The ExPat Experience: Thoughts Of Home

Write about what you have missed most, or if you have experienced those ‘expat blues’ and what you did to overcome them or deal with them. End with three tips about how to overcome missing home or how to deal with those unique feelings when you live abroad.

As many of you will know I have recently been struggling with expat life. I am longing for home, for a life with more social interaction, more normality, more life. Even though I know that my dreams of life there would not be the reality it is hard to stop dreaming.

I miss the social life very much now, I miss being able to chat to people my own age in person, to go out partying, to go out shopping, to do things that I can’t do over here because I don’t have any friends of my age. My social life is poor at best and while that was what I needed when I first moved over, now I feel ready to build social connections again and I don’t have the opportunity.

I miss the food; pub grub is unavailable here, the bars are all restaurant style meals where we are. They provide good food, but it doesn’t taste like home. When I visited the UK last year we had some pub meals, they were amazing. I miss Costa Coffee, and being able to order a caramel latte without being looked at like an idiot.

I miss the technology; not having to spend a small fortune on tech goodies. I miss a decent internet connection and being able to chat to people who understand blogging, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, YouTube, etc! I miss people really using those medias as a part of their life, being invited to things through them. I miss them being an extension of my social life, not my only access to a social life.

I miss understanding; not just when people talk, but the social rules and how society works. Obviously I also miss being able to have a conversation without a dictionary by my side too, but I feel so out of the loop here. I don’t know what the customs are. It is hard.

And ultimately I miss my past; the friends and family that were in it. The family dos that we had, the conversations we shared, that life. I miss feeling a part of something, a family unit, and despite living with my parents here it doesn’t feel the same as when we had all our extended family and friends there too. Being in a room full of people you love is a wonderful feeling, I miss that a lot.

My three tips for dealing with missing home are:

1) Distraction techniques: having the TV/radio/music on, browsing the internet, etc. Distract yourself when you’re feeling low.
2) Make social connections: chat to people you know in your new home, hug people.
3) Skype home: connect with those you have left behind to remind yourself that they are still there for you, still love you.

6 comments

  1. Molly @ The Move to America

    I must admit, when I read about you missinf family get togethers etc, that tugged at my heartstrings as I really miss that too. There are a few major events happening and I feel so out of the loop. I miss it greatly.
    I hope you find ways to settle more – feel free to email/Twitter me to have a moan if you want! 🙂

    1. Mrs TeePot

      *nods* I found Christmas quite difficult this year, the times we would usually have had our get togethers are really tough.
      Thanks 🙂 I hope you don’t get the expat blues too often!

  2. Lou's Lake Views

    Missing out on family do’s is the worst. I agree that distracting yourself is good but it’s also important to acknowledge how you feel, if you want to cry and shout sometimes its best to just do it, get it out of your system with and move on. I hope you feel more settled soon x

    1. Mrs TeePot

      Thank you, yes, I try to accept what I’m feeling, I find blogging about it helps too.

  3. Sara (@mumturnedmom)

    Missing family and friends is definitely the worst. I’ve been lucky, I’ve made some new friends now (although it took time) and I’m on the East Coast of the US, so in a lot of ways it’s not that different to home. I’ve found it interesting how little I miss ‘stuff’ though. I hope you feel more settled soon, it’s really hard at the beginning. (Am I right in thinking you’re doing a 3 month stint in Spain at the moment?). I’m a rather late link up to the #ExpatLinkUp 🙂

    1. Mrs TeePot

      Yes, 3 months in Spain at the moment which I’m really enjoying but been in France nearly 3 years now. As the time passes I find it harder not easier sadly.
      I’m so glad you’ve made new friends, I hope I will too soon!

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