Five top tips from a UK expat on dealing with homesickness when you move to Portugal. 

Feeling a sense of homesickness when you move is perfectly natural as an expat. However, it does calm down once you are settled in properly and started to regard Portugal as your home. Our expat in Portugal provides his top tips to combat feelings of homesickness, to help you settle down 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. They make it easy to keep up to date with all the latest news and goings-on. Social media has its downsides. However, in some ways people so feel much closer these days thanks to the wonders of the Internet. Social media is a particular lifeline when you’re overseas.

2. Organise an international phone tariff

Take the time to research the different mobile phone packages available to you. That way you can 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. They tend to cost approximately €50 per month. This isn’t really that much when you consider how it keeps you connected.

3. Conquer homesickness when you move by making the effort to meet new people

An important part of settling into life in a new country is getting to know people in the area. By taking advantage of the many local activities and meetings on offer in Portugal, you should soon find some like-minded people.

Perhaps you could join a local gym or sports club, a theatrical society or a place of worship? All of these are great ways to meet people and strike up new friendships. Doing so should take the edge off those 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. You can, of course, also invite them to come out and experience the joys of living in Portugal for themselves! The sense of occasion and anticipation of meeting up with loved ones often compensates for the pangs of homesickness you may feel at other times. Focus on the positives, 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. These can often be triggered by the strangest or slightest things. 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. That way you can 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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