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The expat’s guide to keeping homesickness at bay

The expat’s guide to keeping homesickness at bay

Expat meet up Pub

Counteract homesickness

No doubt there will be a long list of reasons why relocating to a new country appeals to you. Perhaps you’re seeking a better climate, advancing your career or in search of a slower pace of life. Despite the perks, there will no doubt be times when pangs of homesickness set in. Read on for some handy insider tips on how to keep homesickness at bay as an expat abroad.

Get to know the neighbours

There’s nothing better than meeting other people from your home country when you’re feeling homesick. No doubt there will be a community of other expats in your area who regularly meet and arrange social activities. Pick up English or expat newspaper and join online expat forums to find out about local expat events. Social holidays can likewise provide the perfect chance to mingle and connect. Look out for expat cruise deals or day trips and book yourself a place.

Keep in touch

A good internet connection is really important to ensure that you can easily keep in touch with the folk back home. It is wise to invest in a fast broadband connection that can handle free video calls using software such as Skype. You can also buy a Google Voice or Skype number and have your mobile phone calls forwarded to it. That way even people without Skype can contact you anytime from their landlines and mobiles at low rates.

Home comforts

If you’re from the UK and have flown far from home, you might be missing your Marmite, Heinz ketchup or Weetabix. There is now a dedicated website called British Corner Shop that deliver worldwide where you can order all the classic British food items that you would expect to find in your local shop back home.

Keep up with current affairs

If you’re someone who enjoys reading newspapers and magazines from your homeland then continuing to do so will no doubt make you feel more connected to home. There are now online versions of most major UK and US papers and magazines so you can catch up with all the latest events online. A VPN (virtual private network) may be needed depending where you are, as some countries block certain media sites.

Catch up with your favourite programmes

One of the most common things that expats miss is TV, and unfortunately catch-up TV websites often cannot be accessed using a foreign IP address. The good news is that you can bypass this problem by investing in VPN (virtual private network) software. The software masks your foreign IP address with a home-based one so you can watch all your favourite programmes online using catch-up websites.

These are just some of the ways that you can stave off the homesickness in your new life as an expat. Are there other ways that work for you? Tell us about them in the comments below.

About The Author

Julia Florence is a travel blogger and avid backpacker, currently working in the Philippines. She specialises in practical tips for long-term travellers and expats.

Image by Wiki.Ikfa, used under Creative Comms license

  • Ute (expatsincebirth)

    This is a very interesting article about how to beat homesickness. I notice that you’re writing from an Amerikan/British point of view and I think it’s a bit easier to find some of “your” brands in other countries. Obviously it depends on where you live, but to find a product from less known countries abroad is more difficult. I know many families who import boxes of food from their home countries just to taste “home” a bit longer after their last visit. Homesicknes seems to be closely related to tastes and smells…

    • http://expatchild.com/ Carole Hallett Mobbs

      I totally agree on the food and drink aspect…! I still have my favourite tea shipped over. But I have seen some German Knödel here. And yes, I guess it is more common to see British or American items.

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  • Fabbarry

    Sorry, but frankly I can think of few things worse than this advice for expats. It is not all about Brit foods shopping. For goodness sake, try watching Spanish/French or whatever TV and radio, chat to your Spanish /French/German neighbours. DO NOT watch Brit TV all the time, read US/UK newspapers etc. If this is really want to do, stay at home! Best advice is learn the language, get to know your (foreign neighbours) forget Brit/US food, newspapers etc. Start living!

    • http://expatchild.com/ Carole Hallett Mobbs

      Thank you for sharing your opinion.

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