Moving to a new country and living in a completely new world with an unfamiliar culture can make us feel left out at times, especially in the beginning of our new journey. Here are a few ideas on how to beat homesickness and enjoy this new opportunity.
Once you have arrived in America, are all settled in and the first excitement is gone, many of us start to realize that we are now on our own. Our friends and family are far away and we haven’t made any new friends who could possibly help us feel better. This is the moment when we are not sure if we’ve made the right decision to give up everything we’ve worked so hard for in our home country. Living in an unfamiliar place with new people all around us can make us feel insecure and uncomfortable.
Getting homesick is normal and it’s totally fine to have a bad day from time to time. It will get better with time and a positive attitude. Just think about all the awesome new experiences you are about to have in America. Here are a few ideas on how you can beat your homesickness and start to enjoy your new life soon:
Talking to your loved ones at home, hearing their voices and seeing their faces will make you feel like you are still a part of their life even though you are thousands of miles away.
Maybe someone even wants to come and visit you soon? Start making a plan now, so you all have something to look forward to!
Find your favorite food from home
The USA is a multicultural melting pot which means that there are great restaurants and festivals from countries all over the world. Find food from your home country and eat your home sickness away – home is where your stomach is!
Make your apartment your home
In order to feel 100% comfortable, make your apartment your safe place. Decorate it and hang up photos of your home country and loved ones. Get cozy!
Create a routine
Did you have a hobby back home? Did you have a cleaning day once a week? Try to pick up those old habits to bring back your every day familiarity.
Get to know your area
Once you have been to the same places a few times and recognize familiar faces, you won’t feel like a total stranger anymore. Imagine what a good feeling it will be when the barista at your favorite coffee shop knows your regular drink or the clerk at the train station knows which ticket you want to buy!
Create a bucket list
Write a list of all the places you want to see during your time in America. This can be small things like “Riding an open-top tourist bus with a Starbucks coffee in my hand” to big plans like a trip to Hawaii or Alaska. Whenever you lose track of why you moved halfway across the world, look at this list to remind you of the nice things ahead of you.
Make your plans far ahead and figure out how you can make them reality. This way you will always have something to look forward to.
Be a tourist
Go outside, look at all the touristy stuff in your area. Take a map of your town and mark all the popular sights. Every time you feel like you’re getting into a funky mood, take that map and go out, look at something new. I’m not sure about you, but I love to discover new places and get all excited about the touristy things around here. This still works for me, even after 1 ½ years!
Talk to fellow expats or au pairs
Talking makes many of us feel better. People in the same situation will understand you and let you know how they overcame their homesickness. If you don’t know any other expats or au pairs in your area yet, go online and join a Facebook group. Usually there are many people who have experienced the same thing and they are happy to help. Don’t be shy, just reach out!
Learn something new
In order to distract yourself from your feelings, it might help to focus on something new. Did you always want to learn how to play an instrument or speak a new language? Now is the perfect time to get started!
Music makes happy
Listen to positive songs to put your mind somewhere else. Maybe some vibes that remind you of your last vacation or the last concert you have been to. Dance, sing and let those feelings out!
When it comes to homesickness, a positive mind and positive thinking can change the world.
Always try to stay positive and put happy thoughts into your mind. Try to enjoy every moment of your stay and find happiness in the little things… Oh gosh, can a good cupcake or a pint of Ben and Jerry’s change my mood!
Have you been homesick since you arrived in America? What was the best way to make yourself feel better? I can’t wait to read from you in the comments below.