Turning Your International House into a Home
Once you have completed your move overseas, it may feel like there is a load off of your shoulders. You have gone through all of the paperwork, all of moving your personal items, and you have found a new place to call home. However, after this subsides, a new feeling may creep in, homesickness. Everything around you is probably different than what you are used to, and culture shock could make you feel like you are all alone. These feelings will pass over time though, and there are things you can do to speed up the process.
The first thing to do is identify the things that can cause you to feel homesickness. The biggest thing is that you are away from your loved ones in a land that is not familiar to you. Your new land may not speak the same language as you, the government may act completely differently leaving you confused, and you might realize how difficult it will be to see your family and friends again. All of these things are leading contributing factors to homesickness, but there are little things that can cause it as well.
You might see, hear, or smell things that remind you of your old home. Anything from a song on the radio that reminds you of an experience, the smell of a meal that your family used to cook, or seeing something happen that brings back old memories can trigger your loneliness. Also, you will not be doing the same routine that you are used to back home. You will have to meet new people, adjust to a new job, and figure out places that you like to go, all things that you might have taken for granted while you were living back home. If you are unlucky, customs regulations in your new country did not allow some of your favorite items into the country. Any little thing can remind you that you are literally in a foreign land, thousands of miles from home, and on your own, which can be a terrifying experience. But there are steps to take to ease the tension.
Steps to Take to Feel at Home
While it might seem scary to meet new people, chances are the locals in your new home are just like you. They have the same desires from life, the same fears, the same goals, and the same values. Allow yourself to open up and learn about your new culture. Once you take the difficult step of opening communication with a new person, things only get easier from there. You will make new friends that you can share experiences with. This will help you feel less lonely, because you have someone by your side. You can also contact your friends back home. In the age that we live in, international communication has never been easier. Use services on the internet like social media or web chatting platforms that include video to see and hear from familiar faces.
You can also personalize your new home to look familiar to your old one. Set it up so it is comfortable and welcoming, a place where you can relax and truly call home. This will put you in a better mood, and once your house becomes your home, your longing for your past home will fade. Chances are a lot of the possessions you own will not be bought brand new from the country you are in, so you are surrounding yourself with things that make you comfortable. While you cannot control the outside world, it is very easy to make your house a safe place for you and your feelings.
Most importantly, allow yourself to be open to new experiences and cultures. Learn about the place that you are living in, and take part in the festivities and past times that they have to offer, especially if you have new friends to share them with. You will find that by allowing yourself to become immersed in the culture, it will be easier to learn the local language, and find things to do that appeal to you and your values. You can make new routines, find new friends, and create a whole new life for yourself that will eventually become familiar to you, and while you will never forget where you came from, you will find that you can feel right at home in your new land.