Homesickness is a feeling that many people associate with children and young adults who are away from home to attend a camp or living away from home for the first time when they go off to university.
Homesickness is also a fairly universal condition, with researchers suggesting that at least 70% of young adults and children experience it at some time.
However, homesickness is by no means found only in adolescents. As the population becomes more mobile and people are moving abroad for work or simply to retire, the feeling is being shared by much older people.
It affects people in a variety of ways and can often mirror the symptoms of depression. Plus the feeling can be triggered by a wide range of things; a news story, food, pictures, and even smells. The feeling of being homesick can also happen at any time and many sufferers state that it sort of ‘struck them out of the blue’.
Regardless of what anyone tells you, moving to a new country is complicated and you really don’t want feeling homesick to prevent you from enjoying your new home.
Dealing with homesickness when living abroad
Visit the tourist attractions and all of the points of interest in your new home. Look at it as you would a holiday; take tours, visit shops, go to parks and clubs. Get a feel for the history of the place. Get online travel guides for unique places and make a point of visiting them. Once you have a general feel, begin to look for the places that appeal to you the most whether it’s a park, shopping area, restaurant, or entertainment venue. You’ll begin to meet like-minded individuals who will help make your transition easier.
Eat like a Local
Most of us equate food with home. Eating like a local doesn’t mean you have to forsake your favourite dishes but make a point of trying regional and local dishes and visiting local markets.
Once you get to know some of your neighbours consider hosting a dinner where you will prepare one of your favourite dishes from home and they prepare of theirs.
How to get over Homesickness
Many of the things that make our home a “home” are our immediate surroundings and feeling comfortable and safe.
Be sure to bring some key items to your new home, but also invest a little time and money in decorating and furnishing your new home and making it a place you really enjoy spending time.
The TransferGo Blog regularly publishes articles in our Living Abroad section that deal with local customs, currency, sites, and other items of interest for our readers considering moving to a new home.