Living and working abroad is a chance of a lifetime, but sometimes we expats experience homesickness that could possibly deter our dreams of seeing the world and drive us back to the comforts of our former dwellings. Missing the place you grew up in, with all of your friends and family, is a very normal feeling but being able to get over that sense of emptiness is essential if you want to continue your journey of exploration. There are plenty of ways to get over being homesick and, with the help of others around you, it can be an easy fix.
Reminders Of Home
One of the ways to get over being homesick is to try and make time to keep in contact with your family and friends back home. Whether this contact is through social media, Skype, email, postcards, or even snail mail, making sure that you have a constant link to your home life is a good way to keep you grounded. This will also help you feel as though you’re not missing out on the important things while living half way across the world. Though most of the online sources to stay in contact may involve getting a VPN, it’s something worth investing in to make sure you stay close to those you love.
Another way to get over being homesick is by surrounding yourself with small, fun reminders of home. Before you set off on your trip try packing little things that will remind you of the place you’re leaving. Flags, letters, stuffed animals, pictures, maybe even a collage of all your favorite memories and moments will help do the trick if you have room. These small tokens of affection will be a nostalgic comfort when the homesickness hits hard.
If you’re already abroad and didn’t bring anything then finding small items in international markets, or even small items sent from home in care packages, will more than likely do the trick. As long as you have something physical around you that gives you sense of comfort then you’ll feel a lot closer to home.
Bring A Bit Of Home To You
My favorite way to get rid of my homesickness is by inviting all my expat and foreign friends over for a nice home cooked meal. Chili, biscuits, and breakfast sandwiches are my go to since I’m a southern girl from the United States. A lot of those ingredients are still easily accessible in most parts of the world. Thinking of a comfort food that you can make and share with others will not only bring you closer to home but closer to your new friends, too!
Being able to share that home experience with others who may have never eaten that food will make everyone happy and full! This also allows for stories and memories to be shared amongst the group. Being able to talk about your home, friends, and family will make you feel better instead of trying to keep it all balled up inside of you. Who knows, maybe someone you invite to this comfort food dinner may be experiencing the same homesickness as you are and will feel much better knowing that they’re not the only ones going through it.
We all go through homesickness at one point or another. Some may experience a stronger urge to go back home than other but we all go through feelings of missing and longing to see our families, friends, and familiar places.
But these emotions shouldn’t stop us from going out and seeing the world like we planned on doing. It also doesn’t mean that just because we are travelling the world that we should forget where we came from. Take time to pay homage to your roots by acknowledging what you miss, talking about your experiences back home with new friends, sharing recipes and dishes from your own culture with new cultures, and remembering that home is where the heart is.