Moving abroad is accompanied by homesickness, a feeling a lot of expats did not expect. If you’re feeling this way, don’t think you’re the only one. Numerous individuals who have taken the same path as you did experience similar feelings.
Due to the emotions that surround migration, some workers request transfers back home. For one, the feeling of loneliness can get overwhelming. Living in a place that requires you to build new interests and relationships in conjunction with working can seem emotionally tasking. Below, the key problems faced by expats are discussed.
See also: How to Survive in Italy as an Expat
Ultimate Guide for Expats in their New Homes
So, here are the possible ways to ease your move as an expat. This ‘guide for expats to settling down in their new homes’ helps you to relax and enjoy more your move in.
Biggest Obstacles Experienced by Expats
- Maintaining Past Relationships
Expats are caught between the tussles of making new friends and keeping in contact with friends from home. Remaining friends with individuals you’ll likely not see for months or years is a harder task than it appears.
Even if your friends put in the effort, there are existing challenges like timezones and clashing of work hours. However, for most people, friends back home usually fail to remain as close as before.
- Missing Friends and Family
Even if you already made friends in your new country, you’ll still miss the times with your friends back home. Nostalgia is bound to set in at a point and make you reminisce. This sentimental feeling could get worse if you tell your home friends how you feel and they reply saying you made the decision to move.
If you’re a frequent social media user, seeing your relatives and family posting happy pictures can also make you feel left out.
- Hardly Getting Visited
There’s this unexplainable form of joy we feel when friends visit us. When you leave for another country, your friends from home are not likely to visit you anymore. A large bulk of your future meetings will take place back home.
Although once in a while, relatives can come over to check up on you, it’s not quite the same feeling as having loads of friends around.
- The Choice of Vacationing
Sometimes, foreign workers may struggle between vacationing in a new city or back home. Visiting a place you’ve always wanted to get to can make you feel really happy. However, the excitement can die down real quick after you get used to the place in just a couple of days.
On the other hand, going back home cures the feeling of nostalgia and allows you to reconnect with everyone you miss. You have just one vacation each year and you might have a problem weighing the benefits and cons of both choices.
Alleviating Loneliness as an Expat
- Create your Socializing Routine
When you migrate as an expat to a new place, it is normal to curl up in your apartment and watch movies or play games in your leisure time. However, some people may get too comfortable with these activities and don’t take the time to socialize.
The truth is, no one is going to go out of their way to socialize with the ‘new guy’. You will have to create a routine that allows you to get social with the locals. Go hiking, schedule visits at bars during sports matches, and sign up for a gym close to your place.
Doing these will help you make acquaintances and reduce the feeling of loneliness in your new home.
- Scheduled Visits to your Home Country
Keeping in touch physically with your home can help to ease the feeling of being lonely. Once in a while, buy that plane ticket and reconnect with your old friends. Doing this will give you something to look forward to during the holidays.
- Use a VPN for Entertainment from Home
Unfortunately, you can’t always fly back to see your family. One of the best ways to do this is by streaming movies and other entertainment from home online.
Nevertheless, it is not always easy to get movies, TV shows, and sports tournaments in the new place you’re in. Streaming services from your country could be geo-restricted in your current country of residence. This is why many expats consider using a VPN.
A VPN’s encryption method allows your device to mask its activity and appear as if you’re browsing from another location. This way, you’ll beat all forms of geo-blocking. You’ll get the full library as if you’re surfing the web from your home country.
- Try to Find Support
Immediately you feel the first pangs of loneliness, try to eliminate it by finding support. The only way you can beat boredom is by actively seeking to alleviate it.
You can find support by connecting with other expats from your home country. If you feel like you’re missing the company of your friend back home, you can call them.
With the low cost of internet voice calls and video chats, there’s no excuse for you not to reach out to friends back home. Telling your friends how you feel will go a long way to helping you settle down faster.
- Avoid Social Media
It’s easy to feel sad when you see relatives and friends share happy photos on social media. At a point, you may even start to wonder if the move was worth it. This type of feeling usually comes in the early stages of your emigration.
When you first start settling, you may want to keep off social media platforms. Balancing this with communicating with your friends back home will be tough, but it can be managed. You can keep in touch with them on chat apps instead of social media. Once you feel more comfortable in your new home, feel free to resume using these platforms to stay in touch with family and friends from home.
The issue associated with fitting in as an expat is common. Sometimes the language barrier, loneliness, and homesickness can get overwhelming. Expats can also deal with contemplating vacation choices, not getting visited in their new countries, and maintaining previous relationships.
However, creating a routine that helps you socialize, utilizing a VPN to watch shows from your home, and visiting home on occasion can help you with settling down. You can also consider keeping off social media and finding support from other expats and friends back home.
Hi! It’s me! I am a hospitality professional and a part-time blogger! I am a travel dreamer and world conqueror based in Rome, Italy.