secrets of how to beat homesickness when traveling alone. |

How to handle jet lag

I know there are probably more ways to deal with jet lag than I can count. Everyone I know has his or her own way and idea what is best.

However, since I feel that I had a bad case on my hand and am now (on Monday) more or less getting over it, I decided to share how I have handled it so far.

1. Keep hydrated!

Drink, drink, drink… Water is best, so no coffee (or just a small amount). Tea is okay I guess or I have been drinking a lot of a soda that is called VitaminWater which I remembered from Ohio. It says zero calories, so not sure about that, but it tastes so good!

2. Get into a schedule!

The worst that you can do is arrive and go to bed (depending on what time it is). I arrived here around 2PM and I was naturally exhausted after being awake for almost 24 hours. I could have gone to bed at 6PM when I arrived at the hostel, but I stayed awake until 10 PM. That meant a lot of yawning and I swear I blacked out a couple of times. But it also meant that I only woke up once during the night and almost slept for 10 hours. The nights after that I would also wake up once, check the time and go back to sleep.

3. Keep moving!

It can be challenging to keep busy and not decide to go to sleep, take a nap or just chill somewhere all the time for days. I figured out that for me it is better to keep walking, see things, get my mind off of being sleepy. I do have blisters now and my feet hurt (on Saturday I walked 15km – so proud of myself), but it also meant that I was tired enough to sleep at night when it would have been hard because my body was on Munich time.

4. Eat something!

With me, jet lag means also loss of appetite. Basically it seems like my body doesn’t know what time it is and thus decides to concentrate on other things than being hungry. It is important to have regular meals with some greens and vitamins! Get on a schedule for that as well! Have breakfast, even if it means getting up earlier than you want, eat a small lunch and have dinner!

What do you do against jet lag? Any helpful ideas out there?



Hostels and traveling on your own…

When you are travelling on a budget (and let’s face it – who isn’t) and on your own, you will soon find out that the biggest obstacle is to find a place to stay. A place where you feel safe, where you can enter the bathroom without feeling the urge to clean it…
For me, it seems that with the years going by, I find myself longing for clean and quiet spaces. When I think about my first trips, I didn’t care much about anything. All I wanted was a bed in a reasonably clean hostel, no matter how many people I had to share my room with. On my trip last year, I struggled a lot with finding the right living arrangements. One option was choosing a hostel which I decided to do in New York City and Boston, my first stops on the trip.

In New York I lived in a nice little hostel in Chelsea. I had been staying in a hostel before, but it had been located further north in Manhattan and this time I wanted to be more in the South. To choose my hostel, I always use websites like or I simply look for reviews on google. For me it is important to now what other people had been saying. The hostel in Chelsea was all in all ok, it was reasonably priced for a place in New York, the staff was nice and they offer smaller rooms and free breakfast. It is located in a quiet street with a lot of shops and cafés in walking distance.

In Boston I chose to stay in a youth hostel which so far has been my best experience in a hostel abroad. The youth hostel is located in the Theater District/ Chinatown, so most sights are in walking distance. Also, there is a Panera right next door 🙂 The hostel has been built only a few years ago, so everything is quite modern and new. The staff is nice and helpful as well and they offer a lot of activities like tours to a brewery or to museums.

All in all, I prefer staying in hostels over a hotel. It is good to catch up on sleep after a long flight in a hotel, but hostels are always more fun as you can meet so many people from so many different places!