10 Things to Do When Feeling Homesick Abroad

Being far away from home can sometimes evoke feelings of nostalgia and homesickness. Whether you’re an expat, a student studying abroad, or a traveler exploring new horizons, homesickness is a common experience. However, there are several practical and comforting activities you can engage in to ease those pangs of homesickness. In this article, we present ten things you can do when feeling homesick abroad, helping you find comfort and connection in your new environment.

  1. Listen to Music that Reminds You of Home: Immerse yourself in familiar melodies and songs that evoke memories of home. Create a playlist featuring music from your country or tracks that hold a special place in your heart, transporting you back to familiar sounds and emotions. Nothing hits home like “En Barranquilla Me Quedo”.
  2. Cook Traditional Food: Prepare dishes that you used to enjoy frequently at home, whether they are traditional recipes or simply meals that your mom cooked often. Cooking these familiar dishes can evoke feelings of happiness and comfort, reminding you that home can be found anywhere. While finding certain ingredients may pose a challenge, reach out to your expat community, as they can often provide helpful tips and sources for obtaining ingredients to recreate something very close to the real deal.
  3. Socialize with Expats from Your Country of Origin: Just walk into a restaurant or store owned by a panita and you will make a new friend for sure. Connect with fellow expats or individuals from your home country through social media groups, community events, or expat organizations. Sharing experiences, traditions, and conversations in your native language can alleviate feelings of isolation and provide a support network.
  4. Videocall Loved Ones Back Home: One call a day keeps the nostalgia away. Nowadays is so easy to stay in touch with your loved ones back home. Make sure to schedule regular video calls with friends and family to heal any feelings of loneliness or loss of identity. Share with them your feelings and new experiences.
  5. Visit Stores, Restaurants, and Places that Remind You of Home: Seek out establishments that offer a taste of home. Visit ethnic grocery stores, dine at restaurants serving cuisine from your culture, or explore cultural festivals and events. Surrounding yourself with familiar sights, smells, and tastes can provide a comforting sense of familiarity.
  6. Create a Personal Space Reflecting Your Identity: Decorate your living space with items that represent your cultural heritage. Display photographs, artwork, or mementos from home, creating a personal sanctuary that reminds you of cherished memories and cultivates a sense of belonging.
  7. Engage in Activities that Bring You Joy: Rediscover hobbies or activities that bring you joy and provide a sense of familiarity. Whether it’s playing a musical instrument, practicing yoga, painting, or playing sports, engaging in activities you love can uplift your spirits and provide a sense of normalcy.
  8. Explore the Local Culture: Embrace the opportunity to learn about and appreciate the local culture. Engage in cultural activities, attend festivals, visit museums, and explore historical landmarks. Gaining a deeper understanding of the host culture can foster a sense of connection and curiosity about your new surroundings. Perhaps you will find that you are not so far from home.
  9. Connect with the International Community: Seek out international groups or clubs within your new community. Engaging with individuals from various backgrounds can create a sense of unity and shared experiences, reminding you that you are not alone in your journey.
  10. Practice Self-Care and Mindfulness: Nurture your well-being by practicing self-care routines. Engage in activities that promote relaxation, such as meditation, reading, taking walks in nature, or journaling. Cultivating mindfulness and self-compassion can help ease homesickness and foster a positive mindset.

Homesickness is a natural part of the journey when living abroad, but there are numerous ways to find comfort and connection. By engaging in activities that remind you of home, connecting with others from your culture, and exploring the local community, you can create a sense of familiarity and embrace the enriching experience of living abroad. Remember, it’s normal to feel homesick, but by taking proactive steps, you can navigate these emotions and cultivate a fulfilling and memorable time in your new surroundings.

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