Prospera International

How to avoid getting home sick during your initial days overseas

“You can ache for where you come from, and it’s homesickness. A relationship, and it’s
heartbreak. But is there a word for missing your loved ones like that?”– Emery Lord, When We

Moving abroad, whether you are studying, interning, volunteering or just traveling for an extended  period of time, is complicated. Anyone who tells you otherwise is either lying or in the private-jet-owning tax bracket. The experience can be thrilling, energizing and eye-opening, but it can also be incredibly challenging in a number of ways.

Homesickness is the one of the biggest challenge to overcome, and achieve victory upon, if once you have decided to steps out of your house, your comfort zone. As it is rightly said by Albert Camus – “I know that man is capable of great deeds. But if he isn’t capable of great emotion.” Yes, indeed it is true a man can achieve, fight, control everything in this world expect his own emotions.

According to the psychologists’ homesickness is cognitive hallmark preoccupying thoughts of  home and attachment objects. Sufferers typically report a combination of depressive  and anxious symptoms, withdrawn behavior and difficulty focusing on topics unrelated to home. The above statement may sound serious with some typically “serious terms”, but trust me it is quite a meditative topic to ponder upon, once you are set to travel aboard.

These days with rapid development in internet and communication, traveler’s generally do a
keen study about the foreign land which is going to be their destination of purpose. However,
the major study which is missed by each one of us is to know how to prepare ourselves to avoid
the primary drawback of travelling that is “homesickness”.

Here in this article I would love to discuss few points on how to avoid homesickness in our first
few days overseas which was indeed experimentally proved true for many students and
travelers, including “me”.

  • Be Open minded – the first thing to prepare is to start with our own self, so first of all try to be open minded and friendly to everyone you meet, this will give you the chance to become friends with people and build relationships with everyone you come across.
  • Learn or activate the foreign language skills – this one is not only useful to make communication easy and make you feel a little native, but also very useful, for you to get a job and settle, especially if you are a student, and want to be self-dependent, learning the language before you reach the place can prove to be way more positive than one can imagine.
  • Start as a tourist and overexpose yourself – Once you land oversea, get yourself a tourist life, for few days or weeks, this could help you to conquer the memories of home and to relax. Go to the most popular sites and attractions to get to know the city like a vacation right in the beginning, to essentially get to know the country’s culture and history right away. Then, once you have a good feel for the place, begin to find “your people”, your niches, the places you feel most comfortable, a restaurant that has food you’re  obsessed with, a great park for jogging, or whatever is most important for your day-to-day life.
  • Communication with skype or other social media – this is a debatable point, because
    some people believe to stay connected to their families and friends, continuously, to
    ward off from their homesickness, whereas some believe just the opposite. Personally,
    according to me and my experience, I would love to stay away or give a break from all
    social media applications for few days or weeks, nevertheless not avoiding it completely
    but used in a limit. This can just help me to convey and exchange our conditions with
    our family, and not making us more emotional leading to depression.
  • Participating in the regional festivals or functions – this is one of the best methods to increase your friend circle and get overexposed to the culture. In such celebrations, you can find many different people from across the globe, and also creates the possibility of meeting few people from your own motherland, this will make you feel more comfortable and make you feel like home.
  • Keep busy – Keeping busy will ensure that your mind is not taken off missing home and more so about having fun and getting on with the adventure you set out for, in your work or studies.
  • Keep learning something new each day- as human being no one of us are cent percent perfect with knowledge and experience. Arriving to a completely new place, open numerous paths to learn and engage ourselves with learning new stuffs daily, related to our career and life. Also, learning and practicing the cultures of the foreign land will again make you feel one among the native folks.
  • Exchanging parcels and gifts – this might sound a bit strange, but actually it works. Exchanging gifts and parcel between you and your family will help you not to miss your favorites items from home, also can give you a slight nostalgia and sending some simple yet special gifts to your loved ones back home, can be a medium to exchange happiness and love.
  • Keep up your habits – Lots of things change when you move abroad, but everything doesn’t have to change. If you were part of an activity, group or team at home, it’s understandable that you’ll miss that part of your social life, so why not try to find a version of it in your new location. Maintaining your favorite sport or activity helps bring balance and routine back to your daily life and can make new spaces feel a little more familiar and welcoming. Keeping up with a social club, attending yoga classes, practicing with a band if activities like these are an important part of your normal life, don’t feel like you have to give them up. There are probably people doing the same activities in your new location and you might even end up making some new friends.
  • Give sometime for yourself daily – It’s not a good idea to hide from your problems. To restart the next day fresh and positive, it is advisable that every day before sleep give at least 30 minutes of pure alone time in a calming environment for yourself. If possible write only positive thoughts in something like a diary, and look for ways to spin the negative thoughts.

Homesickness is a very real anxiety issue, but one should not hold back their dreams and career, because of such a usual problem. It is a natural problem which is experienced by all of us when we have to live separated from our loved ones, but it is 100% possible to overcome it and follow our dreams which has made us to travel to a foreign land. Apart from all these tips, our determination and strong will power to handle any situation can pave the ways to success. Statistics says that more than 2 million students travel each year across the world to explore and learn, and indeed everyone have enjoyed the experience. So, if 2 million can, then even each one us can.

– by Jacklin M Anthony 

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