Dealing With Homesickness While Abroad (Part 1)

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

So the initial high has dissipated and now I am left to deal with the everyday life things of no longer being a tourist in my new homeland. One of these everyday life things is finding employment. A lot more on that later.

It's taken me two months to be able to have the clarity of knowing that yes I do have some homesickness, but no, I am not going to give up and go home. I know that the feelings will pass and that I will start to get adjusted to my new home slowly.

I have found small comforts have helped me to deal with my homesickness and maybe they might help someone else out there too.

1. Buy comfort food.

I know what you're thinking and before you call me an emotional eater, hear me out. A lot of the things that I miss from home involve having a routine and having everything around me figured out. I found out that having the same cup of tea every morning helped me establish a routine that I was familiar with from back in Florida and was a bit of comfort early in the morning.
If tea isn't your thing, maybe it's a type of fruit that grew near your house or a brand of cereal that your mom bought for you to eat while you were home from college.

I have found a store in my new hometown of Haarlem called "A Little Piece of Home" and that's exactly what it is! I walk in and I'm immediately surrounded by 
Aunt Jemima pancake mix and Kraft Mac and Cheese. Seriously, it made me tear up when I first walked in. 

2. Have your friends/ family ship items from back home. 

I currently have a running list of items that I send to my dad when they pop up in my head. I think it's up to 12 items now with things like GNC chewable vitamins and Cracker Barrel pancake syrup. I've already received one package that was filled to the brim of items that I haven't been able to find here and it's made my adjusting a little easier. Once I've gotten a package I first thank my dad a million times and then we cross off the items that were sent and start building the list again until it's up to 15-20 items. It's a fun little game that my dad and I share and he also gets to feel like he's helping me. It's a win-win. 

3. Join a group

There are so many meet up groups that you can join! I love meet up for the simple fact that I can be anywhere in the world and meet like minded people. So I've recently joined an Expats in Amsterdam Group, an Americans in Holland group and a women's football group. All groups that keep me busy and share my experiences.

I have plenty of other coping mechanisms that I have for when I start to feel a little homesick but for now, I'm going to head to my (new) favorite store and go and pick up some Capt'n Crunch, Hot Pockets and Bubble Yum. 

More later,

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