Being in another country is exciting, but you still may experience the feeling of being homesick. After all, you’re away from your home, your friends and family, your comfort zone. Now you’re thrust into a whole new way of doing things, filled with strangers and strange things. How do you cope? Here are some tips.
- Do the tourist thing first: Pretend you’re a tourist and do all the things a tourist does. Visit the market places, monuments, memorials, museums, and more to soak up the cultural aspects of the city you’re in. Then, once you feel like you know your surroundings and have built up your favorite spots for running, eating, and entertaining, make this your life. Adjust to life as a more permanent resident – or at least something in between a stay-for-a-week tourist and a months-long visit.
- Lay off the social media: While social media is a great way to stay connected to those back home, maintaining the connection every single day can actually work against your efforts to adjust in a new place. If you’re spending all your time feeling homesick as you watch your friends hit all your favorite haunts back home through photos, you won’t set out on your own to make new memories. Keep a healthy balance between old and new, at least until you feel secure in your new surroundings.
- Invite friends to stay with you: While you navigate your new country, it can be helpful to have something to look forward to. Invite your friends or family members to take a trip and come see you. Not only will they get a fun new place to visit, you can polish your new language skills and act as their tour guide around the city. The anticipation of their visit can help ease the homesickness you may be feeling.
- Maintain interests and hobbies: Just because you’re in a new country trying new things, doesn’t mean you have to throw all your old interests by the wayside. It can be helpful to keep up with old routines, such as going for a jog in the morning, hitting the gym, participating in a book club, going to yoga, or taking rock climbing or photography classes: whatever it is that makes you feel at home abroad, do it. The best part is, you’re likely to make new friends in the process.
- Learn a new talent or hobby: Being complacent or idle makes homesickness far worse. If you find yourself with spare time on your hands in which you’re longing for home, consider taking up a new hobby to get out there and learn new things. Learn how to cook native dishes, take a martial arts course or learn a new language with the help of BRIC Language Systems. This last one is important because it can prevent the isolation that comes with living in a new country.
Follow these tips to combat homesickness and enjoy your new life here – whether that’s for a month or a year and beyond.