Monday, 22 August 2011

Home Sweet Home

Following on from some tips on how to help your child settle into their new school, we started thinking about home sickness - defined as ‘being sad or depressed from a longing for home or family while away from them for a long time.’

The first few weeks of arriving in a new country are full of exciting new experiences and bombardment with new cultures, language, weather and much more. However, once thing start settling down into a routine, the feelings of home sickness may start to rear their ugly head.

Luckily, in most cases homesickness tends to pass quite quickly, once someone feels they are starting a new and exciting period in their life and become more involved in the community and local culture. However, for some it can be a daily occurrence. With this in mind here at Expat Explorer, we have come up with some thoughts on how to ease the home sickness bug.

1. Technology

Make it a priority to get set up with phone lines, and internet as soon as possible. Feeling connected with your friends and family back home will make the physical distance between you seem less. It also means that you can share the excitement of moving to a new country with them, and feel buoyed by their enthusiastic responses!

Also, of course there are so many ways to keep in touch nowadays, from text messaging, to video skyping, that means you can feel close even if you aren’t and at a fraction of the cost.

Check out the wealth of information on the net as well, there are so many bloggers out there all of whom have been through the exact same experience, so draw on their ideas!

2. Time

The hardest critic can often be you, so give yourself time to settle in and make friends. If you haven’t got a jammed social life within the first 2 weeks do not panic. It takes time to engage with new cultures and to make new friends, all this will come slowly as you begin settling into a routine.

This philosophy also applies to unpacking. If some boxes stay unpacked for a couple of months, it is not the end of the world – if anything it may prove that you don’t need all of your things and provide the opportunity for a spring clean!

3. Be brave

We know this is often much easier said than done! Try and talk to your neighbours/people in your local shops etc and see how friendly they are! They may become some very good friends, but you have to put yourself out there to begin with!

Also, check out notices in local shops/areas for social groups/clubs you can join – this will take your mind off being away from home, and also make you friends at the same time!

4. The list

List all the reasons you moved country in the first place, and review and add the positives from the country you are in whenever you get have the time. This will keep you focused!

Do let us know if you have come across any great home sickness tips to share with us!

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