Adjusting to a new country and culture after an international move can be challenging. There are several stages of culture shock that you will face that can cause homesickness. Although it can be discouraging, there are ways to make your new overseas home feel more like your true home.
What makes you homesick?
A foreign country is a strange and unusual place. It takes time to feel at home after any move, but international moves can make matters worse.
- You are farther away from friends and family. Being in another country means that frequent travel to visit them is not a viable option.
- Your old routines must be adjusted. You’re living in a new home in a totally new country, so things that worked for you in the past will probably not work anymore.
- Customs regulations may make some of your favorite items and foods impossible or impractical to ship to your new country.
- You need to adapt to a new government.
- You need to meet new friends.
- The total culture of your new country is probably foreign and unnatural to you.
- You may not speak the language.
- Your home and its look and feel are totally different.
What to do
Luckily, there are some things you can do to make yourself at home in your overseas residence.
- Remind yourself that as a human being you are resilient and adaptable. Things are never as bad as you fear and it will not be long before you adjust. That is human nature.
- Bring shippable mementos from home. Photographs can usually be shipped overseas will little trouble. Small comforts from home will help you cope with being in a totally new environment.
- Keep in touch with friends and family. Phone calls, Facebook, Skype, e-mails, letters– the possibilities for long distance communication in the internet age are almost endless. It may not be quite the same as spending time with your loved ones in person, but there is no reason why you can’t stay connected to them while living in another country.
- Realize that you will change for the better by adapting to a new culture. Don’t fight the differences in your adopted home, acknowledge them and learn from them. You can’t make another country feel more like your home town, so embrace the change in yourself as you adapt to their culture.
- Learn the most common local language. This will make everything easier to do and understand.
- Make new friends abroad while exploring your new neighborhood. Having friends will make you feel more at home and local friends can give you great insight on the culture.
- Personalize your new home. Using shipped items from home or newly bought ones, make your living space distinctly yours. Having a space that you arranged the way you want will make your house feel like a home no matter where it is.
- Don’t forget to make your new home functional as soon as possible. You can’t make yourself at home without utilities, which you should research before the move.. Set up heating, electricity, water, television, and internet as soon as you can.
- Create new routines. Your work/household maintenance schedule will be different abroad, but after some time you will be able to develop routines that make getting through your average day as efficient and comfortable as possible.
- Go with someone you love. Travelling abroad totally alone can be a rewarding challenge that will yield much self discovery. But if you have children and/or a significant other, living with them will make anywhere in the world feel like home. Enjoying life isn’t so much about where you are as much as it is about the quality of the people in your life. If the most important people are with you, that’s home.
If you feel confident that you can make yourself at home after moving overseas, then start the moving process by getting an online estimate for an international move.