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Make Yourself at Home: Top Tips for Homesick Expats in Indonesia

homesick expats
Make Yourself at Home: Top Tips for Homesick Expats in Indonesia

Whether you’ve been living in Indonesia for five years or five months, it’s likely you’ve had a bout of the homesickness blues.

And with COVID-19 travel restrictions greatly interrupting the movement of people around the globe, there’s not as many chances to just pop home for a visit anymore.

Instead, expats in Indonesia and other places around the world have to find other ways to combat homesickness. Far from a passing feeling, homesickness can have some very real effects on sufferers when it really sets in. These effects can include increased anxiety and depression, difficulties sleeping, a lack of appetite, and much more.

So it really does make sense to take care of your mental health, and that includes tackling homesickness head on. With that in mind, we’ve compiled some top tips for expats in Indonesia:

Stay in touch with your loved ones

Sure, it’s not quite the same thing as physically being in their company, but meeting up with your mates on Zoom or Facetime is better than nothing. Don’t let time zones and other factors hinder your relationships with friends and family back home, try and stay in touch as much as possible.

And remember, staying in touch isn’t necessarily about long video calls or extra-long messages or emails. Sometimes sharing a joke over Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp is enough to keep your most important relationships active.

In 2021, there are so many options and communication channels to choose from, so it’s more a matter of choosing one than worrying about how to stay up to date with friends.

Watch some TV from home

It might sound silly, but if you’re feeling very disconnected from your home nation, watching some local TV can help cheer you up and make you feel more at home. Granted, you can’t just switch on your TV in Indonesia and expect to see channels from home, but there are a few clever workarounds to this problem and they involve changing your device’s IP address.

If you’d like to watch British TV, for example, you can do so through the BBC iPlayer app. The problem with this though is that the app can detect your device’s physical location. So to change that and watch TV from home to your heart’s content, you’re going to need to install a VPN.

Once you have your VPN sorted, connect to a British server and your device is now virtually located in the UK. This trick works equally well for expats from other countries too!

Embrace the local culture

We all know that one curmudgeonly expat who spends their time complaining about the local food, weather, culture, and and and…

Don’t be that guy. Try and embrace the local culture and find the stuff you love about it. Othering yourself and remaining isolated from the people around you can make feelings of homesickness more intense.

Instead, get involved and make friends. Learn a few words of the local language, or even better, enroll in classes. Adjust your mindset and think positively about where you are. Falling into a victim mentality could mean making your situation worse.

We hope these tips to combat expat homesickness were helpful. Don’t forget to reach out to others in the expat community for further help and support.

Also Read 8 Free Ways to Learn Bahasa Indonesia

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