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!