As many of you know, I moved to Australia via the United States not too long ago. It’s been an amazing journey to learn and grow as a person, be able to see the world and have these new and exciting experiences , but it isn’t all glamorous. I am in a really safe and happy environment, am able to focus on my work and goals without negativity around me, and feel much more at ease in some aspects than I did back home, because I didn’t feel ‘at home’ there for a dreadfully long time.
However, I am desperately homesick at times, and have been having a difficult time coping being away from my loved ones, surroundings, and even missing things I took for granted like my routine Starbucks trips for iced green tea (it isn’t a thing here), and feeling independent in terms of driving around. Hell, I’m even having a difficult time understanding a lot of the local lingo, and feel a bit intimidated still.
This has been adding to me feeling distraught, but I have been taking some steps in order to really catch my breath and transition into a new country. I hope through my difficulties adjusting I’m able to help someone else out there who may be, or will be facing the same obstacles.
Take it day by day: You aren’t expected to know or do everything all at once. Simply adjusting to your new home and surroundings each day is the step in the right direction. It’s natural to feel a little lost and hopeless at times, but that’s okay. Life isn’t always blissful, and even when it is beautiful and happy, there is some necessary strength training to partake in.
Go for short walks: This has been helping me adjust to a new country. Little things like getting used to the direction of traffic, and where to look first while crossing the street seem small, but when you’re on the ground it makes all the difference. I’m so used to walking on the right side when I’m crossing paths with oncoming pedestrians, so now I have to adjust to scooting toward my left out of courtesy to give them space on the sidewalk.
I’ve also been taking in the local nature, smelling and viewing the pretty eucalyptus trees and listening to unknown bugs and seeing birds that aren’t native to my home. These little things, help me adjust while clearing my mind.
Talk to your loved ones: Aside from my children, I haven’t reached out to anyone to be honest. If I do subtly, I’m usually blown off. It’s kind of reinstating that I’m meant to be here right now, and that I have the opportunity to know and meet new people to love and cherish. I am extremely close to my children, and although they’ve been adjusting well from my understanding, I haven’t been. So, I call them daily and we chat about the things we did, ate and saw. We share photos and videos, all which helps me feel like they really aren’t too far away until I get to see them again.
So whether or not reaching out is positive or negative, you can see the optimism in both scenarios.
Processes your feelings: It’s okay to cry quietly to yourself. You aren’t a negative person because you have feelings, and it’s okay to talk about them too. I know a lot of people in my personal life are constantly waiting to see me fail, and gossip about the choices I’ve made, but you know what? I don’t owe anyone an explanation nor do I need to prove anyone wrong. I’m allowing myself to grieve, cope and adjust, but I’m also allowing myself to take in this rich journey.
Try New Things to Eat: Anytime I go to the super market or out to eat, I try to find something that is new to me. It can be a native fruit, a confection or a fast food place. Trying new things to eat while traveling or living abroad is an amazing mood booster and adds to your journey. There are so many big experiences I’ve had just by trying an unfamiliar flavor profile or confection that the locals would see nothing more than normal.
I hope this advice helps you guys that have or are planning on a big move. This advice isn’t meant to discourage anyone. Moving overseas is one of the most fascinating and difficult journeys I’ve allowed myself to take. Despite people tearing me down, or belittling me about my choices, I did it anyway and the people who have been encouraging and kind have helped me cope with this transition.
I look forward to creating so many new memories and treating this beautiful life like the adventure it is. It is much better than living day-to-day in a routine of being silently miserable. Let your heart and spirit lead you and don’t abstain due to the “what ifs”.