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13 Ways I Beat Homesickness & Loneliness When Travelling Solo
Although challenging, homesickness and loneliness don’t have to ruin your experience travelling solo.
Just like we have bad days at home, you’re likely to experience both highs and lows when you travel. However, for some reason, a bad day on the road can feel so much worse.
BUT you can beat homesickness and loneliness when travelling solo. All you need to do is anticipate that you’re going to feel this way at some point and equip yourself with the right strategies to overcome it.
Doing so will make you stronger, more independent and more comfortable in your own company.
It will also reveal underlying truths about yourself that you may not have been aware of when in your comfort zone back home.
Solo travel transforms you. But like anything, there will always be ups and downs.
Here’s 13 ways I personally beat homesickness and loneliness when travelling solo overseas.
1) Give Yourself Permission to Be Homesick
One of my biggest pieces of advice for newbie solo travellers is to be open to and accepting of feeling lonely.
You must give yourself permission to feel, process and tune into any emotions associated with homesickness or loneliness.
Feeling lonely or homesick does not mean that you’re any less independent or resilient, it actually shows great courage and strength.
It’s simply telling you that you’ve stepped outside of your comfort zone and that growth needs to occur to deal with it.
2) Learn to Sit with the Emotions & Identify Your Triggers
Homesickness and loneliness are typically triggered by something.
- Not feeling like you have any friends on your travels
- Not being able to share your experiences
- Being in a new city where everything is unfamiliar
- Not having access to simple pleasures from home
- Not being able to buy traditional grocery ingredients
- Having a really bad day
- Feeling unsafe or vulnerable
- Getting sick as a dog on your travels
Whatever the reason, it’s important to identify it and sit with it.
Remind yourself of why you wanted to travel solo in the first place and that it’s ok to have a bad day.
Rather than wallowing in your sorrows and moping around, try to be positive and optimistic.
Pick yourself up, give yourself a pep talk and have a good night’s rest.
Tomorrow is a new day and things can only get better. You just have to trust the process and eventually it will pass.
3) Always Pack 1 Thing That Gives You Comfort
When I travel solo, my first go to is to pack AT LEAST one thing that I know will give me comfort when I feel lonely or homesick.
For me, this is my hard drive of movies and TV shows.
Given everything is already downloaded, I never need to rely on data, internet or wi-fi to watch something.
This enables me to hibernate and binge for a full day if I need to, which gives me a similar vibe to lazing around back home.
It also helps to take my mind off feeling homesick or lonely.
If movies aren’t your thing, you can also consider packing:
- A favourite book
- A photo of your friends of family (however I reckon this would make me feel worse)
- A small blanket
- Your favourite computer games
- Have Netflix on your laptop or phone
The list goes on…
There are so many options depending on what your interests are or what relaxes you.
Just ensure that it is relatively small and light so that it doesn’t take up too much space in your backpack.
If you’d like to get a reliable hard drive for your travels, here’s the brand that I use: Seagate Expansion Portable Hard drive
4) Put Yourself Out There to Meet People & Make Friends
If you start feeling lonely or homesick when travelling solo, you may simply need some company and human interaction.
If you’ve spent most of your time staying in hotels, it could be time to mix things up.
Try checking into a hostel for a night or two.
This will give you a better chance of meeting new people and having interesting conversations.
5) Go on A Hostel Pub Crawl (But Be Smart)
If you need a short-term distraction from feeling homesick or lonely when travelling solo, a hostel pub crawl could be just what you need.
It’s one of the best ways to meet new people, socialise with travellers nearby, explore the city and have fun whilst doing it.
Obviously, it’s not wise to drink yourself silly, as getting atrociously drunk will only make matters worse.
It also has the potential to bring up the exact emotions that you’re trying to avoid, leaving you feeling even more depressed, sad and melancholy.
Being in the bathroom vomiting the entire night isn’t exactly a turn on and could ruin your chances of meeting cool people and enjoying the night.
Be smart and you’ll have a ball!
Click here to learn how to book a good hostel.
6) Use Wifi Calling Apps to Touch Base With Friends Or Family
If you’re missing your family or friends from home, it’s simple…REACH OUT.
Don’t let your “I should have it all together” ego or the “I don’t want them to think I’m not coping” nonsense, get in the way.
Your friends and family will love hearing from you and about what you’ve been up to. It’s also the main way they can check in and know that you’re ok.
With the many free wifi calling apps around, you really should take advantage of them as much as possible.
Here are some of the most common free wifi-calling apps you can use:
P.S.> Be mindful of different time zones. Most people won’t appreciate a spontaneous 3am phone call.
7) Indulge & Treat Yourself
As I mentioned in this article, Solo Travel can be HARD!
Sometimes you honestly need a few hours, or even a day, to veg out and chill.
Treat yourself to some luxury, whether it be enjoying a:
- Sensual Massage
- Hike in nature
- Decadent desert
- Glass of wine by the beach
- More “pricey” dining experience at a recommended restaurant
- Short stay in a luxury room or hotel
- Day of shopping
- Visit to the museum
- Cooking class
- A bungee jump or something else that’s adventurous or even
- Listening to your favourite music or playlist
8) Get Amongst Nature
If you’re feeling blue, sitting outside amongst nature could be just the thing to lift your spirits.
Enjoy sitting in a botanical garden, people-watching, hiking through a national park, or even lying on the beach watching the waves.
There’s no doubt that something about nature makes us feel cleansed, rejuvenated and soothed.
I think it’s the influx of the negative ions!
Use times of loneliness and homesickness to sit with your emotions, reflect on why you decided to travel and what you have experienced so far that you can be grateful for or learn from.
You may even like to take your journal with you and write it all down. That way you can get it out of your head and down onto paper.
9) Do Something Fun
Another tip is to do something that makes you smile, laugh or just feel great inside.
I’ll leave this one to your imagination as we’re all different.
For me, it’s usually something that gets my adrenaline pumping, such as a bungy jump or action sport.
Even watching a comedy or my favourite TV series can help to boost my spirits when travelling solo.
10) Get Active & Moving
Another way to beat feelings of loneliness or homesickness when travelling solo is to get moving.
- Going for a run around the city or in a botanical garden
- Going on a hike
- Climbing something that will give you a sense of accomplishment or stunning views
- Listening to music and get your groove on in your room
- Going on a free walking tour around the city
As science reveals, exercise releases endorphins. So, slide yourself out of bed and go get active!
11) Create a Morning or Evening Routine
If you’re struggling with the spontaneity and unstructured life of solo travel, create an easy routine that you can stick to.
It could be:
- Meditating in the morning or at night
- Getting up and dressed by a certain time
- Going for a run in the morning or evening
- Eating breakfast or dinner by a certain time
There are many simple things you can do to create more structure in your days. Especially, if this is something you miss from your life back home.
12) Break Your Trip Down into Bite-Size Chunks
When you’re travelling solo, it can get overwhelming. Especially, when trying to plan and book everything yourself.
If you start feeling stressed about your trip, try breaking it down into smaller chunks that you can process and tick off one by one.
That way you can look at each section as a separate adventure and take them one step at a time.
If you’re still feeling really homesick and lonely, or you feel like you’ve taken on more than you can handle, give yourself permission to shorten your trip.
There’s no shame in changing your plans.
13) Start Planning Your Next Destination
Another way to beat homesickness and loneliness when travelling solo is to remind yourself of all the cool adventures and experiences you can look forward to.
Sometimes, I like to familiarise myself with my current or next destination and what I’m wanting to do there.
It helps to boost my excitement and motivation for the future, rather than reflecting on the things of my life that I miss back home.
How I Beat Homesickness and Loneliness When Travelling Solo | 13 Simple Tips!
In summary, please know that it’s ok to feel homesick or lonely when you travel alone.
Take one step at a time and give yourself permission to feel lousy ever now and again.
The key is to avoid dwelling in your sorrows for days on end or choosing to focus on the negative.
Instead, focus your attention on all the incredible opportunities that travel gives you and have confidence that the dark cloud you’re currently carrying around will pass.
My 13 Simple Tips to Travelling Solo:
- Give Yourself Permission to Be Homesick
- Learn to Sit with The Emotions and Identify Your Triggers
- Always Pack 1 Thing That Gives You Comfort
- Put Yourself Out There to Meet People & Make New Friends
- Go on A Hostel Pub Crawl (But Be Smart…)
- Use Wi-Fi Calling Apps to Touch Base with Your Friends or Family
- Indulge & Treat Yourself
- Get Amongst Nature
- Do Something Fun
- Get Active & Moving
- Create A Morning or Evening Routine
- Break Your Trip Down into Bite-Size Chunks
- Start Planning Your Next Destination