How To Beat the Expat Homesickness Blues

Reflections from Masters of Photography

Stuck far away from the Philippines? Or perhaps you’re living here but missing your home country. Either way, homesickness can really blow. And with global events in 2020 making it harder to simply go home for a visit, plenty of people are feeling more stuck than ever.

If you’re suffering from a bout of the expat homesickness blues, there are a few things you can do to stay positive and feel more at home in your host nation. Here, we detail our top tips for expats feeling far away from home.


1. Stay positive

It might sound obvious — or difficult if you’re in a real funk — but keeping a positive mindset can make a huge difference to your day to day life.

First of all, realise that it’s normal to feel homesick when you’re working or living in a different country. Second, embrace the things you love about your host country and beware of falling into a victim mindset. Blaming external factors and or people is not going to help and could even make you feel worse. Remember that you’re in the place you wanted to be.


2. Keep reminders of home around you

Okay, you don’t need to proudly display your country’s flag on your wall, but having a few little reminders at home can help you feel more comfortable in your new surroundings.

These reminders are different for everyone. Perhaps it’s images of the beach in your home town, popular music from your country, or even foods from home.


3. Stay up to date with media from home

Just because you’re far away doesn’t mean you can’t stay up to date with happenings at home. Listen to music from home, read online newspapers, and participate in forums. Lots of expats also find that watching television from their home country can help lift the homesickness blues.

The rise of on-demand, local television services mean it’s easier than ever to watch your favourite TV shows from home. Granted, geo-blocking means using a VPN is necessary, but once you’ve got that sorted, all you need to do is download your favourite channel’s app and you’re good to go.


4. Stay in touch with your loved ones

In 2021, the world is more digitized and connected than ever before. Staying in touch with the people you love back home is a mere matter of choosing a communication platform!

You can Skype or Zoom for your friends, slide into their DMs on Messenger or WhatsApp, and even watch a movie simultaneously with Netflix Party. Remember, you don;t need to talk for hours on the phone or send long letters via snail mail, sometimes sharing a meme and a joke can make all the difference to your day.


5. Embrace the local culture

This point is related to staying positive and it involves embracing the local culture as much as you can. Get involved with activities in your neighbourhood, learn the local lingo (or at least a few words and phrases), and actively seek out the stuff you love about your adopted home.

Othering yourself is not only unwise, it could lead to you feeling worse, according to the BBC.

Try our tips above to combat the homesickness blues. And remember, the COVID-19 crisis won’t last forever and eventually, flight paths around the world will gradually open again.