Moving to a new country – or even travelling for long periods – is a thrilling adventure. The anticipation of new things to see, new people to meet and a brand new, often very different, lifestyle is part of the excitement when you are making all the plans. Then you arrive and it’s all so new and fresh. Wow, what a wonderful new world of possibilities! Until … homesickness starts to become a problem.
The first thing you need to know is that homesickness is normal. If you moved to a new country, or spent a lot of time somewhere new, and didn’t feel homesick, you might ask yourself why. After all, you spent most of your life in your homeland and now you’ve given it up to be somewhere else that may be completely foreign. For many people, dealing with homesickness is one of the inevitable consequences of not being in your home country.
When you first arrive, you’re busy, confused, tired, eager to explore and you just want to see, taste, visit and do everything you possibly can. It’s this busy-ness that keeps homesickness at bay. It’s like a honeymoon period. When you first get married, it’s all so exciting and wonderful, but eventually, ‘real life’ takes over and there’s an adjustment period. With homesickness, it kind of means the ‘honeymoon’ is over, but once you get through it, you will feel more at home than ever before.
Homesickness means that you have realised you are now in a different place, either permanently or for an extended time. It means you probably miss home and family and all your familiar places, people and things. But if you have chosen to travel or live in Australia, eventually you will want to stop missing those things so painfully and instead, think about them with fondness. Being homesick is the transition stage!
The first thing is to remember that it is usually a temporary phase. Of course, there are people who ultimately return home forever because they can’t endure the feelings of loss anymore. This would be extreme homesickness and for someone who feels that way, going home is probably the best decision they could make.
If, however, you are feeling homesick and would rather get through it so you can feel happier to stay, then there are a few things you can do to deal with it.
Homesickness is just a reminder that you are where you chose to be. Consider that some people feel lonely and isolated even in their own house, in their home country. It’s a state of mind and it doesn’t mean it’s bad or that you need to go home. Remember, it’s a temporary phase and it will pass. You may even feel homesick at special times of year like your birthday, but the more time that passes, the better you will feel.