How To Deal With Homesickness

Published On February 24, 2016 | By Staff Writer | Philosophy, Travel Planning
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More people than ever choose to move abroad nowadays, be it to pursue career or educational opportunities, or for any other reason. The first stage of your undertaking will be preparation, so make sure to go about it thoroughly – look for the best deal on the flight tickets , get everything you need while not forgetting about coupons so that you can shop with nice discounts in Kohl’s or other popular stores, and you can be heading off for the adventure! However, that’s when homesickness comes into play. While those who aren’t on their first journey have probably already worked out some mechanisms to deal with it, if you’re living abroad for the first time the struggle might prove to be quite difficult. Don’t worry, these helpful tips are just what the doctor ordered!

1. Expose Yourself To The Things That Scare You

If you’re someone who comes from a small town and you suddenly find yourself living in a much bigger city, the prospect of dealing with large crowds can be overwhelming. Instead of retreating from the things that scare you, try facing them head on. You’ll have much greater success integrating yourself into a foreign culture when you tackle challenges without fear and homesickness is reduced as you gain confidence in your new surroundings.

2. Stay Connected

Even if you are living in a place that does not allow you to pick up the phone and call home every single day, there are a number of ways to remain connected with the people who matter most to you. You can use Skype or FaceTime to speak over the Internet, write letters back and forth using snail mail to send them and ship gifts to your loved ones back in the country.  One of my favorite ways to connect back home is to send Postagrams.  Think Instagram photos, printed out and mailed as postcards to friends and family automatically.  Remaining connected keeps us from feeling completely alone in the world.

3. Eat Local Foods

Retreating to the comfort foods of home is alright in moderation, but you’ll need to peel that Band Aid off as fast as possible. Instead of relying on the favorites that you grew up with, learn to enjoy the local cuisine. By gravitating to new favorite foods, you expedite the process of feeling at home in a new land. Before long, you’ll have forgotten about pizza and hamburgers altogether.

4. Find a Healthy Balance

Keeping in touch with your friends and family back home is important, but so is finding a healthy balance. While you’ll want to let people know what is happening in your new location, there is no reason to Skype on a daily basis and you do not need to discuss every minuscule event that takes place. If you’re spending too much time connecting with people back home it might prevent you from making new friends where you’re at.

5. Incorporate Favorite Activities Into Your Routine

Moving to a new country does not mean giving up every activity that you’ve ever enjoyed. Regardless of where you move, there are probably people who participate in the same activities that you like.  I always search for Facebook groups or groups of whatever activity I’m interested in participating in.  If you played basketball every week, try to find a court to pick up a game of hoops. Were you a member of a book club or a sewing circle? Seek out like minded individuals by researching the area and do your best to make new friends!

photo credit: Grilling corn on Jimbaran Beach via photopin (license)

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