By Kay Maloney

If you have the privilege to travel or have been saving up for the trip of your life, without a doubt grab your suitcase and go. While traveling is arguably of the greatest adventures you can undertake in your life, it would be wrong to ignore that we can all crave the comforts of home when venturing in a foreign country. Whether you are taking a two-week trip to an island, or studying abroad in Europe for a semester, it is easy to miss your family, friends, and routine of home. When you catch yourself feeling homesick while away, here are some tips to help you bring home just a little closer to heart.

Bring plenty of pictures of family and friends. This one may seem obvious, but amidst the chaos of packing, it is easy to forget the littlest of comforts such as a family photo or portrait of the family dog. It is extremely beneficial to keep these pictures close and look at them as a reminder of how excited you will be to see them when you return home.

Get into a routine that incorporates activities that are similar to those you do at home. While it is always important to have new experiences and adventures while traveling, scheduling some time to work out, practice yoga, or read a book can all help to provide some of the stability and comfort you feel when your home.

Take advantage of technology! Facetime, Skype—they were invented for a reason. If you are feeling down or homesick, give your loved ones a call! It is hard to get caught up in the whirlwind of everyday when you are traveling, but do not underestimate how hearing a familiar voice could cheer you up and make home feel a little closer.

Make a bucket list of all the places and adventures you want to experience. It is extremely helpful to make a list of all the things you want to do, see, or experience while you are traveling. Making a list will not only give you something to focus on other than missing home but will also help you to immerse yourself in your surroundings.

Go for a walk! This may seem like the simplest of the list, but studies have shown that a mere ten-minute walk can boost your mood dramatically. Not only will you get some exercise and explore your surroundings, but you will hopefully start to see those sentimental cravings of home slowly fade to the back-burner.

Lastly, I would like to stress that it is important to not let your fear of change or discomfort hinder your desire to travel or experience new adventures. Do not be afraid to take opportunities that allow you to travel and learn about other cultures, as I promise you will become a better person for it.

If you catch yourself feeling homesick, remember to try and structure some routine into your abroad life, and bring many artifacts from home to provide you with the stability and comfort you need.

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