Does it take a certain skill to feel at home when traveling abroad?

We’ve heard people say home is where the heart is. Thing is, falling for a place – so much so you’re thinking about extending your stay – may take time. The process might even take longer if you keep searching for the familiar.

Homesickness is then inevitable especially for those going overseas the first time. You cannot remain blue throughout though. Your trip is temporary and soon you’ll be going back to ‘real’ life. So live in the moment, and indulge yourself in your new environment.

tourist with local

Here are few tips how you can do so.

Travel on foot. Going to your next stop? If your schedule allows, walk your way instead of riding vehicles. Do your homework about possible routes and tag your travel buddies along for safety purposes. There’s nothing wrong asking locals for directions but do not panic when you feel you’ve lost your way. Surprises come in unexpected packages. You might just experience the best of your trip during this time you’re uncertain where you and your friends are heading to.

Commute with locals. Ditch the cabs and cars for rent, and commute with locals. If you are going to an island destination, take the passenger boat instead of the private ones. If you must hire a vehicle to navigating the town, consider two-wheels instead. If there is no issue with any of your travel buddies, then check out public transportation utilities available in the area. They’re generally cheaper, plus, you get to mingle with locals. People might throw you occasional glances but let it go. You’re the new kid in town, that’s why. Smile back at them.

Go where people eat. Refrain from eating in chain establishments. While the menu may have been altered for a more local appeal, still, nothing beats food served in local eateries. This is even more favorable for budget travelers. If you notice people flock to a food stall or restaurant, chances are items sold there taste great and come cheap. You also would not have to worry about food safety. The fact that patrons gather around is one indication they trust the establishment. Dine in these places. Take out your phrasebook for some help deciphering the menu.

Stop by neighborhoods. Who says tourist attractions are the only places you can check out when traveling? Even non-touristy sites could turn out interesting. Exploring neighborhoods is one way you can witness and experience for yourself, the local culture. If you’ll limit your stops to particular sites recommended to travelers, chances are all you will encounter are foreign travelers like you. That is not what you signed up for.

Visit in time for festivals. Yes, this is considered as among the peak seasons when the price for everything soars. But with adequate planning you can successfully go over trips right at this time, without spending a fortune. Even locals encourage travelers to visit because festivities lend for a perfect timing for socialization. The atmosphere is fun. Food is everywhere. Locals are celebrating their culture. And the more exciting it becomes when you are taking part in activities the place is known for such as “Holi” or the Festival of Colors in India.

Going to a place you’ve never been gives you that sense of confidence and fulfillment. When you get back home, then you can start a conversation with friends or write my essay online about memories you’ve created abroad. You might just appreciate your original home even more, and realize it’s possible that you survive on the other side of the world.

Nettie Gray hasn’t experienced extending trips abroad although she felt the urge to do so many times. Family and work always make her come back home as planned.