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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The last time I have posted here was last year in May. I have made it to Germany and it has been just about 6 months. From time to time, I go through time periods where I am upset and miss my family as well as imagine things in my head how they were this time last year or the year before. How do other expats deal with it?
 

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I remember my 'homesickness' was pretty hard to deal with at first, but there again 'home' for me was probably nearer than yours. I just tried to keep active and make new friends, not only other ex-pats but locals who can help you integrate better. I would also be interested to hear how others have handled it. Some ex work colleagues couldn't handle it and were soon back home.
 

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Whether or not you accept it, things are changing back home, too, and when you do make your first big trip back, things will not always be as you remember them. (I know full well that telling you that does no good, but you'll see - eventually.)

One thing to do is simply to start planning a visit back to "The Old Country." Not too soon, but in six months or a year. That gives you something concrete to work on - keep lists of things you want to stock up on, people to see, etc. It can be very different being back there as a "visitor" once you're settled in elsewhere. And, over time, you may find that you don't miss some thing as much as you thought. Keep track of how your lists change over time.

You might also want to look into things like Skype (for contacting friends and family - though the time difference can be a drag), online news from back home (TV channels often have news stories for online streaming) so you can keep up with what is happening.

Another thing is to keep a journal - both to record your experiences and to vent a bit when you start feeling particularly homesick. Sometimes writing it all out leads you to understand exactly what is "really" bothering you - and it isn't always where you are or what (or who) you're missing.

One thing to realize is that you will have mood swings, in about three month long cycles. Allow yourself to chalk things off to a "bad Germany day" - we all have them (well, I have bad France days, but the principle is the same). If there is any kind of expat or international club or group in your area, sign up for it. Sometimes you just need the company of other "furriners" so you can grouse a bit about local customs and habits that you don't understand. If you've got German friends, try asking them what American traits and customs drive them nuts (and don't contradict them when they tell you - just listen). You get a very different perspective on The Old Country when you let the locals tell you their stories.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Whether or not you accept it, things are changing back home, too, and when you do make your first big trip back, things will not always be as you remember them. (I know full well that telling you that does no good, but you'll see - eventually.)

One thing to do is simply to start planning a visit back to "The Old Country." Not too soon, but in six months or a year. That gives you something concrete to work on - keep lists of things you want to stock up on, people to see, etc. It can be very different being back there as a "visitor" once you're settled in elsewhere. And, over time, you may find that you don't miss some thing as much as you thought. Keep track of how your lists change over time.

You might also want to look into things like Skype (for contacting friends and family - though the time difference can be a drag), online news from back home (TV channels often have news stories for online streaming) so you can keep up with what is happening.

Another thing is to keep a journal - both to record your experiences and to vent a bit when you start feeling particularly homesick. Sometimes writing it all out leads you to understand exactly what is "really" bothering you - and it isn't always where you are or what (or who) you're missing.

One thing to realize is that you will have mood swings, in about three month long cycles. Allow yourself to chalk things off to a "bad Germany day" - we all have them (well, I have bad France days, but the principle is the same). If there is any kind of expat or international club or group in your area, sign up for it. Sometimes you just need the company of other "furriners" so you can grouse a bit about local customs and habits that you don't understand. If you've got German friends, try asking them what American traits and customs drive them nuts (and don't contradict them when they tell you - just listen). You get a very different perspective on The Old Country when you let the locals tell you their stories.
Cheers,
Bev
This some good information to consider here. I have never given some of these things thought. I have skype available to talk to family and friends but also, some days it is just a bad day whether I am down about finding work or learning the language. It is hard to pinpoint the issue because for weeks I will be doing great and then for the next couple weeks I am not myself.
 

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This some good information to consider here. I have never given some of these things thought. I have skype available to talk to family and friends but also, some days it is just a bad day whether I am down about finding work or learning the language. It is hard to pinpoint the issue because for weeks I will be doing great and then for the next couple weeks I am not myself.
Do not fret over it. It is natural to miss your comfort zone. As Bev said - you will go through a similar scenario when you go home. You will look at things from a different viewpoint, miss things you did not know you cared for. I made the move the other way around. The more you assimilate into the "new" culture the easier it will get.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Do not fret over it. It is natural to miss your comfort zone. As Bev said - you will go through a similar scenario when you go home. You will look at things from a different viewpoint, miss things you did not know you cared for. I made the move the other way around. The more you assimilate into the "new" culture the easier it will get.
I assume with time, these feelings will go away but it's tough right now. I am even having dreams that my family surprised me and visited me in Germany. Also, with all the stress of learning German and finding a job, I assume it comes together at some point. Twostep, what country are you originally from? Did you have trouble at first when you moved to the US?
 

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Trying to learn German and look for a job is bound to stress anyone out. Find some sort of "treat" to give yourself now and then when you're feeling down. Develop a favorite bakery where you can get some goodie (that isn't available back home) or indulge yourself in some other manner. Not too often (usually the budget can't stand it) but when you need a little pick me up.

Try to find a local club or activity or some way of getting out and making some friends. That usually is what turns the tide - other people.
Cheers,
Bev
 
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