Sooner or later, you’re going to leave home and journey to a new place. It may be because of a new career opportunity, extended vacation, or even self imposed vagabonding! Leaving everything that you’re familiar with isn’t always easy even if you’re traveling to a really cool place with really cool people. Sometimes feelings of homesickness or even slight depression are easy to slip into.
So what’s the solution?
Well, I don’t pretend to be an expert but I do have some experience. With more than 20 moves in the last 12 years I know something about adjusting. The following tips have worked for me.
1 – Do a Mental Check
Nothing will shape your new experience as much as your attitude. Try your best to choose to be positive. When you’re fighting homesickness, choosing to be happy is vital. Easier said than done I know but at least try. If this is hard, don’t worry, there’s more tips to help.
2 – Be Grateful
Closely related to choosing to have an awesome attitude is to remember to be grateful. Even if you find yourself in the worst of circumstances, there’s always something to be grateful for. Always.
3 – Bring Something Familiar
Before you leave, bring something with you that’s familiar. Preferably this is something that’s also functional in your journey. For me, this means my backpack that I take everywhere with me. It could be a book, a jacket, or even a pillow case! If you have kids, make sure they have something familiar like a toy, blanket, or doll.
4 – Organize and Clean
Maybe your new place needs a little spring cleaning or just some rearranging. Change your new place to your liking. Add a flower. Hang a picture. Make it home. Similar to this is to…
5 – Take Stock of What You Have
Chances are, you have everything you need already. You probably have some means for food and shelter. With the basics covered, move on to what else there is to see and do in the area. And that leads to the next tip.
6 – Make It An Adventure!
Get outside! Explore and familiarize yourself with your new surroundings. There’s something cool about every place you go. Getting to know your way around will help you feel more at home. Plus, you never know what beautiful places there are until you get out and see them!
7 – Exercise
This is one that Heidi made me put in. While it’s never been part of my “adjustment routine”, I know that exercise helps you increase your energy and feel positive. Plus it has the potential to help you get outdoors and to meet people doing the same thing. If you’re in a different culture, few things help you bond better with the locals than doing something physical.
8 – Keep in Touch
Friends and family offer the familiar connection we all need. Now with the internet and cell phones, there’s no reason to be out of touch. If your friends or family happen to be with you, share it together. Express your feelings. Chances are, your friends or family members are feeling the same and you can work through it together.
9 – Meet New People
Just as you need that familiar connection by keeping in touch with your family and friends, you should be excited to meet new people. There is so much to learn from every person you meet! Often, some of your biggest life changes will be a result of meeting cool, new people. There’s always room for more friends in your life.
10 – Serve Others
I can think of no better way to feel better than to serve others. Thinking of others is the best solution to feeling better yourself. By getting out and serving in your new community, you’ll feel better yourself and you’ll also be making many new friends. It’s hard to feel sorry for yourself when you’re involved in something good.
The overall message here is to be active! Activity drives away homesickness. Change is hard but it’s the only way to growth. It’s always worth it in the end.
In your experience what else helps?