Home Sick and Living Abroad

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“Every mile was redolent of associations, which she would not have missed for the world, but each of which made her cry upon 'the days that are no more' with ineffable longing.” 
 Elizabeth Gaskell, North and South

You always wanted to live the life of a jet setter, but you never really thought about the long distance and loneliness of being away from your friends and family. While living abroad has so many rewards, it can be difficult when you are away during holidays or special events. So, how does one coupe when you love your life as a traveler, but you are having a bout with that good ole homesickness?

Well, the first thing to remember is….life is what you make it, and if you love traveling, then travel. Create new memories and set sail to a new place that you have never been for the holidays. How does Christmas in Paris sound, or New Years in China? You wanted this life for a reason, so you might as well take full advantage of the opportunity to travel and experience holidays differently while you are trotting around the globe.

However, if you are sick of always hopping from one country to the next and really want to enjoy the place you are in, but you cannot seem to do that because nothing looks like home. Maybe the country you are in does not quite celebrate the holidays as you would at home, but that does not mean you cannot create your own new celebration or tradition.

Here are a few ways to deal with being away from home during special moments or holidays…
Q  Get your new friends involved, ask them about their traditions, and then teach them about yours. It is a great way to practice intercultural exchange.
Q  Find things in your area that remind you of home and decorate, it may not be the same, but remember it is all about creating a new life where you are.
Q  Find other expats and celebrate together, maybe do a potluck and everyone bring something that reminds them of home, and celebrate together.
Q  Get out and meet other people, maybe take a language class or go site seeing.
Q  Talk to other expats about their experience with homesickness and try finding other ways to deal with being away during special times or holidays.
Q  Try to contact home, but if you find that every time you call home you get sad, try calling less and start creating new memories. When you stop constantly reminding yourself of all that you are missing, you tend to focus on your blessings right where you are.

Being away from home should not have you depressed. So many of your friends and family members would love to be in your shoes. You have to learn to make the best of where you are, and if you are still a little down try Skyping in on the holidays so that you can see and hear from the people you love. Nothing is like being home, but at least you get to feel some of the love even while being thousands of miles away.


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