Dealing with homesickness during holidays and special occasions
Dealing with homesickness during holidays and special occasions

Learn how to cope with homesickness and create new traditions while celebrating holidays and milestones on your boat with your family.

Dealing with Homesickness during Holidays and Special Occasions

As you embark on your sailing adventure with your family, leaving behind the familiar comforts of home, you may find that homesickness can creep in during holidays and special occasions. This is a natural and common feeling, especially when you’re far away from your loved ones and the traditions you’ve grown accustomed to. In this article, we’ll explore ways to cope with homesickness and create new memories and traditions while celebrating holidays and milestones on your boat.

Table of Contents

Understanding Homesickness

Before we dive into ways to deal with homesickness, it’s important to understand what it is and why it occurs. Homesickness is a feeling of longing for the familiar comforts of home, often accompanied by feelings of sadness, loneliness, and nostalgia. It can be triggered by various factors, such as being away from loved ones, experiencing new and unfamiliar environments, or missing out on important events and celebrations.

Homesickness is a natural and normal part of the human experience, and it’s important to acknowledge and validate these feelings when they arise. Remember that it’s okay to feel homesick, and it doesn’t mean you’re not enjoying your sailing adventure or that you’ve made a mistake in choosing this lifestyle. It simply means that you’re adjusting to a new way of living and experiencing the world.

Creating New Traditions

One of the best ways to cope with homesickness during holidays and special occasions is to create new traditions that you and your family can look forward to each year. This can help you feel more connected to your new lifestyle and create a sense of continuity and stability, even as you’re constantly on the move.

Here are some ideas for creating new traditions on your boat:

  • Celebrate the milestones of your sailing journey. Mark the anniversary of your departure, the day you crossed a certain latitude or longitude, or the day you reached a new country. These can become special occasions that you and your family look forward to each year.

  • Incorporate elements of your old traditions into your new ones. If you used to have a big family dinner on Christmas Eve, for example, try to recreate that experience on your boat by cooking a special meal and gathering around the table together.

  • Create new rituals that are unique to your sailing lifestyle. This could be something as simple as watching the sunrise together on the first day of each month or having a special “boat movie night” where you watch films related to sailing or the ocean.

  • Involve your children in creating new traditions. Ask them for their ideas and input, and encourage them to take ownership of these new rituals. This can help them feel more connected to their new life and give them a sense of control and stability.

Staying Connected with Loved Ones

One of the main reasons people feel homesick during holidays and special occasions is because they miss their loved ones. While you may be physically far away from your friends and family, there are still ways to stay connected and maintain those important relationships.

  • Schedule regular video calls. Set up a recurring time each week or month to catch up with your loved ones via video chat. This can help you feel more connected and give you something to look forward to.

  • Send and receive care packages. Exchange small gifts, letters, and mementos with your loved ones to help bridge the physical distance between you. This can be especially meaningful during holidays and special occasions.

  • Share your experiences. Keep a blog or social media account where you document your sailing adventures and share photos and stories with your friends and family back home. This can help them feel more connected to your journey and give them a glimpse into your new life.

  • Invite loved ones to visit. If possible, arrange for friends and family to come visit you at various points along your journey. This can give you the opportunity to share your new experiences with them and create lasting memories together.

Embracing Local Celebrations

As you sail to different parts of the world, you’ll have the opportunity to experience a wide variety of cultures and traditions. Embracing local celebrations can be a great way to combat homesickness and create new memories with your family.

  • Learn about local holidays and traditions. Do some research on the customs and celebrations of the places you visit, and try to incorporate them into your own holiday celebrations. This can help you feel more connected to the local culture and give you a deeper appreciation for the diversity of the world.

  • Attend local events and festivals. Participate in community gatherings, parades, and other festivities to get a firsthand experience of local traditions. This can be a fun and educational way for your family to learn about different cultures and create lasting memories.

  • Incorporate local foods and ingredients into your holiday meals. Try cooking traditional dishes from the places you visit, or incorporate local ingredients into your favorite recipes. This can help you feel more connected to the local culture and create a unique and memorable holiday experience for your family.

Making the Most of Your Surroundings

Your boat and the surrounding environment can provide a unique and beautiful backdrop for your holiday celebrations. Here are some ideas for making the most of your surroundings during holidays and special occasions:

  • Decorate your boat. Get creative with decorations that are suitable for your boat and the environment you’re in. This could include stringing up lights, hanging ornaments, or creating festive displays with found objects like shells or driftwood.

  • Celebrate outdoors. If the weather permits, take advantage of your beautiful surroundings by celebrating holidays and special occasions outside. Set up a festive picnic on the beach, watch fireworks from the deck of your boat, or gather around a bonfire under the stars.

  • Incorporate the ocean into your celebrations. The ocean can provide a unique and meaningful backdrop for your holiday rituals. Consider releasing biodegradable lanterns into the water, writing messages in the sand, or holding a small ceremony to honor the sea and its role in your new life.

Self-Care and Emotional Support

Finally, it’s important to prioritize self-care and emotional support during holidays and special occasions, especially if you’re feeling homesick. Here are some tips for taking care of yourself and your family during these times:

  • Acknowledge and validate your feelings. It’s important to recognize and accept your feelings of homesickness, rather than trying to suppress or ignore them. Talk to your family about how you’re feeling and encourage them to share their own emotions as well.

  • Create a support network. Connect with other sailing families or expats in the areas you visit, and lean on each other for support and camaraderie during holidays and special occasions. You can also join online forums and social media groups to connect with others who share your lifestyle and can relate to your experiences.

  • Practice self-care. Make time for activities that help you relax and recharge, such as reading, journaling, meditating, or exercising. Encourage your family members to do the same, and create a supportive environment where everyone can prioritize their emotional well-being.


Homesickness during holidays and special occasions is a natural part of the sailing lifestyle, but it doesn’t have to overshadow your celebrations or dampen your spirits. By creating new traditions, staying connected with loved ones, embracing local cultures, and prioritizing self-care, you can navigate these feelings and create meaningful and memorable experiences with your family. Remember that you’re not alone in your journey, and there’s a whole community of sailing families out there who can offer support and understanding as you navigate this exciting and unconventional way of life.