It can be difficult adjusting to a new environment. You feel lonely and miss your  familiar routine, your family, friends, and neighborhood. You long for your kitchen with your food and drinks and being able to find your way around automatically. You wish you could just speak your native language.

Homesickness can arise soon after arrival, or after a few years, and it doesn’t usually go away overnight. It takes effort to get through it, and even if it seems impossible at the time, it is doable, and well-worth the effort. Overcoming homesickness will enable you to see everything around you in a new, more positive light.

These tips that can help you beat the blues of  homesickness and see life through rosy glasses a little sooner:

• Decide that the new place is your home. Make the decision that from now on, that is your sanctuary. After all, home is where the heart is.

• Stay in touch with the people you miss back home. E-mail, Skype, Whatsapp, or Face-time. While staying connected to your loved ones, also find a way get out and then share your experiences abroad with your friends and family back home.

• Go and explore your new  surroundings. Walk around a lot, run, bike, or drive, and take different routes. Get lost a few times and you’ll begin to recognize the area better until you finally start to feel at ease.

• Eat local food. Taste different things and find food that you enjoy, so you’ll know what to order next time. Make the effort and learn to appreciate local traditions.

• Make a list of places to  explore  in  your  new  country.   It   could   be   a   list of cities, theaters, or boat trips. Be a tourist sometimes.

• Create a routine. Establish routines to feel a sense of familiarity. Whether you work or not, find regular habits that are fun and that you look forward to. It could be yoga class at the gym, a Sunday mountain bike ride with a biking group, or a meet-up at the bar on Friday nights.

• Exercise! This is crucial! At home or abroad, exercise is key to feeling not only healthy and in shape physically but also mentally. Make a plan that allows you to get some exercise and fresh air every day. Go for a run, go to the market by bike or just try to walk as much as possible during your lunch break, whichever you prefer, just make an effort to create healthy habits. Your body will be happier, and you will feel better!

• Put yourself out there and create a network in your new surroundings. Socialize with other expats as well as locals. Meeting people and making new friends is essential to avoid feeling isolated.

• Remember that it’s worth it. Do not forget that you are in the middle of an amazing opportunity. If you find yourself doubting that, think about all the challenges you faced and overcame.


I look forward to staying in touch with you, and sharing more information about integrating smoothly or becoming culturally competent, no matter where you are.

Meanwhile, visit and let me know how I can help. Also, you can sign up for my newsletter and receive a free guide to success as a gift.

Best of Luck,

Rachel Smets is a bestselling author, TEDx speaker, Lecturer and Cultural Trainer.

Rachel loves to inspire people and help them to become their best selves!

Living and working abroad for many years has broadened her mind, her understanding in cultures and she has learned to turn every challenge into a new opportunity.





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