While travelling is often a welcome getaway experience that adds some variety to your everyday routine, there's still no place like home. Whether you're teaching in another country, finishing your schooling aboard, volunteering, visiting family or just decided to have an extended trip, having a new place to call home can trigger some serious homesickness; especially if you made the move solo. Homesickness is defined as an impairment caused by separation from home
, and you might find yourself obsessing over things and people that remind you of home. Taking the leap in the first place means you're already fairly comfortable with change, but it's normal to miss your friends and family once you land. It's okay to give in the that feeling sometimes but there are ways to shift your focus a bit so you can make the most of your new home.
Make A Bucket List
First, set some goals for yourself in terms of what you want to see, do and accomplish in your new home. These can be professional as well as personal goals from wanting to complete a particular project to visiting local points of interest. Having and met will not only keep you busy, but also help you make progress in your new life abroad; which will help you settle in much quicker than
Get Familiar With Your New Surroundings
Make it your priority to learn where things are and how to get there. Navigating will be one of the most important things to adjust to, and can be a source of frustrating if the travel methods are different than what you're used to. Mastering this will also make your
Skype Less Often
Sounds crazy, right? As much as you miss your family and friends, daily 2-hour conversations that keep you in the loop on everything going on at home might make your homesickness even worse. Plus, you're taking away from the time you should be spending getting to know your new home! That doesn't mean not to communicate at all, but strike a balance and make an effort to forge new connections so you're not relying on your folks from back home to keep you engaged.
This goes without saying, but having friends in your new city will make the world of difference. Having a mix of locals and fellow ex-pats in your social circle is important to you can get to know your new city quicker, but also have someone who can relate to your periodic bouts of homesickness and some venting.
Eat Local Food
If you moved to a large city, chances are high that you'll still be able to get familiar foods easily; especially popular fast food chains. As much as you can, try to eat much more local food & find new favourites so you don't have to rely solely on comfort foods you know already. Challenge yourself by trying local dishes as often as possible. Depending on where you moved to, local foods may be all you have access to so it's imperative you take the time to expand your taste buds!
Bring Comforts Of Home With You - But Not Too Many
You might not be able to bring your whole room, apartment or home; but bringing a few key belongings will help your new city or country feel like home. Artwork, small furniture, books & more can be comforting additions to your home that will make you feel settled in; but don't overdo it. Moving is an opportunity to start fresh, so mix these in with new items for a balance of old and new.
Make A New Routine
A big part of what makes home "home" is a routine of some kind. You live on a particular street for years, visit the same coffee shop on the way to the subway each morning where you encounter many of the same faces. We take those small things for granted until we're in a new place where each new day looks absolutely nothing like the last. It's important to embrace and enjoy change but for some, it may be important to keep themselves grounded and create a new routine in their new home, whether it's going to the gym, taking a class or another coffee shop - except this one is half a world away.
Moving abroad can be an important lesson in accepting change, letting go and starting over, so focus on these positive aspects to help you get past your homesickness. Be sure to pack all your essentials and favourite things in your Rise Gear
luggage & enjoy the adventure. Happy Travels!