Becoming an expat, and making the move for me from Perth, Australia to London is never a simple or an easy decision to make. I would be lying if many questions and doubts didn’t cross my mind in making my decision. Some of these questions included:
- What if I can’t make any new friends?
- How will I support myself and travel?
- Will I enjoy work in my profession in this country? And;
- Will I get home sick?
My biggest worry out of all of these was getting homesick. Since living in London, I have come up with these strategies to help me. They have also helped many other expats I have met along the way and I would recommend trying them if the thought has crossed your mind.
Have something booked for every month
Always have something to look forward to. Whether it is a day trip, weekend or a holiday away. That way if you are having a tough time all you have to do is think about how fun your trip away is going to be!
Join a social club
It is one of the easiest ways to make friends in the new city you have decided to move to. Whether it is a social sport, craft, or language classes. There will always be people in your situation who are there and don’t know anyone else as well.
Get a hobby
Start a hobby, whether it is blogging, sport, or sewing just to name a few. This is something that will always take your mind off what you might be thinking about.
Keep in contact
Keep in touch with your friends and family. In this day and age it is extremely easy with technology. Good apps for keeping in touch with making phone calls and text messages include Whatsapp, Viber, Skype, Facetime and Facebook Messenger. All you need is Data.
Also make use of social media including Facebook and Instagram to keep you up to date with everyone’s lives and they can check out what you are doing as well. Just don’t become to saturated in it otherwise you will miss out on experiences of the country you are actually living in!
Enjoy your job
I cannot stress how important this is! This is also comes from experience in working in my first job in England. I did not enjoy my job at all but the people I worked with made it bearable. If you don’t like your job, it will have a knock on effect of how much you are enjoying living abroad.
Keep Busy and Don’t isolate yourself
The more you keep yourself busy, the less time you will have time to think about being homesick! Have something planned for every weekend. Whether it is checking off a tourist attraction in the city you are living, or meeting a new friend for brunch. Make sure you make the most of your experience living abroad. The worst thing to do is to lock yourself up in your room from the rest of the world and sitting on social media.
Live in the moment
If an opportunity comes up for you to enjoy something, grab it with both hands. Who knows where the experience may take you!
Experience the local culture
One of the best experiences you can get living abroad. Go to local social venues, eat at traditional restaurants with a new found friend, check out the night scene, go to a show, the list is endless!
Foreign language – immerse yourself in weekly language lessons
If you are living in a foreign country where English is not their first language, I recommend signing yourself up to language classes. This way you will be able to immerse yourself further into the culture. You would also be able to make new friends too. There will be without a doubt other expats taking these classes.
Join and become part of the expat community.
One of the best things that I did when I moved to London! I joined local London Facebook groups such as Aussie’s in London and Aussie, Kiwi and Canadian Teachers in London. Pages like these organize social events and chat forums to help answer any questions or difficulties you might be having. They are very much a welcoming community and are always up for making a new friend or helping you out even if you don’t know them.
Have any other tips to help out other expats who might be struggling with homesickness? Share you tips and thought below!