July and August is the time when most international schools are off for summer holidays. So it is a time when many expats go home to spend time relaxing with friends and family. If you’re
stuck lucky enough to spend these months in Singapore, you may find yourself feeling a bit…homesick.
We’ve got 9 tips to help you push those feelings aside and focus on all you are gaining from your experience abroad.
1. Make a list of all the places you have yet to explore in Singapore. Include all things big and small, touristy and off-the-beaten path. Explored Tekka market? Seen Marina Bay at sunrise? Take a bus without any real destination in mind and see where it takes you.
Then go explore. You’ll remember why you love to travel.
2. Take a break from social media and Skype. Seeing what you are missing at home will not improve your mood. Instead, write a letter to a friend you’ve been meaning to get in touch with. Tell her all the things you’ve seen and done. Tell her what you miss about home.
Writing out how you’re feeling can help.
3. Plan a trip. So maybe you can’t get home now. Planning a trip either in the region or back home (even months in the future) will give you something to look forward to.
Planning a trip can get your mind off things and keep you focused on something fun!
4. Make the effort to invite some friends over or plan a day/evening out. Even if your “friends” are still more like acquaintances right now, make the effort. One great thing about expats is they all understand homesickness.
Even if you don’t find your new bestie, other expats have been new, or seen friends leave or struggled to make connections and can be very helpful to talk to.
5. Do something you love. Whether it’s running, taking pictures, cooking, reading, knitting…
You will feel some sense of normalcy and calm.
6. Try some local foods you’ve yet to try. Head down to a new hawker center and join the longest cue. At best you discover something delicious you wouldn’t be able to get at home. At worst, you spent only a few dollars. Then…
7. Cook your favorite “comfort food” meal. Mom’s mac and cheese, your aunt’s apple pie, whatever will give you a little taste of home, will fit your spirits.
8. Binge watch something on Netflix. Ok, I’m not sure this would be approved by “the experts” but when it’s just too hot or rainy or you want a few hours (ok a whole day) to wallow, nothing beats Netflix. Just be sure to keep that list you made (#1) within you eyesight!
9. Ok and go ahead and Skype/FaceTime. Sometimes you really just need a chat with your oldest bestie to get you back on track.
By Kathleen Siddell, July 2015