Homesickness can be an awful feeling for anyone who travels away from their home town, country or simply away from the house in which they live for a period of time. It normally manifests itself as a feeling of longing after being home with your close friends and family in a familiar environment where you feel at home and no longer away from what you know. Some people are prone to homesickness, others never suffer from it at all.
Different people cope with homesickness in different ways. Some ring home and have a chat with the people with which they associate ‘home’ – normally their mum or dad. This may be a good idea for you to feel that you are not alone. It reminds you that home and the people you love there, are in fact still there and that you will see them soon. However, it can make the homesickness worse. By talking to people from home it can make you miss them more! It can make you want to be home even more and make you realise how much you miss your loved ones. For this very reason, some people find that they cope with homesickness better by not contacting home for a period of time and letting the feeling pass by distracting themselves with fun activities in the place they are staying at the time. This can not only work as an effective distraction from the lonely feelings that homesickness can induce, but can also work positively towards helping you associate the place in which you are actually living or staying with positive memories and ideas. Reminding yourself of the positive aspects of where you are can make you see the bigger picture; that home is great, but where I am right now is also great for different reasons!
In German there exists a concept which is quite opposite to homesickness and that is ‘Fernweh’. This means the feeling of wanting to travel and get away and see new places, as opposed to homesickness and the feeling of wanting to go home. In English we would describe this idea of ‘Fernweh’ as having ‘itchy feet’ – a funny metaphor for describing the want to travel, explore and by doing so feed the want to get away, or relieve that itch!
Have you ever felt homesick?