Living abroad can be difficult especially in the beginning when the adventure is new and you have no friends. Believe it or not, people need human interaction to be able to adapt to a new environment. This is why, during the first few weeks living in a foreign place you will feel lonely, depressed and in need of your old friends, family and things.
Whenever I felt homesick when living abroad I used to lay on the sheet that I carried with me in my travels and watch Friends. This is what I did when I couldn’t talk to my family or friends. Of course, every person has his or hers way of coping with homesickness.
If you find yourself in the same situation and don’t know how to get rid of this feeling try the following tricks:
1. Do something you like – you cannot fail when you are doing something that gives you pleasure. If reading a book, going out or cooking are the things that bring you joy, then do them. Time will pass easier and at the end of it you will feel better.
2. Visit – visiting is vital, especially when you are in a new city. It will not only help you know the city in depth but it will also help you relax. Whenever I feel anxious I just listen to my music and start wandering the streets. It calms me down and it makes me tired, leaving me sleeping like a baby.
3. Try local food – this will be a great experiment that will keep your belly full and will help you discover some of the most amazing dishes offered by the country you are visiting.
4. Get out there – at first it’s hard to get out and about. You are depressed and the last thing you would like to do is lift your body and push it towards the exit door. But you have to make an effort and try. Try different websites meant to help foreigners feel less strangers in a new place: Couchsurfing or TravBuddy are just two of the social networks you can use to get in contact with people as cool as you.
5. Send gifts home – this could be a good way to reconnect with your family back home, to surprise them in a pleasant manner and to show that you are still thinking about them despite the busy life of a new place. And they will reciprocate for sure!
6. Bring something from home – as I mentioned earlier, when I travel I take with me my favorite sheet. It’s old but it’s still soft and feels like home. And when I feel sad, I lay on it and think of how lucky I am to have more than others can only dream of.
7. Social media – there are so many methods to communicate that you will not feel far from hoe. Whether you use Skype, Facebook, Whatsapp or Viber you will have the chance to keep in touch with your family wherever you are.
8. Goals – when you’re depressed and want to give up remember the goal that brought you there. Are you working to advance in your career? Do you plan on learning a new language? Do you want to find yourself? Keep these in mind and repeat several times: “things will get better.” Let it be your mantra. In the end, things will get better.
9. Be depressed – sometimes, everything you try generates no results. And this makes you even more frustrated. This is why you have to allow yourself to feel sad. Eat the dirtiest food, drink the cheapest vodka, cry, watch videos of your family. It might not be the perfect solution but it will help you. A bit.
What do you do to overcome homesickness?