There aren’t enough studies of homesickness to truly understand the psychological phenomenon. However, there’s no arguing it exists and millions of people experience it. If you are an expatriate or a traveler who spends a lot of time abroad, it’s OK to occasionally feel homesick. When it happens, there are a few tricks you can use to make you feel like you’re at home, no matter where you. These tricks can boost your comfort greatly and help you settle in a new environment.
5 Tips to Help You Feel Like You’re at Home Anywhere
1. Enjoy the Food You are Used to
Psychologists agree that although comfort foods may not be nutritionally valuable, they are good for your mental health. One of the best things about the internet is it allows shopping for local food items, as easily as buying clothes from your favorite brand. All you need to enjoy the “tastes of home” is to place an order with an international online food store, like iGlobal, HEB, or World of Snacks. Plus, don’t forget about Amazon Grocery.
You can also shop at your favorite local stores from home, if they do international shipping. Even if that feature isn’t on offer on their website, try contacting the store manager directly. Or, you could ask your family or friends to send the food to you.
2. Watch Your Favorite TV Shows
Now that all major TV streaming has gone digital, you can easily watch your favorite programs from anywhere. Netflix, Hulu, BBC, and other broadcasters try to limit their content to specific areas. However, a few simple apps will allow you to “hack” the system and feel like home on any sofa on Earth.
The easiest ways to watch BBC iPlayer abroad (or any other TV network for that matter) are:
- Use a VPN app to trick the network into mistaking your actual location.
Handy apps: ExpressVPN, IPVanish, VyprVPN.
- Use proxy servers to do the same, but faster.
Handy apps: Hide My Ass, VPNBook, Kproxy.
- Use Tor for browsing the Web without limits and watching online videos from any website.
3. Pack Your Most Precious Items
To feel like you’re at home anywhere, you should have the items you treasure with you. These are the things that mainly bring emotional comfort, compared to their practical value, but they can do both. For example, this could be your favorite mug, blanket, or a teddy bear (laugh not, as you are never too old to cuddle your precious teddy, so says The Guardian).
If you are a traveler, you’ll be limited with the size of your luggage. Therefore, you’ll have to analyze your possessions very carefully, to pick the truly essential ones. The Japanese have developed an entire philosophy of minimalism, which can help you evaluate the items you own on their emotional value.
In essence, this method boils down to identifying the things you either use all the time, or when you really need to comfort yourself. When you arrive at a new place, be sure to unpack these things and set them up in visible spots. This will allow you to see them all the time and feel more at home.
4. Meet Up With Fellow Expats or Travelers From Your Home Country
Talking to people from home, in a similar position as yourself, is one of the most efficient ways to get over a stressful situation. That’s why group therapy works. This will help you not only to feel like home for a few hours, but also to make friends. Establishing new connections is very good for adapting to a new place and general stress relief.
For expatriates, the most effective way to connect to people in the same situation is to find them online. You can use social media, as well as specialized websites and forums for expats. Then, set up a club of sorts. You could start with meeting in a café, to get acquainted and reminisce over your original country. These meetings could become regular, and you could even go on adventures to explore the new land together.
Travelers who don’t stay in one place long enough to establish a club, could try to find existing ones. If you can’t find a group, simply look up the most popular places people from your country stay at and visit, using travelers’ forums and TripAdvisor.
5. Research the New Location Beforehand to be Comfortable Navigating it
Getting lost in a new city is one of the main reasons for stress and a subsequent onset of homesickness. These days, you can use Google Maps and GPS navigators to make you feel more at home, no matter where you are. Researching the location beforehand will reduce your stress level greatly.
You can also use this opportunity to find locations that look similar to your home, so you can go there when you feel homesick.
No matter where you are, you can feel comfortable and enjoy yourself completely. Simply allow yourself to indulge in nostalgia at times, and use these methods to reconstruct the comforts of your home.