The life of an expat is not an easy one. Gaining citizenship in a new country is a stressful process, and moving to another country has a way of giving you a few new grey hairs. The payoff, however, is worth it. Being able to experience a new country can be extremely rewarding.
However, it’s common for expats to begin feeling lonely shortly after moving. If you’re a homesick expat, take a read through this article to help yourself feel less homesick.
1. Start a New Hobby Or a New Routine
The first thing that you should do once you’re done moving is immediately begin starting a new routine. Old routines act as a connection to your previous home, so starting a new routine, however slight the changes, help breathe freshness into your life.
One thing your new routine should include, however, is a new hobby or a renewed focus on an existing hobby. For example, if you’ve never picked up cooking, learning to cook and experimenting with new recipes can help take your mind off your homesickness.
This step can take weeks to months until you feel comfortable with your new routines and hobbies. However, it’s important you begin this step immediately.
2. Use a VPN to Watch Your Favorite Movies and TV Shows
There’s no better way to alleviate longing for your old home than a night on the couch with some Netflix on the TV. However, there’s just one problem: your favorite movies and TV shows may be unavailable in your new country.
See, Netflix—along with other streaming services—have libraries that vary depending on the country you’re in. The reasons for this range from censorship by specific countries to licensing issues. Either way, you may not be able to catch the latest episode of your favorite TV show in your new home.
Fortunately, there is a way around this: downloading a VPN. A Virtual Private Network (VPN) routes your internet connection through a VPN server located in the country of your choice. So, for example, if you’ve moved from the United States to the United Kingdom, and your favorite TV show is only available in the United States, you can connect to a US VPN server.
3. Keep in Touch With Friends and Family
The anxiety and depression that come with moving to a new country can take their toll, and it’s common for this depression to manifest in ways that prevent you from staying in touch with your friends and family. Texting suddenly becomes a chore, or you forget to text back and end up not talking to that person for months on end.
Don’t do this. If you take one thing from this post, remember this: keeping in touch with your friends and family is key to continued happiness as an expat. Even if it feels like a chore at times—even if time zones make it difficult to talk to relatives and friends at a reasonable time—it’s important that you keep in touch.
4. Make New Friends
Along with staying in touch with your friends in your old country, you should also focus on making new friends in your new area. Having friends to hang out with will dramatically improve your happiness and will help cure any homesickness you might feel.
Remember, it’s important that you begin cultivating a social life at your new home, no matter how hard it might seem at first. You’re now a citizen of a country you’ve (probably) never visited before, and you may feel like an outsider. However, many people are willing, if not excited, to welcome you into their social circles. You need to find the time to get out there, explore the town, and make new friends.
5. Schedule An Occasional Trip Back Home
Finally, there’s no better way to help curb a bout of homesickness than to go back home and see your friends and family in person again. Many expats end up scheduling trips back home, if only for a week or two.
Try to schedule these trips back home every so often if you can afford to. Try to do so every few months, or maybe once every six months. The key is that you are able to connect with your friends and family not only online, but also in person on a consistent basis. This is still quite difficult due to COVID, but it is something you should look into doing afterward.
Life as an expat can be thrilling, but homesickness will rear its head every now and then. These tips will help you get over it!
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We hope you found this blog post Simple Ways to Make Expats Feel More at Home useful. Be sure to check out our post Biggest Challenges Of Moving To Another Country for more great tips!
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