When moving abroad, homesickness is a part of the unwritten deal, especially if it is your first time.
When I first I realized I was homesick, my sister and my friend Kristeen had just finished visiting me. After they left, for the next little while every time I came back to my apartment I started bawling my eyes out because I knew that my little piece of home was gone again.
Below are 10 tips to help you avoid being homesick while living abroad.
1. Have a reliable internet connection
Having reliable internet access allows you to stay in contact with family and friends abroad, stream your favourite movies and tv shows, stay up to date on social media and the list goes on.
I would suggest if internet connection is high priority to you, do some research prior to leaving so you can invest in the best option. If you live in a country that restricts certain websites, invest in purchasing a VPN before arriving.
2. Have a really good friend back home
Having a friend that you can communicate with on a regular basis is essential. Somedays that friend is going to feel like your very own therapist. They will be there to listen to you laugh, cry, complain and as a bonus, your friendship may become even stronger than it was prior to your departure.
I have a good friend who I speak to on a daily basis. My friend is there to listen to my adventures of the day but most importantly helps keep me in good spirits when I start to feel down.
3. Set goals and work on them
Have you ever wanted to learn a new language? Have a six pack? Learn how to cook?
If you have goals that you’ve been slacking on, this is the perfect time to start working on them. Without the distractions at home, you’ll have more time and opportunity to really focus on you.
4. Create a weekly schedule
Creating a weekly schedule can help you to find and maintain a sense of organization within your life while living abroad. Although schedules may need to be adjusted weekly or monthly, you need to do what works for you.
5. Keep looking forward
Stop dwelling on past memories and things you may be missing at home. Instead keep thinking about what you want to accomplish in your new city. Fully immerse yourself by learning about the people, culture, and the sites. Make an effort to try to live like the locals do.
6. Make your living space your own
Many people don’t spend too much energy or time setting up their living space when living abroad, myself included. Take the time to personalize your space, your physical environment has a huge impact on how you feel. If your living space isn’t somewhere that makes you feel welcome it will lay on your unconscious mind and zap your energy.
It’s important that you personalize your space with your own unique decorating touches. Making small changes such as photos on the wall, a great bed set or a rug that is your favourite colour can make a world of difference in how you feel while inside your home away from home.
Before leaving to go overseas, pack a few of your favourite snacks. Depending on where you live it can sometimes be difficult to find many of your well-liked goodies that you’re used to enjoying back home.
I’ve had to have my friends and family members send me a care package with a few of my favourite things, including maple syrup (so Canadian, eh?).
8.Let go of home
Modern life means that we’re never really out of touch with what’s happening around us. Don’t be fixated on every detail of what’s happening at home. Don’t be constantly hanging out on social media and don’t stay up when everyone else is up. Live your life, in the moments that you can see and experience.
When you’re keeping busy it gives you less idle time to sit and think about what you might be missing at home.
9.Befriend other expats
Have a circle of people who are also on the same journey and can relate to the same things. Even if you meet up with those people once a month this can have a huge impact. Don’t be afraid to reach out to the people around you, it’s important to be surrounded by a true support system.
10. Start planning your next trip
Studies have shown that those that plan trips are generally happier than those who don’t. Planning ahead creates focus, which turns into action. Before you book your next trip, ask yourself: what do I want to do and achieve while booking this vacation? A well-organized trip can have you returning with more energy and feeling as if you have a more meaningful life.
Having a trip to look forward to helps when you have days that you’re feeling down because you always have something to look forward to.
Have you ever lived abroad? Do you have any tips? Share them below and remember stay restless!