The title of this post is entirely accurate. Homesickness is horrific but of course, it could be worse. North Korea could unleash it's seemingly newly advanced nuclear capability onto South Korea or Guam or wherever else Kim Jong-Un takes a dislike too. The Donald may respond with fire and fury, and the world could be on the verge of annihilation. You have a bout of homesickness. So what?
Homesickness can be a mild pang or a deep ache in the pit of your stomach, especially when you have kids. You are travelling away from home for work, you’re in a foreign country, you don’t speak the lingo, and all you want is to be curled up on the sofa with your missus with your little darlings at your feet begging you to get on your hands and knees and play. Instead, you’re thousands of miles away preparing for meetings holed up in some nondescript business hotel with other like-minded guys. You spot them in the corridor; their furrowed brows and sad expressions that mirror yours gives them away, and you endeavour to give them an acknowledging nod. You’re here for a week. Seven days. You can’t feel like this for the next 168 hours. It’s time to do something about it.
Easier said than done, but that feeling of mild despair will pass as you begin to rationalise the situation. You haven’t had to go into any sort of Witness Relocation Programme. You haven’t been forced to say a final farewell to your nearest and dearest forever. You’ve gone for a week. Your other half won’t have had enough time to register you as missing or deceased, and you won’t return to find the kids all grown up and married. It’s seven days. You can do this.
Stay In Touch
With the ridiculous amount of technology available at your fingertips, it’s never been easier to stay in touch with your loved ones when you are venturing to distant shores, via FaceTime, Skype or plain old talking. Make s
ure that you touch base at least once a day and arrange the times that you’ll be speaking. This gives you something to look forward to every twenty-four hours and will hopefully see your pangs of homesickness replaced by the warm fuzzy feeling of anticipation. You could even download a postcard app onto your smartphone and send a picture of you looking all suited and booted in your business hotel to your other half and kids. You may even break free from the four walls of the meeting room, head outside and take some photos of the sights before turning your images into personalised postcards to send directly to your peeps back home all at the push of your smartphone’s touchscreen.
Document Your Trip
Seven days in the whole scheme of things that is life isn’t that long. But for your little cherubs back home, a week can seem like an eternity. Why not write a journal, make a small scrapbook or create a blog to update your nearest and dearest of your adventures while you are away. Adventures may be over-egging it a little especially if you’re only there to meet a couple of colleagues from another international branch of your company. But you get the idea. Your kids will be eager to know what you’ve been up to and while you could talk to them for hours about how you had successful meetings regarding the streamlining of the business functions across all major departments, blah, blah, blah, you might be better off taking some pictures of your meals and whizzing them through an Instagram filter for your little ones perusal. You can’t go wrong with Hudson. Makes every meal look appetising. While documenting your business trip, you’ll be taking your mind off the innate loneliness that you feel, stuck in your hotel room counting down the hours and the minutes before you can leave and venture back to your family.
Spending any time away from your family is tough. You have such a cool little routine at home, you relish the mundane and the simple, and life is good. When anything comes to break that up, even if it is a week long business trip, it can turn your world upside down. Not in the same way as North Korea starting a nuclear war sort of upside down but it’s traumatic all the same. Try out some of these tips next time you're away, and hopefully, the pangs of homesickness will be kept at bay.