The Art of Finding a New Home in a New Country

Hi there. How are you?

Today, let’s talk about something a lot of people can relate to. If you can’t relate, don’t worry. I hope it’s going to be super interesting for you anyway – let’s go!

The Move Is the Easiest Part

Actually, this doesn’t have to be moving to another country. This will apply to you if you’ve moved abroad. It will also apply to you if you’ve left your home town to live in another city etc.

If you have, you know that the moving aspect of it is the easy part of the entire journey. I mean, we can all pack our lives down into a suitcase or boxes and move somewhere. That’s really easy, right?

The hardest part of moving is – besides missing friends and family – making that new place feel like a new home. I’ve moved abroad three times and I can tell you, it ain’t easy.

The Art of Making a New Place Home

There are so many things that play a part in making a new place feel like home. It all comes down to the people you hang around, your new job, apartment or house and so much more. If you’re off to a rocky start, it might feel like a nightmare.

That’s why I call it an art form. But, the fact that you’re brave enough to move to another place is a key indicator that you can make it.

It’s an old photo from a rooftop day in Lisbon. We bought wine and food and went to a non-touristy place to enjoy a chill night.

And if no one has told you, I’m proud of you for doing that. I know how hard it can be and if you’re going through a tough time – hang in there. It’s all going to be great.

But, as mentioned I know it can be a challenge, which is why I’ve decided to give out some advice. Advice that’s based on my experience and some advice that has helped me through tough times.

Advice #1: Allow Yourself to Miss Home

When you left home you left your friends, family, and comfort zone behind. That’s awesome but also one of the main reasons why most fail to make a new place feel like home.

Allowing yourself to miss home indicates that you’re aware of what’s going on in your life. I know it sounds weird but please hear me out.

I love places that make you realize how tiny you and your problems are…

I’d call you crazy if you moved somewhere and didn’t feel homesick. You’re allowed to miss home, your friends, and your family. It’s healthy to miss someone. It will make you stronger – and believe me, it will make you realize how much you can do on your own. And it will also make it easier to feel comfortable which will make it easier for you to adapt to new places.

So, allow yourself to miss but don’t let it overtake your dream of doing whatever it is you want to do. You left home for a reason and don’t discard that dream because of this.

Advice #2: Donโ€™t Be Afraid to Meet New People

This is a tough one. To some, it’s as easy as anything else. For others, it’s the hardest thing in the world. Putting yourself out there to meet new people isn’t within everyone’s comfort zone – and that’s fine.

But you have to. I’m sorry to say. No matter who you are, where you are, or what you’re up to, you need people around you. People you can share everyday stuff, share experiences, and chill with.

It’s so important. I can’t stress it enough. You’ll never feel at home if you don’t have friends around you. This is a bonus piece of advice for you: they don’t have to replace your friends from home. Please don’t ever feel like whatever you’re doing that it’s replacing what you miss about home.

Home is still there but you need wherever you are to feel like home.

Lisbon back in 2013 hanging with colleagues at the Hard Rock Cafรฉ

Hang out with your colleagues, go to the bar to watch sports, you can even play sports yourself. There are a lot of ways to meet new people and it’s a matter of taking advantage of any situation you get.

And remember, there are others exactly like you. You’re not in a special situation. You’re not the first one to do what you’re doing. Speaking from experience, it’s important to remember this.

Get out there, meet people and it’ll make it so much easier for you to make your new place feel like home.

Advice #3: Focus on Career and Other Stuff

This one might be a bit fluff but it somehow sums up the other two pieces of advice.

If you find yourself in a situation where you miss home or can’t find friends, you have to focus on something else. To be honest, that’s something a lot of people will struggle with.

When I lived in Dublin I had some very difficult moments. I knew I wanted to travel and gain experience but I missed all the people I left at home. I wanted to leave Dublin and move back home several times but I stuck around and ended up staying for 2.5 years.

I had a good job at Google. I was super excited about my career and what I had lined up for me. I couldn’t leave it behind.

I had a lot of good colleagues. Most of the time they were the ones I spent my time with. We went out to dinners, concerts, sports events, etc. If I hadn’t focused on my career, I wouldn’t have had such a relationship with my colleagues.

Danish friends watching the Ireland vs Denmark football game in Dublin

The point of this is that you don’t have to find friends outside of work. It’s great if you can but not a necessity. Focusing on other things like your job, traveling, working out or whatever the case might be can be as good.

So, whenever you feel like everything is a struggle, you can always focus on other things. It’s the best way to keep your mind off of things like missing home.

Wrapping It Up

No matter what I write here, you’ll most likely experience homesickness or struggle throughout your time away from home. My goal with this post was to tell you that you’re not alone when feeling like this.

Sometimes you have to power through it. It’s going to be tough. You’re going to feel like you want to leave and reset. My hope is that you don’t give in. I’ve been abroad for a total of almost four years and I wouldn’t change it for anything.

Stick with what you’re doing and don’t stop because you’ll regret it for the rest of your life.

If you have any questions or if you can relate to it, feel free to drop a comment below. I’ll for sure get back to you as soon as possible. I’ll be available for talking as well if needed.

Anyway, I hope you’re more motivated now than you were ten minutes ago.

Please take care and thanks for reading,

Rasmus Bak

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