9 Ways to Feel Less Homesick During the Holidays

9 Ways to Feel Less Homesick During the Holidays for Those Living Alone Abroad

Holiday season doesn’t have to be so glum!

The holidays are often the time for unbridled joy and merriment. For a lot of people, it means getting to come home to their families and make a lot of memories. However, for those living and travelling abroad, the season can get rather melancholy. Homesickness is inevitable, and nothing can get lonelier than an empty house with all the decorations put up. If you’re currently in a situation just like this, here are nine ways to feel less homesick during the holidays. 

Also read: 5 Tips From a Homebody on How to Enjoy Travelling & Being Outdoors

1. Get on a video call with your loved ones

homesick during the holidays

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One of the best ways to feel less homesick during the holidays is to call your family. If you’ve been meaning to catch up with members, or at least see them, a simple video call would do. On that note, if there’s a timezone difference for both sides, just figure out which time works best and hop on the call! 

Alternatively, you can get on a video call with friends if your family is unavailable to talk. 

2. Make new friends abroad

homesick during the holidays

Image credit: Jennifer Lim-Tamkican

Speaking of friends, making new friends abroad is one of the best ways to feel less homesick during the holidays. While international students living abroad can sign up for various clubs and attend college events, making friends as an adult is a little harder. If that’s the case, head out to the nearest bar or join something like a cooking class! You’ll get to meet like-minded people in your city and we hope you’ll maintain incredible connections before next Christmas.  

Also read: Lessons From London: This Young Traveller Shares How Studying Abroad Changed Her Life

3. Invite your friends over

homesick during the holidays

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However, if you already have friends in the city, simply invite them over! There are plenty of things you can do with your friends, including a sleepover, an intimate Christmas party, or even a barbeque night. You may even decorate the whole place together, and plan a Secret Santa where you can exchange gifts on Christmas Day. 

Also read: 10 Unusual Experiential Christmas Gifts to Impress Your Friends With

4. Cook dishes from your hometown

homesick during the holiday

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Nothing beats the experience of making and eating comfort food when the weather gets cold. If you’ve got a lot of time to spare, dedicate several hours of your day to learning how to cook something from your hometown. Better yet, you can call your family to ask them to guide you through the recipe or invite someone to help you cook. Just switch on some music and you’re going to have a lot of fun. 

Alternatively, if you’re not in the mood to cook a dish from scratch, just order takeout from the nearest restaurant! The taste probably won’t be the same, but it will surely lift your spirits for festivities.  

Also read: 14 Food Destinations Around the World for a Gastronomic Tour

5. Go on an adventure outside

homesick during the holidays

Image credit: Kharl Anthony Paica

For those living abroad, another way to feel less homesick during the holidays is to go on an adventure. If you haven’t been able to explore the city or town you’re living in, fret not. This is the perfect excuse to go out and try something new. 

Head to the park with a book, or pop into a quaint coffee shop down the street from your neighbourhood. Specifically, try to find a place that reminds you of home; it could be a cafe, a certain attraction, or a part of town with a distinct community. 

Also read: An Introvert’s Guide to Surviving Your Next Family Vacation

6. Treat yourself to the finer things in life!

homesick during the holidays

Image credit: Raphael Lovaski

When you’re feeling down during the holidays, it’s time to treat yourself! There are so many ways to do this — book a staycation at a fancy hotel or go on a shopping spree at your favourite mall. In addition, invest a full day in self-care, which includes soaking in a bath or going to a spa. At the end of the day, treat yourself to an expensive meal at the end of the day. 

Also read: Self-Care for Travel: Tips & Tricks That Are Bound to Get You on Your Feet Again

7. Create new holiday traditions

Image credit: Kelsey Weinkauf

One of the best ways to feel less homesick during the holidays is to create new holiday traditions. For example, on Christmas Eve, have a movie marathon of Christmas movies as you wrap your gifts. Alternatively, make a batch of gingerbread cookies and gift them to your friends. Some of the best memories will be cultivated with these traditions, and the familiar routines will bring a sense of comfort when the going gets tough. 

Also read: 10 Christmas Destinations in Asia That Light Up During the Holidays

8. Stay busy during the holidays

homesick during the holidays

Image credit: Sarah Brown

On the other hand, staying busy is another way to feel less homesick during the holidays This only works if you have a handful of tasks you’ve been putting off recently. For example, you can finish up your assignments and then clean the whole house afterwards. Staying distracted will help take your mind off what you’re feeling, and you may even feel a little better once your to-do list is complete!

9. Journal your thoughts

homesick during the holidays

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Whenever you’re hit by the holiday blues, journaling is a great way to address those emotions. Although a pen and a notebook are the best way to go, you can also journal digitally on your laptop and on your phone. Write about how you’re feeling at the moment, and then list down all the things that you miss from your hometown. You can also have a separate entry on all the things you love about the new city you’re in and the best days you’ve had while living there. 

Also read: Third-Culture Kid Blues: My Experience as an Indonesian Who Grew Up in Malaysia

Image credit: Jorge Vidal

Though we might not think it, the holidays are a time for reflection. We’re constantly reminded of how grateful we should be for this new life, as well as the people we’re meeting on our new journey. We hope that with these tips, you’ll feel less homesick during the holidays! It might take some time, but we believe you’ll eventually get there. 

Featured image credit: Justin Kauffman | Unsplash

Facebook image credit (right): Nachelle Nocom | Unsplash

About Author

Natasha Effendy
Natasha Effendy

Natasha is a wordsmith and digital content creator who's been trying to write her way into the adventure of a lifetime. If she's not writing, you'd definitely catch her nursing her addiction to romance and fantasy novels with a cup of tea.


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