Living life as an expat is an enjoyable and rewarding experience. Starting afresh somewhere new can be exciting, indulging your sense of adventure. However, being away from your family and friends can sometimes be a challenge, and adapting to everyday life somewhere completely different can be a culture shock for many. Homesickness is something a lot of expats experience. The feeling can last anywhere from just a few hours to a few months - but don’t worry, both are completely normal. The trick is to stay positive and try and ‘pick yourself up’, so here are our top 10 things to do when you’re hit by the expat blues.
Get yourself into the kitchen
Cooking is an easy way to clear your mind and focus on happier things…food! Why not whip up a favourite meal that reminds you of home? Or you could experiment with traditional recipes from your new country, and embrace being an expat.
With all the technologies of today, keeping in contact with family or friends when you’re living far away is so much easier. It only takes a few minutes to set up a simple video call.
Give yourself an adrenalin rush
We all know doing something that gives you a natural high will keep a smile on your face all day. So why not give skydiving a go and tick one more thing off your bucket list?
Image Source: Creative commons/Ann W
Embrace your inner tourist
Whether you’ve been living as an expat for one week or one year getting out and about is a great way to cheer yourself up. There’s bound to be at least one attraction you been hoping to visit but never got around to seeing.
We all know by now that exercising releases endorphins… and endorphins make you happy. Going for a walk or run around your new neighbourhood, or even getting a little lost, is a great way to explore as well as reaping the benefits of physical activity. You could also look at what sports are available locally; perhaps golf, or tennis or joining a local team.
Start a blog
Blogging is a great way to share your feelings and could help somebody else thinking about becoming an expat. You could even be one of our guest bloggers!
No matter which country you’re living in you can always lend someone a helping hand, whether it’s just a friend or a local charity. Nothing will help to cheer you up more than doing something selfless.
Take the rest of the day to relax and enjoy a nice hot bath – or treat yourself to a film or TV box-set!
Listen to the radio
Most radio stations can be accessed via the internet these days, so tune into your local channel from home. If you close your eyes it’ll be like you never left!
Talk to someone
Usually homesickness occurs when you’re having a bad day, so it can be really helpful to chat to a fellow expat – remember, you’re not the only one!