Dealing with Homesickness
Things are so much easier for travelers and workers who go abroad these days. Instead of being only able to occasionally talk on the phone or even (gasp!) write, we now have the ability to chat and email and use voice over IP to stay constantly connected to the folks back home. Why, with a laptop and a web cam and a high speed connection, you could have a window into your home back in North America 24 hours a day.
But in the end you are still not there; you still miss out on the fun your friends have and you miss your friends and loved ones.
It doesn’t matter how well your new job is going, or how many new people you have met, or how many new foods you have tried, you get to a point where you simply long for the familiarity of home sweet home.
At some point you will experience the three month slump, so called because it is when most people feel the most homesick. It may happen at two months or four, be a mild nostalgia or a sever ache of longing. But there will a come a point, probably after a particularly fruitless day, when you are wondering why you ever bothered to come to this new country. You miss the familiar things you left behind, (Why don’t they just have normal peanut butter!), the comforts of your old home, (I miss MY bed!), and the closeness of old friends and family.
Just remember that everyone goes through this. It is normal, but don’t let it get you down. Just keep living life in your new home country. The best thing you can do is to force yourself to not sit around and mope, but to go out and enjoy one of those new things that make your new home great. Go enjoy that sidewalk cafe in Paris. Hit your favorite club in London. Go explore!
What is interesting is that after you ride through that homesickness slump, it won’t really be you that notices that you are no longer yearning for home. It will be your friends and family back home who over time you only call or chat with ever few days instead of every day. They will be the ones who notice that you no longer talk about the things you miss but about the things you are doing.
You will be having the time of your life and won’t even realize that you are no longer really homesick.
Keep in mind that by going to a whole new country to work in a brand new job, you are going to be having grand adventures. And like any adventure, all the highs and lows of life are going to be so much higher and so much lower than your normal, everyday life back home. If you remember that fact, it will allow you to ride out the lows much more easily by remembering those fantastic experiences you have already had, and the amazing things you have yet to do.
And just remember that when all else fails, make your friends and family come and visit. Nothing makes you enjoy your new home city more than showing it off to the ones you love.