Moving to a new country is exciting and it’s an adventure. All is well when you get there you’re adapting beautifully to your new home, making friends and excelling in your new job. After a few months, your new country feels like home. But then sometimes, that feeling fades away for a bit during the holiday season. You begin to think of how different your new country is and begin longing for your traditional holiday festivities. If this sounds familiar, keep reading. There are plenty of ways to get over the hump of homesickness during the holidays while you’re abroad.
When moving abroad, one of the ways to combat loneliness and culture shock is to reach out to fellow expats. If you’ve already made connections, take advantage of them during the holidays. Spend time with your expat family when you’re feeling homesick. They’re likely in the same boat as you are and miss their native countries as well. If you’re in a large expat community, you’re likely to find someone from your native country to spend time with who is also missing home during the holidays.
Time will pass no matter how you’re feeling. If you’re living abroad for a short amount of time jut remember that you only have a limited set of days to spend there. Sometimes, trying to focus on something else will help your feelings of homesickness subside. Focus on the new experiences you’ve had and think about the new experiences that are yet to come and just remember that you’ll be home before you know it.
Contact family back home
Before video chatting, text messaging and emails were readily available features in smartphones, the only means of communication between countries was by phone or snail mail. If you were feeling homesick your best bet was to make a call back home and catch up with your friends and family that way. Now you can video chat with your friends and family and spend time with them on the holiday. Think about it.. your friends or family could easily set up a laptop or tablet at the end of the dinner table and include you in the holiday meal. Obviously this isn’t the ideal method to spend time with your family, but being able to see the smiles on your family’s faces would sure beat a plain phone call, right?
Keeping in touch with your personal traditions is important when you move abroad. It keeps you in touch with who you are and helps keep you connected to your home. When you’re abroad, certain holidays might not be as “important” as others. If Halloween is your favorite holiday back home, but it isn’t celebrated as widely where you are, dress up anyway (if it’s appropriate). Host a party to celebrate your favorite holiday with your new neighbors, friends and coworkers and share your holiday traditions with them.
Dealing with homesickness after moving abroad is difficult anytime of year but can often be amplified during the holidays. If you’re feeling a little low this holiday season, try to use one (or some) of these tips to make the holidays a bit more bearable while you’re overseas.