8 Ways to Cope with Homesickness Abroad

by | Last updated Mar 7, 2024 | Beauty, Fitness & Health

Some of the 8 ways to cope with homesickness abroad is to keep busy, meet people and travel – here’s me with new friends visiting Munich

 

You’ve planned to move abroad for ages. You have saved, chosen the country, said goodbye to family and friends and landed in a foreign land excited and so ready to begin your new life living abroad. But what, you feel down! You are missing your family and friends and you wonder whether living abroad is your thing! And you could easily jump on a plane and head back home. What do you do? How do you cope with homesickness abroad?

Of course there are going to be times you miss home. When I first moved overseas it was the anniversaries and birthdays that brought on my homesickness. But I learnt to cope with homesickness abroad. In this post I will provide my suggestions on strategies to adopt to help you cope with homesickness. They are based on the ways I helped myself with homesickness while living in the UK for 4 years on a UK working holiday.

I did find it was the first couple of months that was worse for homesickness, but there are ways to help you survive the first few months abroad.

 

So what is Homesickness?

 

When I looked up the meaning of homesickness I read it is the distress caused by being away from home. And when you travel abroad, you will leave home and often think of home during your travels. For some people, leaving home causes them to suffer depression, anxiousness and sometimes withdraw. So how do you cope with homesickness when abroad? Here are some suggestions to ease the pain.

 

Strategies to Ease Homesickness

 

Be as Busy as You Can

 

To avoid thinking of home constantly be as busy as you can. Of course you will get reminders of home while out and about. You will see things that you think a friend or family member would be interested to see. There could be a new food that you know your friend or family member would love to eat too! Lots of simple everyday things will remind you of home. So keep on being busy, and try not to think too much of home.

 

Make Your New Country like Home

 

To help you avoid homesickness, adopt and adapt to your new place. The quicker you immerse yourself in the new country, discovering the culture and the food, the sooner your negative thoughts of being away from home, will lesson. So get into your new life abroad. How?

  • Make new friends
  • Celebrate the local events and traditions
  • Decorate your room like home
  • Keep yourself open to trying new things
  • Enjoy where you are and keep busy

 

Focus on the Positive

 

Yes, focus on the positives of why you moved abroad. My main aim of moving abroad was to travel and experience life in another country. So keep asking yourself why you have come to live abroad in another country? And concentrate on those things. As I mentioned, I wanted to travel. So most weekends I would go away to a new city or area in the UK. And I discovered a passion – a passion for history and I learnt so much about British history from seeing castles, the countryside and beautiful old buildings in towns. This made moving abroad for me a very positive experience. Maybe you will find your passion too!

 

Exercise

 

I’m throwing this one in here as exercising has been proven as a massive positive impact on mental and physical health. So keep up any exercise routines you may have had at home. Or start a new one as this could lead to you meeting other people and relationships with other people can also impact homesickness. Maybe join a yoga class or a hiking group! There is plenty of different types of exercise.

 

Meet like-minded people

 

One of the best ways to cope with homesickness abroad is to meet like-minded people. Having someone from your own country or an expat from another country can have a positive impact on you. Knowing someone that fully understands how you feel about being homesick, can really help you. You can swap homesickness stories and keep each other positive about missing home. So how do you meet like-minded people? I have met many by staying in hostels with lots of International travellers, going on tours and doing expat clubs. 

When I first moved to the UK, I joined the ‘Walkabout Club’. Many Aussie expats would go there on a Friday night to listen to music, drink and have a good time. I made a couple of friends there. Then I went on a trip through Europe and another friend. There were also flatmates that became friends. One even took me home to her home country for Christmas one time. Having a Christmas in Sweden in the snow was totally different to having a Christmas in Australia in the sunshine. But being kept busy and discovering a new culture was a great way to not be homesick!

 

Consider the Advantages of the Country you Currently Live

 

You moved to this country as you saw opportunities you didn’t have in your own country. Every country has its pros and cons, but remember why you moved there. Was it to study? Or learn a language? Perhaps to further your career? Maybe to enjoy the weather?

My main aim of moving to the UK was to live, work and play in the UK. And I was able to experience that. Plus I used London as a base to further my travels through Europe, Scandinavia and beyond. I kept reminding myself of this by regularly traveling and this helped any homesickness I was feeling.

 

Stay in Touch with Home

 

When you move abroad, there are many things that will change, including a time difference. But that doesn’t mean you can’t stay in touch. Staying in touch will let you know what is going on at home so you know you aren’t missing out on too much while living abroad. When I first moved abroad the only way to stay in touch was by phone – a land line. But now, there are so many ways – email, txt and FaceTime. So get your little piece of home to keep your mental health upbeat.

 

Travel Home Occasionally

 

Visiting home occasionally can help you decide where you would like to be. That’s if you can get home. For me, it was a 24 hour plane ride to get home, so of course, it wasn’t done regularly. But if you only live an hour or two away, go home, get your fix of home and then go back to your new life abroad! 

 

Are You Ready to Lesson Homesickness

 

Everyone feels homesickness at some time when you move abroad. But staying positive, active and adapting to your new country should help homesickness lesson. Enjoy your time abroad, hopefully without too much homesickness. Have you had homesickness while living abroad? I’d love to hear if you have other strategies I could add to my list.

 

Homesickness PIN.

Thanks for sharing!

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Sharyn McCullum Travel Writer and Founder Of Live Work Play Travel, Work Abroad, Work Online, Travel Blog Enjoying At Beer At The Coldstream Brewery In The Yarra Valley, Victoria, Australia.

Sharyn McCullum – Travel Writer / Blogger, Remote On-line Worker, sometime Digital Nomad and Travel, Live and Work Abroad Expert. Is a chocoholic, coffee connoisseur and lover of ’80s music. Been travelling all her life thanks to her dad who worked for an airline. Lived in London 4 years on a working holiday. Has holidayed in Hawaii over 15 times and currently calls Melbourne, Australia home. Is inspiring others to live work play travel around the world with this blog. Read more about Sharyn here.

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