How to Overcome Homesickness on Your Next Extended Business Trip

homesickness

For both experienced professionals and young entrepreneurs, extended travel plays a large part in career growth. Travel not only allows you to form new connections but also contributes to future success by opening your eyes to different ways of doing things and the thought processes of other cultures around the world. As exciting as it may be, it’s also incredibly overwhelming. Moving away to a new country and leaving behind your friends and family is challenging, even if it’s only a temporary position. In this article, we will discuss precisely how you can overcome homesickness on your next extended business trip.

Learn About Your New Destination and How to Overcome Homesickness

If you’re going to be spending a lot of time in a new destination, it’s essential that you do your research. Familiarity can diminish culture shock and give you a sense of preparedness. Additionally, you should also research the local customs and attractions before your arrival, as well as local emergency services and other necessary connections. We also highly recommend that you brush up on your business etiquette, which can vary significantly from country to country.

Create Familiar Comforts

Just because you left your home behind doesn’t mean you have to give up everything you enjoy. To make the transition easier, create familiar comforts in your new country. This could include family photographs, a favorite book, or even a cozy blanket to make you feel all warm and fuzzy. By bringing along a few of these simple luxuries, you may be able to calm a restless soul while bouncing around to new areas.

It’s also wise to find the right accommodation type during your travels. Short-term rentals are a great option as they contain everything you need for a comfortable stay. For example, you can find fully furnished apartments in Toronto here that could make you want to stay longer.

Load Up on Entertainment

To satisfy the simple need for unwinding and staying fully entertained while abroad, make sure to download all your favorites.  You can load up your tablet with your favorite movies, create a unique travel playlist with your go-to songs, or even pack an e-reader full of books. Having access to your preferred forms of entertainment will really develop a sense of comfort. Not to mention, you’ll never be bored!

A few other simple ways to keep yourself entertained while traveling could include:

– Adult Coloring

– Play cards

– Game apps and devices

– Podcasts

– Puzzle books

Establish a Regular Routine

To overcome homesickness, many frequent travelers say that one of the best ways to do this is to create a routine. Sticking to a regular schedule can help ground you in a foreign environment. While this can be difficult given all of your business responsibilities, try setting aside time each day to focus on self-care. It could be a morning workout, journaling, or something as simple as a daily walk in the park.

Engage in Relaxation Techniques

Speaking of self-care, if you’re feeling stressed during your travels, it’s vital to engage in different relaxation techniques. Things such as breathing exercises and meditation can soothe anxieties that are associated with being away from home.

Even if you are busy, try to check in with your emotions regularly throughout the day. It’s better to face them head-on than to try and bury your feelings. This will keep you from feeling overwhelmed and not hating the new place you wanted to discover.

Engage in Relaxation Techniques
Credit: Roberto Nickson

Maintain Your Eating Habits

In addition to staying entertained and relaxed while traveling, it is also a great idea to maintain your eating habits. Travel is known to seriously impact your eating routine (believe me, I’ve gained plenty while not having access to the ingredients/snacks I’m used to). Enjoying your favorite snacks or cooking a traditional meal is an excellent way to prevent the disorientation that homesickness can bring. By keeping familiar spices (such as jalapenos or chilis while traveling to Central America, or protein bars for health nuts), you can help alleviate the feeling like you are missing out.

Of course, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t enjoy local cuisine – you just need to find a good balance. A mix of comfort foods and new dishes is the best, especially for those extended trips, but by bringing along a few items you’re used to, you can dip your toe rather than jump all the way in.

Explore the Local Community

Another way to limit that feeling of homesickness is to get out and explore the local community. At first, you may want to spend all your time at home and work – but this isn’t recommended, as it may leave you feeling secluded and restless.

Take a walk around the neighborhood and see what is available to you. Even finding a great coffee shop or grocery store can relieve anxiety. Your goal should be to feel like a “temporary local.” Also, are you nervous about communicating in a place where another language isn’t your own? Install translation apps and learn some of the language. You’ll be thankful you did.

Explore the Local Community

Document Your Experiences

Journaling or photography can be an excellent outlet for the emotions and experiences that come with business travel. Not only does it keep you connected with your life back home, but it also allows you to track your events in a timeline.  As a travel blogger myself, I bounce to far too many places and have problems remembering when I was where, and at what time.  It’s always interesting to be able to take a look back and find my travel trends.  It appears I travel to Thailand approximately the same time of year, even if it’s years apart.  Ah, the way of the stars ;-).

Seeing everything you tackle in photos or writing can be incredibly rewarding. It allows you to remember (and as we all do over time, we forget) and also gives you the chance to share all of your adventures with your loved ones once you return.

Make New Friendships

Building relationships with colleagues or locals can transform your business trip into a more enjoyable experience. Friendships offer new perspectives and can turn the occasion into an opportunity for personal growth.

Check out local events or simply ask some of the people you work with if they would like to hang out. You would be surprised at how easy it is to form new connections if you put yourself out there. Even if you only meet up with someone for a day, the next time you return to a particular part of the world, that person you connected with may be there.

Make New Friendships
Credit: Ben Duchac

Stay connected with loved ones

Finally, don’t forget to stay connected with all of your friends and family back home. Hearing their voices and seeing their faces can alleviate those feelings of separation.

Thankfully, keeping in touch is easier than ever. From video calls to emails and social media, there are plenty of ways to reach out if you’re lonely. Make sure to grab the best e-sim card while you are in another country to offset your phone expenses.

One last way we can recommend to reduce homesickness is to plan short trips back to your home country. While this isn’t always feasible, you may be able to take a train or flight back on weekends if you don’t live too far away.

Final Words

Homesickness can’t always be prevented, but there are things you can do to relieve its symptoms. By following the tips above, you can get through your business travels and take advantage of all the wonderful opportunities coming your way.

Remember to stay strong and focus on yourself while traveling around the world. If you forget self-care, you won’t be able to handle your business well if you are in a poor mental state, as your well-being is just as critical as your work.

So, with all that being said, we hope you’ve discovered a few methods to minimize homesickness while traveling. It can be the difference between a great trip and a miserable one. And as always, never forget to Travel Till You Drop!

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About Jill

Hi, Jill Here

Hi! I’m Jill, a Dallas, Texas girl traveling the world. After a career in the Air Force and touring over 50 countries later, my need to explore keeps going! It’s time to rock & roll and find all those places I never knew I was missing.

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