How To Cope With Homesickness In A Foreign Land

Image courtesy of Cresallis Najera
Image courtesy of Cresallis Najera

Every time I log in to a social networking site, almost all of my friends who are far from their love ones are complaining of being home sick that they would even burst into tears so often. They would even send some private messages expressing how bad they feel and how often they cry, longing for the hugs of the people they have left. Well, I know exactly how it feels to miss the people that one loves. Being far from home my self, I have felt the devastating and heart breaking effects of home sickness. However, it was easier for me, because when I left home, I was still young and don’t have my own family. So I did not have to worry about kids and husband. But of course I missed the people that I have left behind, like my mom, my sister and brother. Although my dad was with me, I still felt the longing to be where I used to be. I could just imagine the others who do not have anyone with them, most of all if they even have kids of their own and their spouse need to stay with their kids.

Truly, being far away from home is one of the most difficult things that one could ever experience most especially if one is not used to it. This is a reality that affects many people who has so many reasons why they need to be far. Being home sick may not only mean missing the ones we love especially when we are in a foreign land where everything is new. We may even miss the foods that we eat, and even the ambience of the usual street that we pass by everyday back at home. It is when we are far that we realize the essence of what we always say- “Home sweet home…”

Being home sick is not just a matter of shooing away the blues; it takes so much courage and tears to cope with it. Here are a few ways to cope while being far from home:

Before leaving home:

  • Accept the fact that you need to be far and keep in mind the best reasons why you are doing it. Never forget that what you may be doing is what will make your life and the life of the ones you love better.
  • Realize that being home sick is a natural feeling whenever you get separated from your love ones and familiar surroundings. So before you leave, prepare yourself and know that you will feel that way.
  • One of the many reasons of home sickness is the sudden change in an environment. You may suffer some culture shock, so before leaving, acquaint your self to some facts about your destination. Surf the web and read as many information as you can so that you will know what you will be expecting.
  • Learn the language of your new environment. You don’t have to be fluent but at least learn the basics.
  • Expect that as you arrive to your destination, you may feel terribly home sick, which may subside after a month or so, but may recur again in several weeks or months.
  • Talk about how you feel to your closest love one or friend before leaving.
  • Carry pictures of your love ones and friends with you. The size that you can take wherever you go.
  • Do not forget to keep a handy list of your love ones’ and friends’ contact information.
  • Kiss and hug as often as you like the ones you will be leaving behind.

While you are far:

  • Keep an open mind; never expect that things and people are the same as they are at home. Remember that YOU are NOT AT HOME.
  • Be willing to experience new things, and meet new people. Explore your new environment, go to their museum or parks.
  • Never compare your home with your new environment. No place is better or worst than the other; it’s just that they are not exactly the same.
  • Keep a journal where you can write or express all your feelings on. You can keep this to yourself or share it to others that you can be comfortable sharing it with.
  • Save some time to pamper yourself. Like exercising, walking at the park, or shaping and trimming your eye brows. Spend some bubble time at the bath with your most favorite liquid soap and create a relaxing ambiance by lighting a scented candle.
  • Do the things that you wanted to do for your self back at home but you just don’t have enough time to do.
  • Send letters and post cards to your friends and love ones via snail mail.
  • Make the most of what the evolution of communication technology can offer. Chat with your love ones through the web, text or call them often or send some messages at their e-mail.
  • Socialize with the people at your new environment as much as possible. This will help you adjust and fade the blues. Remember to socialize in a good way, which means that your activities with these new people in your life will not include alcohol or drug abuse or anything that may ruin your life or endanger your health and well being.
  • Establish new friendships where you can feel your sense of belongingness. Surely, you will always find people of your own kind, like having the same nationality. Talk to these people about your problems of being home sick, surely, they have great things to say that may help you.
  • Take a walk at the mall and if you have enough cash, buy things for the people that you miss.
  • Take pictures of your self and the new people in your life, and even the places that you have been and share these photos with the people that you miss when you get home or send them through mail.
  • Share your hobbies and interests with the new people in your life and explore your environment. Take advantage of enjoying the things that your new environment can offer which are not found in your old environment.
  • Form bonds with others whom you share the same interests, like sports, music or the arts.
  • Do not spend much time alone and keep your self busy. This will help you avoid focusing on your feelings of home sickness.
  • Take care of your self and give it time to adapt. Always monitor your adjustment progress. By the end of the fourth month or at the fifth month, you should be feeling better.
  • Try not to go home in less than six months, unless you feel really depressed. Give your self time to adjust and keep in mind that there is a risk that you may regret going home too. You may also suffer feelings of sadness as you readjust in your own home land. So, DON’T GO HOME as long as you are coping fairly well and you can do the usual task that you should do everyday. Give your best shot to adjust. Do the things that you need to do and remember the reasons why you left home, so that you may someday feel a sense of self worth and self actualization.
  • Contact a professional if your sadness affects you too much that it can make you feel sick and may be unable to do your daily task.
  • Spend much time in prayers and always keep a positive mind set- that you can make it through anything because God strengthens you and you have left home not only for your self but most of all, for the people that you hold most dear to your heart.

These are just one of the many ways to fade away the blues while you are far. One thing to always keep in mind- always take care of your self while being far because so many people who truly loves and care for you are waiting back at home to be with you again. Near or far from your love ones, you know that you are living for a cause. Keep the faith and keep it sturdy!


Copyright by DjBryle Works, 2010 (ALL RIGHTS RESERVED AND AUTHORIZED BY LAW)


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Comments 24 comments

Hummingbird5356 profile image

Hummingbird5356 6 years ago

This is a good hub with a lot of good advice. Many people move to another country than their own. You have to accept it and the way of life there. It gets better and after a while many then decide the new place is where they want to be.

Thanks for this.


DjBryle profile image

DjBryle 6 years ago from Somewhere in the LINES of your MIND, and HOPEFULLY at the RIPPLES of your HEART. =) Author

Thank you so much for the kind words Hummingbird... they mean a lot to me! All the best! =)


Eurosquid profile image

Eurosquid 6 years ago

I know how that feels too. I live far away from my home and have lived in several different countries.

It always helps to find the expat community. In every country I have lived in there is always an expat community. Sometimes it is hard to find, but with the internet it is getting easier and easier.

It is always easy to meet people in the expat community, because expats are always looking to make new friends. Try websites like expatica.com or just google the name of the country you are living in and expat (for example, Germany expat or Spain expat). That will often take you to an expat forum or website and through that you will meet expats living near you.


DjBryle profile image

DjBryle 6 years ago from Somewhere in the LINES of your MIND, and HOPEFULLY at the RIPPLES of your HEART. =) Author

Thanks Eurosquid for spending time with my hub and for the helpful information you shared!Being far from home is really difficult. God bless! =)


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

It sounds as though you have a good head on your shoulders and through your experiences you can offer good advice to others regarding relocating in a new home away from home. Sometimes the changes can be radical from one part of the same country to another part......or small town living to large city living. Always adjustments to be made in this life and attitude goes a long way towards making them successful. Best wishes!


DjBryle profile image

DjBryle 6 years ago from Somewhere in the LINES of your MIND, and HOPEFULLY at the RIPPLES of your HEART. =) Author

Thanks for always having kind words to say to me Peggy... =) Wishing you all the best too!


maggs224 profile image

maggs224 6 years ago from Sunny Spain

A very interesting and heartfelt hub and as an a British expat living in Spain I can identify with much of what has been written here-


DjBryle profile image

DjBryle 6 years ago from Somewhere in the LINES of your MIND, and HOPEFULLY at the RIPPLES of your HEART. =) Author

Thanks Maggs224 for appreciating this hub... it means a lot to me! =)


billyaustindillon profile image

billyaustindillon 6 years ago

Well laid out with lots of useful advice. It can be very hard to be at a distance from loved ones, sometimes unbearable. Focus on the good memories and the joy of being united and the blues become impending joy. :)


DjBryle profile image

DjBryle 6 years ago from Somewhere in the LINES of your MIND, and HOPEFULLY at the RIPPLES of your HEART. =) Author

That's true Billy, one of the most painful thing that could happen is having to be far from your love ones. Thanks for dropping by and for the kind words! God bless! =)


bart 6 years ago

im still lucky that im used to be far away home...im not saying i don't miss my family..its just that i don't feel the same others feel..my homesickness isn't that intense as others do..


DjBryle profile image

DjBryle 6 years ago from Somewhere in the LINES of your MIND, and HOPEFULLY at the RIPPLES of your HEART. =) Author

You said it Bart, you're lucky indeed =) You may feel less intensity of home sickness maybe because you adapt faster, and you're used to it. God bless and thank you so much for dropping by =)


hubpageswriter 6 years ago

Helpful hub. It's not easy to cope with being homesick but it can be tackled bit by bit. The steps you've mentioned in this hub are good and in particular that you've mentioned is never to be alone. It's good to have like-minded friends and peers all gathering together to enjoy some quality time together.


DjBryle profile image

DjBryle 6 years ago from Somewhere in the LINES of your MIND, and HOPEFULLY at the RIPPLES of your HEART. =) Author

@Hubpageswriter: That's so true, nothing comforts best whenever you're alone but the company of real friends. Thanks for dropping by and for finding my hub helpful. =)


Beth100 profile image

Beth100 6 years ago from Canada

DjBryle, this is an AWESOME hub!! I wish I had these great tips years ago when I first moved to the States. It took me almost a year to feel less homesick, but I never did get over being away from home. I eventually moved back to my city, only to move away again several years later. Having my own family has helped me overcome homesickness, though I still have bouts of it. Great hub and rated you up, up and out of this world!! XD Thanks, my friend for this great hub!


DjBryle profile image

DjBryle 6 years ago from Somewhere in the LINES of your MIND, and HOPEFULLY at the RIPPLES of your HEART. =) Author

@Beth: Aaawwww... thank you so much Beth! That means a lot to me. No one ever really overcomes home sickness for good. The home where we grew up will always have our heart and mind wherever we go and no matter what we do. Wishing you and your family all the best! =)


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago

Great advice! I've been heavy with that! Really thought out! Thank you!


DjBryle profile image

DjBryle 6 years ago from Somewhere in the LINES of your MIND, and HOPEFULLY at the RIPPLES of your HEART. =) Author

Thanks too for dropping by again Micky! See you around! =)


Chin chin profile image

Chin chin 6 years ago from Philippines

I know people who really feel homesick but don't want to help themselves get the homesickness off. They just like to spend time all alone in their room. For me the top 2 ways of dealing with homesickness is spending time in prayer and finding new friends to be with. It really won't take away the homesickness quick but at least you can set your mind on other things and not feel miserable all the time.


DjBryle profile image

DjBryle 6 years ago from Somewhere in the LINES of your MIND, and HOPEFULLY at the RIPPLES of your HEART. =) Author

@Chin- chin: I guess I am one of those people who liked to just stay inside the room when I was really home sick... seeing the new people and surroundings just made me feel even more sad. Yet I did not let it stay that way, I knew that nothing good will happen to me if I kept staying in my room. lol! So, I explored my new habitat and made real friends without even trying hard... and the reason is, I never ceased praying and He has blessed me more than what I asked for. Prayer is really the MOST powerful weapon we can use as we take life's journey. Thanks for the inspiring comment and for dropping by! =)


Edwin Clark profile image

Edwin Clark 5 years ago from Thailand by way of New York

Reading this hub brings back a lot of memories and emotions. I'm pretty much never homesick anymore maybe because I'm older but I feel bad about missing out on birthdays, weddings and other events in life we share with our friends and families. For instance this is the first year I've missed Christmas and New Years back home in New York. Looking through pictures I've stored in my iPad helps a bit but it never replaces being close to people.


DjBryle profile image

DjBryle 5 years ago from Somewhere in the LINES of your MIND, and HOPEFULLY at the RIPPLES of your HEART. =) Author

Edwin- Happy new year!~ I am sorry it took me a long time to give a feedback on your comment, my friend. I was so busy during the holidays. Thank you so much for dropping by. I agree with you that nothing will really replace the goodness of the presence of the ones we love. Cheers and have a blessed new year! =)


Nickster 4 years ago

Thanks for the article! :) I really feel sad for leaving the Philippines, now that I'm here in America, everyone loved me back at home and I was at the peak of everything and I was always happy, but here in America, I can't seem to find any friends... hahaha Homesick again :)


OJ Silva 4 years ago

since i was born in the US,i really do miss my relatives and the rest of my family in Nicaragua especially in some parts of the country 1,600 miles don't feel like nothing but it honestly does feel like its kinda far away. i really do miss my family and since college is coming around the corner i fear a lot...its like i don't wanna fail my classes or anything. yes i do graduate around 2014 but if my entire relatives were living here i would be so appreciated,i would be living with them and they would help me out but since i got Facebook,Twitter and phone i try my best to stay in contact with them but i honestly do miss them and the surroundings down there, its not the same as here in the NC. i am homesick and i bought some things from down there like a new bookbag and some photos and pics to remember. i ask my mother if we go to Nicaragua next year and she says "yes!" and my father was like "we got to start saving money for next year." i want to go next year but i hope i don't have summer classes though cause the more time i stay far away from my family its like we are losing contact and i don't want to do that.

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