I know this one is a bit off topic as I still have a few more posts to write about South Africa, but when I started planning my next South Africa post… when I said planning I mean half planning and half scrolling through Instagram.. Anyway, as I was scrolling through Instagram I had a little bit of a lightbulb moment and thought this would be a good subject to write a post about.
Whether this is homesickness because you are away from home for University or you have moved to another country etc, I hope my tips can help you in some way.
My one and only experience of homesickness is from when I moved from London to Australia at 19 years old. I luckily had my best friend there with me but I still had really bad homesickness. So much so that if someone said they would pay for me to fly home, then I would have hopped on the next flight back. Bad huh?
I was in Australia over the Christmas period and had only been in the country for about a month and half by the time Christmas came around, and I was still in the serious ‘What the f**k have I done! Get me back to the U.K’ stage of my homesickness, which I don’t think helped much as I usually spend Christmas surrounded by family. But luckily my Dad had some family about an hour or two by train from Sydney and invited us to spend Christmas with them.
Anywayyyyy, I could spend this whole post talking about my experience of living in Sydney, but this post isn’t about that.
My tips are:
- Do not beat yourself up. You are not cowardly or stupid or any of the things you might feel like you are just because you’re homesick. Homesickness is actually pretty normal so be nice to yourself.
- Talk to your family as much as possible, whether thats on Skype every day or every week do it when you can. I promise that it will help even the worst of the days. Trust me! I spoke to my mum on Skype practically every single day.
- Try, and this one is a toughy, your very hardest to last 3 months. They say that the first 3 months are the hardest, but after you get past that time you start to settle in and your homesickness starts to fade. Yes this might not be the case for everyone but from experience this was. After the 3 month period I felt so much better and wasn’t quite so desperate to leave.
- Home comforts. Whether this is as simple as a chocolate bar that you can get at home or a framed photo of your cat, these are the best things to have with you or have sent to you from family.
- Make new friends. This one can be hard when all you want to do is be at home with the friends you already have, but it really does help.
- Talk about how you’re feeling with someone. Whether this is someone you work with, someone you’ve made friends with whilst you’ve been there or someone back home. Talking it over can help a multitude of problems.
- Join a club or a gym or a class or anything else you can think of that might keep your mind off of home.
- Make a mantra to chant to yourself when you’re feeling shitty and don’t think you can take it anymore.
- Try to appreciate the amazing experience you’re having, and how lucky you are to be doing what you’re doing. So many people would give an arm and a leg to go to University or go live abroad.
If you have any other tips or questions, please let me know in the comments.
Thanks for reading!