Whether you are moving abroad for work, are a student choosing to study overseas, or you have decided to make that sea change, the idea of finding a new home can be very daunting.
Anyone with the travel bug will agree that having ‘homes’ in so many different places can paradoxically cause you to feel like having no home at all. It is very true that home is where the heart is, but that can be difficult when the emotional and spiritual hearts also move from place to place. Here are 9 simple ways to truly feel at home regardless of where you are:
1. Create that Safe Place.
Wherever you find yourself, set up your room in a similar fashion. Humans find comfort in what is familiar, so something as simple as the position of your bed, the direction you face when you sleep, or where you typically put your desk are all very effective in allowing you to feel at home.
2. Get a Little Sentimental.
Everyone has a sentimental piece that they cherish. It may be your grandmother’s ring, your father’s watch, or that encouraging letter from a friend. Take that one piece with you wherever you travel. You will find it to be incredibly helpful in times where you are feeling a little down. They are not just objects—they carry a message of love.
3. Become Aware of Your Surroundings.
Combat professionals, such as the S.W.A.T, are always in new surroundings. Their cardinal rule after entering into any new place to to become familiar with the elements—to take inventory of everything that is around them. This is not only effective in combat, but also in life. Take a stroll around your new location, become familiar with your environment. Allow yourself to acclimatize.
4. Learn the Language
If you really want to be embraced by the local people, be sure to grab a phrasebook and begin to learn a few phrases. If you are in another English-speaking country, learn some colloquialisms or put on your best impersonation of their accent—that always draws a laugh! In no time you will have people inviting you over for some paella with mussels, farfalle pasta, or korma curry.
5. Get Connected.
Your hobbies and your passions are things that never leave you. Look for groups and social gatherings centered around what you enjoy doing. Connect with like-minded individuals. Many seasoned travelers will agree that as beautiful as a place may be, it is the people who make it even more beautiful. Great relationships are universal and give you that sense of home.
6. Commit to Experimenting.
A great way to become less anxious in new settings is to always be stretching yourself beyond your own comfort zones. Always be looking to try something new. As drinkers will build up a greater tolerance against alcohol, build up your tolerance against anxiety and the unfamiliar through challenging yourself daily. Start off with only one area of your life, let’s say, food—make a habit of trying something new once a week. Take on a new hobby, go to a concert, or to an art museum. Make the unfamiliar become the familiar.
7. Love that Accent!
Nothing beats hearing your native accent pop out from among the buzz of the new country that you are in. Everyone can recall that time they stopped sipping their coffee and perked up as they looked to see where that beautiful sound came from. Whether you go down to your local pub or to a backpacker bar, it is always great to run into one of your own ‘locals’ on the other side of the world.
8. Who’s Your Team?
Whether it’s football, basketball, hockey, or baseball, cheering for your home team is a sure way to fire up that warm feeling of home. You can be certain about making a new friend as you find you are not the only person cheering after that magnificent goal. Find out when the next big match is and where the game will be shown.
9. Look for Your Favorite Treat
You can find Reese’s Pieces almost everywhere—and if you can’t, you will no doubt find them online. Sure it may cost a little more, but the feeling of biting into your favorite treat…priceless! It’s a little taste of home no matter where you are. In addition, there will certainly be your favorite home cuisine served up at a restaurant somewhere—jump online and have a search. If that fails, go out to the store and buy some ingredients, invite a few friends over, and introduce them to some spectacular home cooking!
In a world that is becoming more connected and in which traveling has become much more available, loneliness and anxiety can follow you wherever you go. Go out and try some of these simple steps to make wherever you are feel like home sweet home.