Five top tips from a UK expat on dealing with homesickness.

Feeling homesick is perfectly natural as an expat, but it does calm down once you are settled in properly and have come to consider Portugal as your home. Our expat in Portugal provides their top tips to combat feelings of homesickness and enjoy your new life.

1. Make use of social networks

Facebook, Twitter and other social networks are a great way to stay in touch with friends and family you have left behind and keep up to date with all the latest news and goings on. Everyone seems so much closer these days, thanks to the wonders of the Internet!

2. Organise an international phone tariff

Take the time to research the different mobile phone packages available to you and make sure you get a good deal on international calls so you can easily and regularly speak to loved ones in other countries. There are mobile phone tariffs available in Portugal allowing unlimited EU calls, which cost approximately €50 per month – this doesn’t cost much, when you consider how it keeps you connected.

3. Make the effort to meet new people and find friends locally

An important part of settling in to life in a new country is to get to know people in the local area. Meet new people and make friends and some of the many local activities and meetings on offer: perhaps you could join a local gym or sports club, theatrical society, other clubs and societies, or a place of worship. All of these are great ways to meet likeminded people and strike up new friendships. This should take the edge off feelings of homesickness.

4. Travel back to your old home or get friends and family to visit regularly

It’s a good idea to plan regular trips to see family and friends in your old home or elsewhere, as well as inviting them to come out and experience the joys of living in Portugal for themselves. The sense of occasion and anticipation for meeting up with loved ones will more than compensate for any pangs of homesickness you feel at other times, so focus on the positive and really enjoy your time in and out of the country.

5. Accept that you will feel homesick at times

It doesn’t matter how long you have lived in another country – you will still get the occasional wave of homesickness, often triggered by the strangest or slightest thing. It gets less and less troubling as time goes on, so the best approach is to accept that, at times, you will feel a longing for your old home, then look ahead to all you have to look forward to in your new life in Portugal.

The Emigration Guide has been put together by overseas property experts and expats who understand the process of emigrating inside out, having emigrated themselves or helped others to do so. The guide will help you to:

  Ask the right questions
  Avoid losing money
  Avoid the legal pitfalls
  Move in successfully

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