Are you a newcomer to Indonesia?
Moving abroad could be a very exciting experience. You will live in a completely different place from your home country, learn a new language, culture, and of course make new friends. The excitement also will come from the thrill of starting anew, when you need to rent a house, get a job, and deal with local people. Its a opportunity to do a reset button on life.
But, no matter how much you love your new home and life abroad, there’s no place like home. Everything must be so different. The food, the air, people, everything is never same with the ones in your home country. And eventually, you’ll be missing your home; or in the other word: homesick.
Some new residents in Indonesia feel homesick if the culture shock is too intense and they feel extremely unstable in their new surroundings. Don’t worry, it’s a normal feeling. There are certain times when you just want to book a flight to your home country and see your family. Sometimes you miss your Mom’s homemade meals or the park near your house.
It’s true that nothing beats home comforts. But, it does not mean that homesick can ruin your life abroad. If you do these things, you’ll be able to cope with this uncomfortable feeling:
Skype/chat/call your family
It’s the simplest and most affordable way to cope with homesick. You miss your family? Call or text them. Today’s technology allows you to make a video call easily too. So, even though you can’t meet them now, at least you know their whereabouts and see their face. Just hearing about what they’ve been up or your Mom’s endless rants about your eating habit will be enough to put a smile on your face.
Be a tourist
Learn about Indonesia, the city’s popular places and attractions and know the city you’re living in more. Going to museums or culture centers will help you to know the history and culture of your new home. You can also observe the habits and custom of local people and know how to adjust with it. You’ll eventually know the places that are your cup of tea, good dining place, your favorite jogging track, or whatever is important for your daily life.
Hangout with your new friends
Set a time with your new friends to hang out and do fun things together. It will be more exciting if your friends are local so they can take you to cool places or events. Talking with them also helps you to master the language faster. It will make you forget the irritation of missing home for a while and of course, give yourself a good day.
Connect with expat circles and networks
In Indonesia, you can find the information about expat circles or community from the embassy or just search it in internet. Usually those groups have regular events or gathering where you can connect with other expats from your home country as well as other countries. You can share your stories with them, and of course help you cope with homesick.
Eat your home country’s specialty foods
Find restaurants that serve traditional or specialty menu of your home country. Usually those restaurants also have ambiance and atmosphere just like ones in your home country. If you can’t find the restaurant, do grocery shopping and cook the food by yourself.
Try local foods
If eating your home country’s specialty foods make you miss your home country more, then you could try to eat local foods. You need to adjust your tummy with local tastes and spices (because usually people will have an upset stomach for the first days of living abroad), so getting to know local food will help you to adapt well with your new place.
Go to outdoor activities
Go jogging or play basketball in the field near your apartment complex. Exercises give you endorphins and will make you happy. If you’re living in Jakarta, you can go to Car Free Day (CFD) every Sunday morning and you’ll see the true colors of Indonesia there.
Indulging yourself in relaxing activities never fails to make cool off your head. Get a spa treatment or simply enjoy a long, hot bath.
Turn off your social media accounts for a while
Spending too much time in social media will make you feel more depressed, because you realized that you’ve missed many things since you left your home country. It makes you feel guilty because you weren’t there when those moments happened. Give yourself a break from virtual world and embrace your real life.
Do some ‘me’ time
Simple things like watch movies or TV series will do. Stay at your room and enjoy a day alone on the weekend will give your mind a break from missing home. Grab your favorite snacks, rent some DVDs and enjoy!
Homesickness is just like other anxieties. It’s prone to negative thinking, such as “I don’t belong here.” Learn to think positively. Write down positive points of your new life in a journal or Post-Its and stick them on the walls so you can read it every time. Erase any kind of negative thoughts from your head and try to make peace with your new life.
Make your new home a home
Of course you can’t bring your entire room from home abroad with you, but you can find ways to make your new space feel more like home. Hang the photos of your family members or buy room fresheners that smell just like ones at your home will do. Make it as a friendly place as much as possible, and eventually you will feel that it’s your home, not a foreign place anymore.
Although homesickness is a very normal thing to feel, but you can’t spend all your time abroad wishing you were somewhere else. Don’t let homesickness bring you down and make you depressed. You can do anything you like to get your mind away from missing home, whether with these tips or your own strategies!