Here Are Our Tips And Experiences For How To Cope With Moving Away From Family and Friends!
To be honest, this is a topic that we know quite a bit about. Between us, over the past few years we have moved frequently for work, school, internships, etc. And we’re not just talking different towns – Bruce is currently on a different continent than his friends and family. Lisa, on the other hand, has her friends scattered across multiple different countries since she has moved so many times – even over the past year. Admittedly, dealing with this can be equally as hard.
So, while our experiences have been thrilling, challenging, and – in some cases – life-changing, we unfortunately have lots of experience what is it like to move away from family and friends.
For this post then we want to dive into the ways/tips/methods that we cope with being away from family and friends. Some of these are very simple while others take time to set up but once you do them, they can have long-lasting positive impacts on your while you are abroad and away for the people who matter most. Let’s dive in.
Set Up Call/Video Chat Dates
Setting up a Skype chat is an easy way to connect. // Photo: Unsplash
Something that has helped us a lot when it comes to coping with moving away from family and friends is planning “dates” for calls or video chats. This can be especially helpful for the beginning when you still feel homesick and miss your family and friends a lot.
When Lisa moved away from her family and friends the first time she talked to her family almost daily and friends quite frequently as well. Since people are usually busy, planning a call ahead of time can actually help to make sure that your friend is free and has time to talk to you. That way, you also have something to look forward to which is something that has always helped Lisa when she was homesick.
Eric was big into using FaceTime to chat with friends back home when be moved abroad for school. It’s a good thing that technology has come such a long way in short amount of time!
Plan Your Next Visit
Similarly to the point mentioned above, planning your next visit to see your family and friends can help make your move easier. We – and our family and friends – like knowing when we’ll see each other again. There is just something about knowing an actual date that makes a difference.
Even if the date is 3 or 6 months in the future, it’s still better knowing an exact date than a “maybe I’ll be able to make it in two months or so”. This might not be the case for everyone, but it has worked really well for us. That way your friends also know when you are coming for a visit way ahead of time which will give them the option to plan on spending time with you.
Keep Busy And Get Into A Routine
When you keep busy and get into a routine, you have less time to worry/stress/think about home and how much you miss things/people. Change can be difficult so it’s important to keep your mind and body active and do the things that you love.
When Lisa was in school abroad, she went to the gym each morning. This allowed her to get into a new routine that was predictable, good for her body, and kept her busy with less time to focus on the (few) negatives of being aboard.
Bruce had school to focus on while he was abroad so that was an easy way to get into a groove of studying in his favorite coffee shop, going to class, eating dinner, meeting friends, and then repeat. If you find yourself trying to kill time, then consider doing other things to fill your time. This goes great with the next point!
Pick Up A (New) Hobby Where You Can Meet People
This one goes along with keeping busy like we discussed above. Once you get settled, it’s important to focus on setting aside time for you and doing what you love. If you can, focus on an old hobby that you loved back home OR you can even try to pick up a new hobby with the intention of getting familiar with the new place and meeting people.
An example of this is that Bruce likes to play ultimate frisbee. So, when he moved abroad for school, he joined a university club for people who loved to play the sport, too. Through the practices and socials he went to, he met a ton of new people and a few friendships came out of it.
The best part was that once those networks were established, he could call on people to throw a frisbee outside of the club training hours. This was great for when the season ended – there were still people to play with.
Lisa joined the gym when she worked abroad and she went each morning with a small group of girls to get active. Not only did she keep up with exercise, but she made a few friends in the process and got to focus on something she loved.
Make Sure You Feel Comfortable In Your New Home
Find those finishing touches to make your new place a “home”! // Photo: Unsplash
We love having a home that we feel comfortable in since it can really affect our mental well-being. Your place doesn’t have to be big or filled with expensive furniture but it should be decorated in a way that you feel comfortable. And maybe that means living with roommates that you actually like and get along with well.
Our experience has shown that it can help a lot with feeling homesick and missing family and friends when you have a home that kind of feels like your sanctuary. This way your overall mood will most likely be better and you have the energy to handle your homesickness better.
Remember Why You Moved
Another tip that can help you cope with moving away from family and friends is to remember why you moved in the first place. There must have been a reason for it. Maybe it was because of a job or a relationship? Maybe it was because of school or because you wanted to live in another country?
In most cases, there was a positive reason for moving – so when you are missing your friends and family, remembering that reason can make you feel lots better. It’s all about refocusing. It’s fine to miss people and to feel alone especially in the beginning – but that doesn’t always mean that life is bad.
And there you have it – a few of our tips for coping with moving away from family and friends. It isn’t always easy, but in our experience, it’s always been a largely positive experience. As we grow up, our interests and desires will change and maybe we will someday be called home once again. Until then, we do our best to stay connected to those that matter while exploring the world as best we can. Have you moved abroad? How have you found being away from people? Let us know!
As always, Stay Curious,
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