The truth about working and living abroad is that eventually that excitement of being in a strange new place turns into just your normal everyday. If you're not careful, this could lead you into a hole of depression, homesickness, feelings of regret and shutting yourself out from this new culture that you were so excited to learn from.
You can't let this happen though; you're probably only held to a one-year contract. With a finite period of time abroad, you should be appreciating this strange new time in your life.
The excitement of being in a strange new place turns into just your normal everyday.
If the honeymoon is over and you're starting to think that you made the wrong decision in working abroad, here are a few tips to get you through:
1. Make time for family and friends
You'll hear stories and see pictures of everyone having a great time just like "the good old days," except you're not there. Yes, you will get jealous and miss them, but don't forget that you're out here chasing your dreams and going on adventures with new friends.
Stay in touch with people back home; your friends will keep you sane and your family will keep encouraging you. So call, Facetime, text, or Snap them. You'll feel good and also like you haven't been forgotten.
2. Use your new free time wisely
Living abroad means you now don't have any family events or as many errands as you did back home, so that turns into a lot more free time.
Use that time to develop a hobby that keeps you happy, explore the culture around you, or join neighbourhood activities. Free time is also time that can be devoted to learning the local language, which will be useful for communicating everyday.
3. Bond with the expat community
Get to know the people you work with; they have valuable information since they've probably been there longer. Or, they're equally new, then start exploring and making mistakes together.
Check out Facebook because most likely there will be an expat group in your area (and if there isn't, you can start one yourself). They might do weekly pub quiz or group dinners. Making friends abroad is easier than you think; everyone misses home and wants to explore the new area around them so you've got a lot to bond over.
4. Stay positive
Keep your mind and heart open and positive. Take in every sight and smell. Realize that this is nothing but home but it's still pretty cool anyways. Not many people have the privilege to learn from other cultures the way you're getting the chance to, so go and explore it.
Its my third time dealing with this kind of feeling and in my third country as well. I'm so glad I stuck it out because it gets so much better. They are just little feelings of homesickness and it's okay to feel that way but don't ever feel that you made a mistake. The memories you are making abroad will be some of the best and your life becomes so much richer with stories, friends, knowledge, and a feeling of belonging. Just go out into this big beautiful world and give it a try.Add this article to your reading list