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How Can I Avoid Feeling Homesick?

Meeting new people at a coffee shop can help relieve homesickness.
Making some well-loved recipes may help you to enjoy your new home while reminiscing about the old one.
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  • Written By: Garry Crystal
  • Edited By: Niki Foster
  • Last Modified Date: 18 July 2014
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Moving away from your native home can bring about a condition known as homesickness. Missing home is a natural stage that many people go through when moving to a new city or environment. It affects people who leave behind family and friends to begin new lives elsewhere, as well as those who leave home to move to university or college. There a few simple steps that can be taken to ease the pain.

Homesickness is more a state of mind than a physical condition. If, however, the feeling is allowed to persist, it can bring about symptoms such as anger and depression. The confusion and bewilderment felt in a new environment can leave a person longing for the simpler home life he or she once knew.

One of the best ways to avoid feeling homesick is to integrate yourself as fully as possible into your new way of life. If you have taken up new employment, attend social functions or join sports teams associated with your work community. Making new friends is the easiest way to combat the feeling alone and missing home.

One of the best ways to meet people is through work. When working in a large city, you might find that a number of your co-workers are from different countries. They may be going through the same thing you are, and socializing after work hours is a great way to cope with feeling homesick.

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Simply staying busy will enable you to keep your mind active so that it does not preoccupy itself with thoughts of home. If you have moved to a new city, take the time to get to know your new environment. By exploring the city and finding new places, you can often lose any fear you have. Find a coffee shop that you can make your regular place, and people will soon get to know you and welcome you back.

Check the local newspapers for events in your area. If you have difficulty meeting people, then attending night classes in a subject you are interested in may help. If in a foreign country, make efforts to learn the language and immerse yourself in the new culture. Feeling homesick is sometimes linked to culture shock, and the more you immerse yourself in the new culture, the less out of place you should feel.

Feeling homesick is similar to feeling loss for the life you have left behind, but family and friends are no more than a phone call away. You can always keep in touch through regular mail or the Internet. Your family and friends will always be happy to hear from you and even happier if a visit to your new city is extended.

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Discussion Comments

anon86863
Post 34

I've recently decided to move back to Vancouver, Canada from Australia after having been here for five years (this time around) and three years in the late 90's.

So eight years all up, I've become an Australian citizen, worked in film, attended university, played in a cool band and I'm still really homesick, but worse now than ever.

My girlfriend of seven years, whom I love and who loves me will not come back with me right away but rather six months later and only for a visit. She would happily move to Vancouver but she is in the middle of a degree which makes her a poor student without any kind of Canadian residency.

My home sickness doubled when I moved interstate in Australia from Melbourne to Queensland six months ago to attend university.

The strange thing is I never really loved Melbourne that much so it's not that I'm even remotely homesick for Melbourne but it has caused me to miss Vancouver so much.

Even though I've had a lot a good stuff going on here in Oz it has never been quite the same for me as home. Am I crazy for going home, when I go back to visit every other year I love it and could totally see myself living there.

I wish money wasn't an issue, as I'd just pay all the expenses for my girlfriend.

I hope she misses me way too much and comes to Vancouver!

anon85431
Post 33

I'm a Canadian in Japan. The two countries could not be more opposite. I've been here almost two years. In the first month i had a crazy 'fit' of homesickness. I deal with missing home decently, but if i do not like living here and miss home i usually get angry. That's the way it comes about.

There are so many great things about living abroad. I know I'm not stuck, but I am soon to ask my Japanese girlfriend to marry me. From the beginning, I've let her know my plans to move back. I'm not one of those foreigners who's about to leave a country like Canada to live here. That's not being rude, it's just that Canada is a great place to grow up, e.g., multicultural, good food, small population, etc., etc. I'm not being racist at all but Japanese people generally have this whole foreigner complex.

Even apart from every rude thing I think people do here, I get over it. It's just this foreigner thing they have. It's hard to hold my girlfriend's hand sometimes even.

I think my point isn't really about me. When my girlfriend and I move to Canada I am so scared she'll feel bad. Lonely. Miss home. It comes down to her parents, friends, brother, cousins, etc. She's told me she can hack it, but it's her parents I'm worried about, too.

I can't see my life without her, but i want her to be happy with me there too. We've already agreed to come back to Japan again some day, at least for a short stint when her folks are old. I'm sure i can hack it again. I just think i need a break from this place. I don't feel jailed or anything. I want to have an international lifestyle and be happy. It would break my heart to see my girlfriend hurting in Canada and missing her family -- as i tend to do in Japan.

I don't know. I rarely talk on the phone with my family. They are inept at skype currently and that's a bugger. So i email like crazy. But hey, in the end, and I've seen it happen, even if I'm here 20 years, I'll always be a foreigner to the Japanese, and that truly is a great shame.

Maybe in 30 years when their population is down 30 percent or whatever people project, there might be more space for my lanky self to strut around.

anon84583
Post 32

Just like everyone else i looked up home sickness.

i live in my families beach house for my job i relocated to keep. i love my job but i love and miss my family so much!

i have the support of my parents and fiance to quit and move back, but i don't want to add stress to their lives if I'm unable to find another job right away. my fiance and i are getting married in less than a year.

i really want my job to move back but I'm seeing that i may have to find another occupation.

anon81908
Post 31

I'm going to be moving from Colorado to Michigan for a new job in about a month, and I am already having serious feelings of homesickness.

I know that I will miss my friends and the culture in Colorado that I am used to, especially "my" places that I have gotten used to over the years.

But I think the ultimate thing that I am going to miss is my family, especially my parents and my dog. My parents and even my dog are my best friends in the whole world. I trust them more than anybody. My dog is the sweetest dog in the world, and it makes me sick to think that I won't be able to cuddle up to her when I need a hug, or scratch her belly, or play games with her.

Also, my dog is getting older, and I worry that she'll forget me or die before I am able to come back (I have to stay at this job for four years). I can't bear the thought of her dying without me getting to say goodbye.

anon81635
Post 30

I'm canadian, but grew up in Thailand for 16 years. I moved to Canada for university, and it has been three years since I moved here.

I feel incredibly homesick. I miss my childhood, the cost of living, the people, my family, my dog oscar, the beaches, the sounds and smells, the weather and even the traffic.

I can't stop thinking about it all and it makes me very depressed, especially during the winter. I have a life here in Canada now, a boyfriend, school, roommates and great friends. I just wish I could bring it all to Thailand.

It stinks because it costs a lot of money to travel back to see my family and my "country", and I have to choose wisely when to travel there. I haven't been since two Christmases ago, and am thinking it's going to take another year or more.

Sometimes I feel like getting really angry, and sometimes I want to do nothing but take a long hot shower and feel sorry for myself.

My mother will send me packages from thailand full of Thai things, like instant noodles, sweets, and my favourite, colon rolls. haha. They make me feel a lot better for a good amount of time. But it always creeps back.

I want to go back home. When will I get to go back?

anon77084
Post 29

i always used to dream of myself living abroad as i had spent my early childhood years ago abroad. but as my parents had returned back to their native country and there i spent over 30 years until now. but it was always in the back of my mind to live and work abroad as where i come from is a very small country with fewer opportunities, and as they say, the island fever hits you.

so with the help of a friend abroad and after some brief visits now and then i finally decided to move over for good. ok i must admit that the first weeks were great and as they rolled into months it was still feeling all happy and merry ok but when it culminated into nearly 9-10 months it all began to crumble and crush down onto me.

i began intensely missing my home, family and pets etc. in fact, it even has come to the point and extremity of browsing sites to see pictures, food and all the customs along with the traditions of my home country that I'm missing, stripped of and even denied of. for i have nothing to remind me of it except pictures that i brought with me on the computer!

it's even somewhat extremely scarce to see people from my home country here where i am and i often say to myself that i must seem rare as i speak the language too, and for the county where i am in it most certainly would prove to be a novelty!

anyway i keep thinking of returning back because that's where my thoughts keep directing themselves and me. i feel as if there's more of me there than is here or else my heart is there and not here.

don't anyone get me wrong as i have absolutely nothing against the wonderful country and its generous and friendly people where i am now but i really can't help myself from thinking back on home.

i read some ways and methods of how one can tackle and combat oneself against the dismal dregs of defeat from homesickness and of the downward spiral of negativity it leads you into, but my feelings and thoughts stray and wonder back on to my home country where my roots seem to be because i wouldn't be feeling like this.

i guess I'm, as they say, a prisoner of my past and i also forgot to say that all the time in the country where i am has been hit by recession and i haven't even had the opportunity of employment and even if i did have i'd still be thinking constantly of my home country. and i don't have much to do indoors either, so i guess that does play an important role to keep oneself occupied, which unfortunately i am not.

but no matter what i do or say or am, it all reverts back to whence it stemmed from -- my home country!

so if anyone has any friendly advice I'd be more than willing hear from them. although i keep thinking of leaving Eire and starting back on where i left off in my home country.

anon76954
Post 28

I also came upon this from typing in homesick online. I just moved to Arkansas from Texas for my fiance's promotion at work and I'm so homesick. I think of different ways every day to get us to move back and every day I end up crying.

I feel depressed and just want to go back home to all my friends and family. Nothing against Arkansas, but it's nothing like Texas. The people, the food, the everything is different. It doesn't help that with his new promotion I don't need to get a job and I'm doing online courses through the college back home in Texas, so no chance to be social, plus I'm shy as it is.

I thought I could make this move and be fine, but it's the most difficult thing I have ever done in my life.

I'm only 22 and all my friends are getting married and having babies and I just didn't picture me being away from all of that. Ahhh! I want to move back home so bad, but I just don't know what to do. I'm stuck in between a rock and a hard place. My fiance loves it here.

He can tell I just want to go back, but I can't be that selfish and ask him to move back. That would be awful of me. I'm stuck. I'm trapped. I guess I need to give it more time.

anon74800
Post 27

Four years ago I decided to move to Australia all the way from Greece because I met my australian husband at the time and I wanted a change of life because the money situation and general living is not the best in Greece.

It was hard for me but I thought I was doing ok. I was making sure I visited my family once a year and they came here a couple of times as well. They are very happy for me and they keep telling me that as long as I am happy they are happy.

In eight weeks I am visiting them again but lately I've been so depressed thinking of my mum, etc. and having that ugly feeling that I "abandoned" my family. I cry. I keep having sad songs stuck in my head that make me worse.

I cannot help thinking that maybe my mum is unhappy and she doesn't tell me and I feel like I just left her. I don't want to live there, I like living here with my husband but I wish I had my family as well! Help! Is anybody else in a similar situation?

anon74608
Post 26

I moved from Europe to US, looking for a better life. I visited home one time during my first seven years in the US. I just could not go back because of a visa situation I had. My family could not visit me because it's hard to get US visa.

It's almost eight years since I moved to US, and I am still very homesick, and I can visit my home only once a year because it's very expensive and because of work.

So, to all you who moved to colleges from home and are just several hours away from home, you are just whining! Stop complaining and stop pitying yourself. Some people have bigger problems in life than you! You have only one goal - get good grades and have a wonderful time at home when you are on vacation! It just ticks me off! Get over it and deal with it.

anon73080
Post 25

I just moved from Maine to California - a huge jump. I am 27 years old, I did the college thing, I did the sports camp thing. I have been here a month - and I have never felt more homesick before, than I do right now. I have yet to find a job, I have tried to meet people but have yet prevailed. I have little money to go out and do much. I just want to go home.

anon71813
Post 24

We have moved from India to Africa as a family. I miss life in india and I am getting help from God to overcome my homesickness. My husband and 13 year old son are doing fine and I am the only one who is homesick.

I think making new friends and trying to stick with family helps. After reading all your comments I feel that I am not alone and its natural.

Good luck! I pray a lot and count on my Saviour to give me a new heart to enjoy the new place.

anon69084
Post 23

I am a student at a university in my home city. I am an education major so I got the bright idea to do my student teaching in China, of all places.

The fourth day I was here I wanted to turn around and go home. It's the 14th day I've been here and I cry almost every single day. I miss my family like crazy and the worst part is I wont be home for another two months.

Being away at college my first year was nothing compared to being on a different continent where nobody speaks English. I'm tired of chinese food and it's to cold to hang out outside. I want to go home so bad that I actually am making myself sick.

I can't eat, sleep, or work on my portfolio for graduation. I just want this feeling to go away.

anon67038
Post 22

Keep busy, learn all you can. You will be fine after a while. These are normal feelings especially after you leave home for the first time.

bestcity
Post 21

Being away at college is the first step to being on your own. For most, this is the first time being away from home. It takes time to adjust.

What is good about college is that it is not a complete separation from home, you are in a way with one foot at home with the other on your own.

You still go home for holidays and vacation.

It is a good way to learn to be independent.

Give yourself time, feeling homesick is normal. Cry if you have to, these feelings will subside as time goes on.

anon63083
Post 20

I'm just about to start my second semester away at school as well. It just feels like I can't do it because all I want to do is to be at home with my mom, dad, and dogs. I was actually getting used to it here last semester, but with now, after the long break, I'm feeling homesick just like I did at the beginning of the school year.

anon60330
Post 19

I feel a bit better after reading these comments. For a while now I've been wondering if this misery I've been feeling 24/7 for the past few days was normal homesickness that most other people feel, or was it just me? At least here, I find that I'm not alone and I can definitely relate with you all.

I'm four hours away from home, at college for my first time. Just like everyone else here, I try to keep myself busy all day, but the late nights and early mornings are the worst, when I have nothing to occupy myself with.

I think I've cried more these past few days than I have in the last five years. I miss my parents a lot too. Every time my mum and I talk either online or on the phone, I always cry afterwards, wishing to be back at home with her again.

I count down the days to the date I can finally return home, but it's so darn far away. And worst, it's only for three days at most, then I've got to come back to college, and who knows when I'd get to go home again? :(

The feeling stinks. I really hope to be able to get over it soon. I don't want it to affect my studies. Hence, all the researching about how to deal with homesickness. :P

anon58413
Post 18

i get very homesick. i am at a university only and hour and a half away from home. it honestly was a big step for me because i never really enjoyed sleepovers as a child. i am doing fine but whenever i go back to school from a long holiday break i always get very depressed and am always on the verge of tears.

the more i stay active the better so i try to do as much as possible to keep my mind off it. i wish i never had to feel this way, at least not to this extreme. It really is hard on me and i think it is hard for others to really understand. i am starting my second semester of college and they say it is easier to be away than the first. i hope so but so far it doesn't seem like it.

anon54713
Post 17

I can relate to each and every one of you. And while each of our situations is a little different, we all generally are experiencing the same emotions and feelings.

I am at university two hours from home and I also find that all I can think about is home and my family. I am also about to start exams so I am super stressed and it makes it harder that I don't have support from my family close by.

When I start to feel sad I try to keep myself busy. Lately I have been doing this through writing out study notes. I also love the outdoors so I try to get outside as much as possible even if it is only for a minute or two.

Try something that makes you happy to keep your mind busy. This method seems to help me a lot when I am feeling homesick. I hope this helps some of you out. God bless.

anon49930
Post 16

Basically i am from india/gujarat. i had to leave india for three years and came to dubai. When i was doing my job i was happy and did my best during that three years period in dubai. it is time for three months of vacation after three years. it is time to go india. my mom dad love me a lot. i spent my vacation in india and was very happy. but now i am back in dubai and i am feeling home sickness badly. i can't stop crying and i cannot sleep. i cannot maintain a constant rate in my job. i am very depressed, i am missing home badly. i am dying to hear the voice of my mom dad every day and I'm calling my mom and dad two or three times.

anon49272
Post 15

You know what pisses me off? "Help, I'm going on holiday, I'm going to miss my friends for three weeks -cry cry cry." Well guess what? I've got worse problems. I moved from England to a small island with my family. I cry every day and your petty problems humor me.

anon45714
Post 14

please tell me and give suggestions to get free from my memories of my wide, and also i have one doubt when i was at home. she was speaking with somebody and she was very free with someone younger than her. But i know her character very well and very soft mind. but some times i get a very bad feeling. i ask her one time, she told me i won't do like that, if i did so, then i am afraid why i am doing like that. please give suggestion to get a free mind. i am very thankful to you. _charan

anon44340
Post 13

I'm going away for a week with school. i've been away before and been fine, but this time i'm really worried i will be homesick. I have told my mum and she says i need to go away to get over my fear, but i am stil really worried. :( Does anyone have any tips to help me?

anon43218
Post 12

I moved countries for love about a year ago. I've been working at the same school for most of that year, and I really felt at ease with my coworkers. As my cover contract came to an end this summer, I am now a bit nervous about being at a different school starting september until Christmas. I've really started to feel more homesick over the last month.

As I am a teacher and get six weeks off over summer, I have just spend the last month with my family - my sister has just had a little boy. I have been missing my other half so much while i have been here.

I feel like I will always be missing someone or somewhere. I've noticed I am calling home wherever I am not.

I think it's been getting worse since my regular cheap airline flights have been cancelled. I am now looking at very expensive flights, or a very long train or car journey.

I am lucky to be a teacher, because just about every seven weeks I have a week off. But for the first break of the new school year we planned to go to Berlin with my boyfriend's brother. At the time it sounded like a really cool idea. But right now I am realizing this means I won't be going over until Christmas.

I know it's not as bad a situation as most of the other people here, and I am lucky to be able to travel over as frequently as I can.

But ... it's still real :)

anon41451
Post 11

i feel homesick! it's just 1 week when the time i left my wife and my daughter. i'm here in the other country and miles and miles away just to work and earn lot of money. this is the second time i left them. but why until now i feel homesick? some times i'm asking my self; do i need to do this? seventeen;-(

anon40835
Post 10

i am going on holiday with my friend. she is really lovely but i am not sure about her mum. whenever i do something embarrassing she makes a big deal of it. when she does this i realise how lovely my mum is and miss her even more! help!

anon38474
Post 9

I am going away for a few days for three weeks abroad. I am going with all my friends, but I still feel really sad. I get really badly homesick and I can't take it anymore. I can't sleep and then i think about my family and start crying. Please help me

anon38321
Post 8

I studied abroad in Prague for about a month and a half nearly two years ago. For the first 10 days, I was horribly depressed and hopeless, fearing that I would never see home again -- I almost gave up and left for home. Exploring the city and getting close to other students helped me through it. Now I am moving to New Hampshire soon for graduate school and these feelings are beginning to arise yet again. Keeping yourself busy and remembering to rationalize the situation helps tremendously.

anon37914
Post 7

same situation. i have here in cagliari. i feel im dying because of the life i left behind in the philippines, for so many years there. now i am new here facing and embracing life in europe. i still dont have work and thats why i've got nothing to do that to stress my mind thinking of home...my mind and heart wanted to get back home but i have no money. i was here for only a week and how i feel i've been lost from home for years...i pity myself because i feel i'm dying. i wanted to cry but i can't...all i can do is take a far look for nothing...i'm like the living dead, got no appetite for everything..i just wanted to sleep all day long to forget everthing that bugs me..So god help me.. glen

anon31267
Post 5

I feel homesick when I go to other places. I am preparing for my own enemy for when I travel. That is why I'm always listening to bob marley's song's. His song's give me peace in my heart. "It will soon passed away."

anon20593
Post 4

im at university of TUT i've been missing and sometimes it breaks my heart. today i was writing my first exams and i wanted to call home b4 i could write, i did but they did not pick up the phone and i was so heart broken to the fact that they did not remember to wish me luck. during the exams when i was at home i used to get so much attention and support here im all alone.

anon20414
Post 3

sandhu420: Same situation I am facing and i came here after googling the homesick!

sandhu420
Post 2

Hey, I was just googlin' home sickness and i found this.

Im a student at university and ive just moved away from home, i try to keep myself busy as much as possible but when i get those 5 minutes of a break i cant stop but think about my family.. my mother mostly.

It makes me cry a lot, i know i just have to get used to it but i dont know how anyone can live away from their family.. i miss them so much!

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