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Dealing With Home Sickness

By: Tracy Whitelaw - Updated: 7 Jan 2013 | comments*Discuss
 
Home Sickness Homesick. Homesickness

When you arrive in your new country, it’s very easy to spend the first few months as though you’re on an extended holiday. There are so many different places to visit and so many customs to get used to, that the holiday feeling tends to stay with you. Often, you’re required to obtain numerous official papers and registrations and therefore you’re so busy that you forget slightly that you’re there to stay. There’s no doubt you’ll miss family and friends immediately, but the longing for home doesn’t usually occur until things have calmed down a little and you’re settling into a routine.

Stop Home Sickness before It Begins

As soon as you arrive in your new home, purchase a pay-as-you-go mobile phone. This immediately gives you a number to provide to your family and friends abroad and will also help you when you’re arranging official paperwork. Often, because you have no credit history in your new country, it’s difficult to obtain a pay monthly phone. It isn’t impossible, as you certainly won’t have any bad credit history, however it can be difficult to give them enough proof of identity and residence as is required. Knowing that you can text your family and friends any time makes it feel that you’re still in close contact with them. If you buy an international phone card you will be able to make phone calls cheaply, often they’re less expensive than making local calls.

Technology and Breaking down Distance Barriers

With the continuing advancement of technology, it means that no matter how far you may be, you’re only a phone call, email, text or video chat away. Many people now subscribe to Skype and similar services where phone calls can be made internationally for free or a minimal cost. Talking to relatives via Skype and computer is an easy way of keeping in touch and eradicates the problem of having to hang up half way through a conversation. It gives your relatives peace of mind that they can get you anytime and can afford to also. The use of Internet chat rooms have also become popular and using video chat is a brilliant way of letting far away friends and family see that you’re okay. Buying a laptop means that you can walk around your new environment showing them everything you see. It reduces the terrifying thought of not seeing you for months on end and anytime you want to speak ‘face to face’ you can. All you need for this is a wireless capable laptop and a wireless internet connection. These can be bought in most countries for a relatively cheap price. For internet anywhere, you can purchase a wireless internet card that simply plugs into your computer and is connected to a service provider. Simply being able to see someone smile can often alleviate all manner of stress and worry.

Your New Home and Home Sickness

Often home sickness occurs as you don’t have familiar things around you. Different cultures, laws and even basics like furniture and ornaments can make you feel out of place. If you’ve decided to send over your own furniture and belongings, when they arrive, you should feel slightly more at ease as you will be surrounded by things you know. Starting to build your home into something you’re comfortable with again will help you feel more settled and should remove some of the feeling of home sickness and missing things from the UK. Try to think this way outside your home also and start building up a network of familiar shops, clubs, people and places that you frequent. Try to develop new social networks for support and friendship. There are many ex-pat organisations in most countries and they can be vital for learning the local way of life from someone in the same position as you.

Remember Why You Made the Move

Always try and remember through any periods of home sickness, exactly why you made the move to a new country. For many people it is simply down to a change of lifestyle. Perhaps it’s the better weather conditions, or maybe a new and exciting job. For a lot of families it is providing a better environment for their children to grow up in. Whatever it is that made you emigrate, try and remember this when you’re feeling low. Don’t glorify what you left behind in the UK; remember those cold mornings when you had to go out in the rain or snow, or think of the expensive way of life there compared to where you’ve moved to. The most important thing is to ensure you focus on the positives and keep adapting to your new home. Try calling your new country of residence ‘home’ as early as possible, rather than referring to the UK as ‘home’. Even small changes like this can help to remove any feelings of home sickness. If you’re lucky, you may be one of the people who never suffer home sickness at all.

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