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Navigating the emotional challenges: How to avoid feeling homesick when relocating

Navigating the emotional challenges: How to avoid feeling homesick when relocating

Moving abroad and relocating your life to a new city or country is an incredible rush. An adventure that takes you out of your comfort zone and into a new way of living, it’s exhilarating, educational, fun and challenging, all at once.

There are a whole host of amazing benefits to relocating, but it does come with its fair share of emotional challenges too. One of the most common of these is a feeling of homesickness.

It is unsurprising that people feel homesick after moving abroad. After all, uprooting your life and moving to an unfamiliar place, far from home comforts, friends, and family, is a huge deal. It also, by definition, takes away the support network you might ordinarily rely on in times of emotional crisis. As a result, homesickness can be a big deal.

Luckily, there are plenty of things you can do as a new arrival in an unfamiliar city or country to lessen feelings of homesickness and integrate quickly and comfortably. With a few key strategies, one or two pieces of advice, and a positive mindset, it is easy to overcome negative feelings and embrace your new life with open arms.

Prepare emotionally

Preparing for your move isn’t just about packing your bags, finding accommodation, and sorting out the documents you need to enter your new home, whether that means checking the requirements for a Panama permanent residency or sending your passport to the Thai embassy.

It also means getting yourself together emotionally and mentally preparing for your move. This means understanding what your undertaking actually means and getting ready to deal with a range of emotions, including sadness, fear and doubt.

These feelings are a natural part of the process, and while it is impossible to completely avoid them, by expecting them you can deal with them more effectively.

Stay connected

A few years ago, staying in touch with friends and family after a move abroad was a far harder task than it is today. Staying connected back then might mean emails, occasional long-distance phone calls, or even writing a few letters!

These days, thanks to the digital transformation of our world, staying connected with loved ones has never been easier. Instant messaging, video calls, and social media have made it incredibly simple to stay up to date with the folks back home and ensure that you don’t miss too much of what is going on.

Of course, it is important not to spend too much time hung up on what’s happening on your friends’ Instagram accounts, to avoid FOMO, but speaking regularly on Zoom means you don’t have to wait to find unbelievable last-minute cruise offers back home to see a friendly face.

Create a home away from home

Just because you are leaving your old home behind, doesn’t mean you can’t bring a few home comforts with you!

Personalising your new space with things from your old life is a great way to make you feel immediately at home, whether it’s photos, keepsakes, or even a literal comfort blanket!

While you want to explore new experiences and build a new life, a few familiar items can go a long way toward smoothing your landing.

Establish a routine

Part of the challenge of getting started in a new place is a lack of routine.

Back home, you probably had all sorts of plans, events, and activities that just sort of… happened, from friends’ birthdays to gym visits.

Your new home won’t have that same easy routine, and this can be jarring at first. So it is important to set up a routine as soon as you can.

That’s not to say that you need to plan every minute of every day down to the last detail, but having a regular schedule can help a lot when it comes to feeling stable and grounded.

Get to know your new environment

There is one easy, obvious way to help with dealing with an unfamiliar environment: getting to know it better! The more you explore and become familiar with your new surroundings, the less you’ll feel like a stranger.

Taking some time to walk the streets, explore local attractions, and discover your new favourite bars, restaurants, and cafes is a wonderful way to make a new place feel more like a welcoming home.

Make new friends

There’s no way of fully replacing your friends and social circle from back home. But it isn’t hard to make new friends and build a new support network wherever you land.

Finding new acquaintances is a huge part of feeling less lonely, which is one of the main causes of homesickness. Try joining clubs, groups, or sports teams, and be proactive in attending events and introducing yourself to strangers.

Be as friendly as possible with new neighbours and colleagues, and you’ll find you’ve built a new community in no time at all.

Engage in hobbies and interests

Following on from the last point, a fresh start in a new location is a great opportunity to embrace and explore new hobbies and interests, which in turn is a great way to meet people and find things to do.

Whether it’s painting, dancing, or playing an instrument, this is the perfect to to follow your passions and finally do the thing you’ve been meaning to do for years!

Seek professional help if needed

Of course, sometimes all the tips and hacks in the world just aren’t enough, and taking more deliberate action is required. If, despite your best efforts, feelings of loneliness and homesickness persist and become overwhelming, then seeking professional help can be a good idea.

Counselling and therapy don’t have to be stressful, and, in fact, can be a really healthy thing to do regardless of how you are feeling. But it is particularly important for anyone struggling with homesickness, as it can provide you with the necessary tools to cope and adjust to your new environment.

Homesickness is a common challenge for anyone relocating, but it doesn’t have to be an insurmountable one. With the right mindset and strategies, you can easily adapt to a new place and new people, and build a fulfilling and enjoyable life.

Celebrity Cruises

This article was made possible thanks to Celebrity Cruises, a premium cruise line of award-winning ships that offer guests unique experiences in more than 300 destinations on all seven continents.

Learn more at


International Relocation Firm

This article was made possible thanks to International Relocation Firm, a licensed Panama law firm, specialising in immigration, relocation, real estate, and citizen by investment visa programs.

Learn more at