Products

10 Pieces Of Minimalist Travel Jewellery You Need Right Now

I am quite the minimalist when it comes to jewellery, and I don’t usually spend much money on it either.

After all, every penny spend on material things is a penny not spent on travel, am I right?

But these minimalist travel items were just too beautiful not to buy, and only proved what we all already know; less is more.

Let’s just say that even hurricane Harvey would be impressed by how much I made it rain with money.

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But when I came across these items I just had to have them.

In fact, I needed more than to have them. I wanted to sell them in my shop. So I did a little more research and finally found a way to add all of these magical items to my own shop and share them with you.

So here is some shameless promotion of some items I am sure you will love just as much as I love them.

1. This super classy golden airplane bracelet

Why not get started with my favorite?

It’s so simple and yet so amazing.

Golden Airplane Necklace

2. The stylish solution to all your hair tie problems

I have actually had this bracelet for a while and I love it!

It prevents your wrist from being soar after you have had a hair tie around it that was just a liiittle too tight (haven’t we all been there?) and it is also just a really simple but good looking bracelet.

 

You can even spice it up by using a hair tie in a fancy color, or just go for a classic black-white look.

3. The geometric hummingbird

Do I really need to explain why I like it?

It’s just so cute!

4. This classy compass bracelet or necklace

 

5. This golden leaf earring

Which is also available in silver.

6. This world map necklace

Because who doesn’t want the world hanging around their neck

7. More specifically for the Africa lovers among us

This way you will always have your continent close to your heart

8. This little golden paper plane

The more environmentally responsible option.

9. This super cute pineapple

As we are heading into fall, don’t we all need a little reminder of those tropical summers

And last but certainly not least

10. This mountain ring

I mean ridge. Ring.

As a Dutch person, I can always appreciate mountains, and this little ring was all I needed to share my appreciation more publicly.

 

These are my personal favorites that are travel themed, but many more items have been added to the shop (all personally vetted by me). Make sure to check out all the other great new stuff, and not just the jewellery section.

New items have also been added to the fashion department, travel accessories or notebooks.

Oh and as a bonus

Check out this travel watch to let you know that it is always travel o’clock

Please let me know what you think of these items and which one is your personal favorite! 

Exchange

Time Flies When You’re On Exchange

So, Is that it?

It’s this time of the year. The time you, as an exchange student, realize that something great is coming to the end. You are trying to blend it out, but the thought is always with you. You have to say goodbye soon.

For me it never really was a big deal when I thought about going home. I was sure that I’m going to miss my exchange but I did not expect me to be extremely sad and sensible. And I really was fine! I can remember they told us at the pre orientation seminar that the last three month are going to be the hardest, because you just found your friends and your routine.

No homesickness anymore, no cultural shock, but you start thinking you have to go soon. But they could not prepare us for what was really coming. April and May turned out to be the best month of my exchange experience because of exactly these reasons.

The time was running and I barely could feel it. I still did not think that I could possibly realize my exchange was over before I get to the airport. At the beginning of May I had my prom and I had the time of my life. For my Birthday I got the yearbook of our school from my best friend so I could give it around and get it signed by everybody.

When I read the little note (it was more like a half paged letter) one of my friends left me in there it hit me like a rock. I started crying and I could not stop for hours. I finally realized that it is coming to an end and I have to say goodbye.

I think we all have this moment at one point of our exchange. A moment when you realize that this is going to end soon and you just don’t want it to. But this shows us that our exchange was a great experience and that we had the time of our life.

In between end of the year parties, graduation and other fun things the thought that we have to leave soon stays with us all the time though.

No matter how hard we try to enjoy these last weeks we will always be a little bit melancholic.

Looking back on my exchange year, I can not tell how fast the time was passing. I remember moments where it felt like I was crawling from day to day and thought that it’ll be an eternity until I I’ll be back home. On the other hand time was running and I was just rushing through the month.

The first month you spend abroad you might think that you not going to see your family again that soon, that you will live at this new and strange place for the next period of time and you have so many new experiences you can’t believe would fit in one month, but with the month passing, getting used to everything and getting a routine time flies by.

So far for me my days abroad are over. The last weeks are hard to describe. I tried making the best of the mixed feelings I had. Sometimes I would make jokes of it, sometimes I was sad. But for me it felt important to have these serious moments with my friends and host family and to tell them that I am going to miss them.

I hope that I will see all of them again soon and to keep in touch with them. But I know they will always be there for me, even if we might not have contact in a while.

Because you know your friendships are real as soon as you have to say goodbye. And that this goodbye won’t last forever.

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This guest post was written by Andrea Stützer, a German exchange student who is nearly ending her year in the United States.
Exchange

An Exchange Doesn’t Have To Be The Year Of Your Life

”The exchange doesn’t have to be the year of your life”

Sometimes I can feel like there’s a lot of pressure on you having the time of your life –all the time- during your exchange. Like the experience has to be life changing, eye-opening and completely amazing and that you, when it’s time to go back home, have to feel like you never want to leave. Like you’re supposed to book your plane ticket as late as possible and get all ‘OMG DONT TALK ABOUT I WILL CRYYY” when someone mentions your return.

And sure. Some of you will most likely feel like that, and of course that’s great! But if you don’t, if you (although it’s sad to leave) feel like it’s pretty nice to come home; don’t worry. You’re not an ungrateful, spoiled, negative crybaby. You just like your home. And that is, when you think about it, pretty great too.

You can’t spend a year having fun and being happy every single minute. Doing an exchange is hard. It has its ups and downs, just like the life back home. The only difference is that the ups might be even higher and the downs even deeper.

Doing an exchange is amazing, no doubt. You will learn and experience so much, you will get so many great memories and weird stories to tell and you will get friends all over the world, a second (and maybe a third and forth) family. It is, truly, a great experience.

But. You will get bored sometimes, just like home. You will complain about school, just like home. You will get annoyed at your host parents, just like your real parents. You will have days when all you want to do is to lie in your bed and watch Netflix and eat chocolate. Days when you feel like you’d rather been back home and ask yourself: “why did I go?” (Even if this, hopefully, is just temporary).

And you know what? That’s okay.

It’s okay if you’re not all amazed about your year abroad. If you don’t feel like it changed your life forever. If your friends at home still are your better friends. If you don’t get along super well with your host brother. If you don’t feel like you could spend the rest of your life in your host country. If you count the days that are left until you see your parents again. Don’t feel guilty about it. Don’t worry about you not trying hard enough or being ungrateful. All those things don’t have to mean you’re not happy about your exchange. That you don’t like your host country or the people or the food or your city. It just means you like your life at home too. And the exchange will always be, even if you didn’t have the time of your life all the time, a great experience and something you should never regret that you did.

This post was written by Elma Pålsson born 1996, from a small village in the south of Sweden, doing an exchange in a small town in the middle of the pampas in Argentina, named Coronel Suarez. (14-15) with Rotary.

Language

What Language Should You Learn Next?

This article was originally posted on EuropeLanguageJobs.com

The world is becoming increasingly multilingual. The future belongs to polyglots! Monolinguals are a dying breed. In my home country of the UK we are experiencing a surge in language learning – maybe the word surge is a little strong, but something is happening.

But why do people learn languages? Is it to make themselves more employable? Is it because they particularly like the sound or just to make travel easier and more enjoyable?

These are all questions you should ask yourself before you set out on the titanic quest of learning another language. You should know how difficult it is and how much the language(s) you speak already will help you with conquering the next one.

It’s a widely accepted fact that speaking more than one language increases your employability, as well as being a very rewarding experience for the individual. If you are one such polyglot, then take a look at our language profiles below to help you make that important decision.

The six categories we include are:

  • Employability: using the percentage of job offers with a specific language and measuring it against the percentage of our candidates who speak that language, we can arrive at an employability status.
  • Attractiveness: using a survey from the website thetoptens.com we have given the languages ratings of attractiveness.
  • Difficulty: with information from infographics created by thecultureist.com we have given rough indications of the ease with which each language can be learnt.
  • European ranking: this is the number of native speakers of the language in Europe.
  • Number of countries: the number of countries where the language is an official  language in Europe.
  • Offers on ELJ: this is the number of active offers we currently have listed on the Europe Language Jobs website.      



Which is the one for you?

Are you looking to increase your employability? Or are you trying to make yourself a more attractive person – as if that was possible! Or maybe you just fancy being able to say that you are multilingual without too much effort and are therefore looking for an easy option. Whatever your motivation, these awesome infographics should help you decide…

Some big names may be missing from the selection but we wanted to choose an accurate cross-section of the main languages of Europe, covering the main strands of Slavic, Germanic and Romantic.

The great thing about the world we live in is that we have access to quality content of all types for free to help us learn new skills from the comfort of our own home. Sites like YouTube and apps such as Duolingo have totally rewritten the self-teaching rulebook.

So if you’ve been inspired to learn Swedish, because it’s actually much easier than you thought and they have pretty people there, why not get started today?

Exchange

Is An Exchange Really Worth It?

A few days ago someone told me “My family would never accept you. I mean, you took a year off to go party in France, you’re 19, and just barely started college”.

Good thing it was over the phone cause I swear I would’ve slapped the heck out of this person without thinking it twice. My mind was clouded in anger, I felt insulted, as if this individual had said something about my mother.

When this happened, I did nothing, I just decided to ignore itand continue the conversation at pure ease, as if nothing ever happened. Days later, here I am, writing this essay or article or whatever I decide for it to be.

Trust me, it’s not the first time I ask myself this. Most of my friends graduated at 17, already have 2 years of college, half of their careers, or almost ready to graduate and continue on with their masters. Then there’s me.

I also graduated at 17, but I decided to do a year abroad in France, learn my third language, and start college at 18. I started college at 19, turns out life does not always end up as expected. Anyway, as I mentioned before, I have thought about this several times before.

Was it worth it? I’m 2 years behind, still not sure about life, and seeing how everyone around me is at least halfway through their career or one year away from graduating. Was it really worth it?

The answer is yes. Hell yes. Hell yeah. In any way you want to see it, the answer is yes. Am I graduating 2 years later than most of my friends? Yes. Does that mean I’m a failure? No. Going on exchange made me understand a lot of things.

Things that people are not able to learn inside a classroom. It taught me tolerance towards others. It taught me to be curious towards other cultures, and not only cultures, but towards every aspect of life. I learned how to investigate, ask, learn, comprehend. It taught me that being lost is not a bad thing. Sooner or later you will find yourself.

It taught me that family could extend to places you never thought it could. It taught me that the world is not as big as we think it is. And let me just ask you, could I learn that during the first two years of college?

Exchange is hard. Living abroad is hard. Not understanding a word is hard. Not knowing what is happening is hard. It’s a shit show, trust me, but it’s a shit show that is worth going through. It’s worth living it every second of every day.

So, to the person that said that to me, I do not care what your family or really what anyone thinks of me and the fact that I took a year off to “party”, Sure, I had a great time abroad, but it was full of obstacles I had to overcome. Obstacles that made me who I am today, and I could not be any happier with the person I became.

 

This guest post was submitted by Ana Vásquez

Language

English As a Second Language: Who in Europe Speaks it Best?

 

This article was originally shared on EuropeLanguageJobs.com

English as a second language is becoming more and more competitive. Due to the weight the language carries in the modern, professional world, speaking English is fast becoming less of a benefit and more of an essential, or even basic, requirement when looking for a job in Europe.

Approximately 2 billion people study English worldwide and some countries find it easier than others to pick it up. Throughout the emerging generations of many nationalities, proficiency is almost ubiquitous as people are becoming more and more serious about language learning. For example, companies like ESL offer language courses abroad, giving people the opportunity to properly immerse themselves in a new culture.

Based on the percentage of English proficiency in the adult population, here’s the list!

 

10)  Belgium

The Belgian people have increased their overall English level since the 2015 figures and their hard work has bumped them up into the top 10 countries who speak English as a second language best! Welcome to the list Belgium.

9)  Poland           

With more and more Poles moving and working abroad their need to learn English has increased too. However, Polish as a language is on the rise in the UK, as Brits fall in love with Polish expats and look to learn their language.

8)  Germany    

 The Germans, with their industrial efficiency, have always had a firm grip of the English language. The modern language of the business world is English and, as German businesses are dominating the European market, the pressure on professionals to speak English to a proficient level is higher than ever.

7)  Austria       

Just beating its geographical and linguistic neighbours to the number 7 spot, is Austria. Sharing its borders with a whopping eight countries, it’s little wonder that the people of Austria have an aptitude for languages.

6)  Luxembourg            

For the very same reasons as Austria, it is hardly a shock to see this tiny landlocked country so high on the list. With heavy influences from both East and West, the country has three official languagesFrenchGerman and Luxembourgish – and on top of that, well over half of the adult population having a proficient level of English!

 

5)  Finland          

We start to head more to the north of Europe as we near the top of the list. Finland has a population of just under 5.5 million people, and almost 70% of its adult population speak high-level English.

4)  Norway                         

Norway is far from a surprise entry in at number four. The Norse languages also have had a huge influence on the English language after the occupation of the Vikings over a thousand years ago.

3)  Sweden        

Sweden has been knocked off the top spot and slip into third place since the 2015 stats. However, their reputation for about as near-native English as you can get, remains strong and I´m sure they’ll be back with a vengeance.     

2)  Denmark      

As approach the grand finale, the countries are becoming less and less surprising. Denmark, yet another Scandinavian country, comes in a number two. The language of the Danes is also growing in demand in Europe, but who could possibly have beaten them to the top spot in terms of English proficiency?!

1)  Netherlands              

Congratulations to the Dutch, not only on their ability to invent hilarious surnames, but also on their ability to speak the English language. Their linguistically gifted population has knocked the Swedes off the number one position…for now.

This list refers to Europe, however if it included all the countries in the world (obviously where English is not a native language) it would be almost identical but countries six to ten would each slip one place lower, as Singapore would slot in at number six.

It is unsurprising to see the top four dominated by Nordic countries – and the Netherlands. They have an increasing knack for topping lists, having very high living standardspopulation satisfaction as well as cost of livingGermany may have been Europe’s most popular country but they are maybe lower than you would have expected considering their mechanical proficiency in most things.  

Also – and I believe this to be key – in the Nordic countries they do not dub the television into their own languages. Whereas, in FranceSpain and even Germany, they translate the television into the country language, despite the majority of TV shows being American or English.

There is also a noticeable lack of southern European countries, with Austria being the southernmost point of the list.  But, perhaps unsurprisingly, the Dutch reign supreme over the non-native English speaking world. In fact, I regularly meet Dutch and Scandinavian people and assume that they, like me, are English; that’s how flawless their accents are.

Inspired to improve your English or master a new language? There are several free apps such as Duolingo, as well as YouTube channels where you can receive free lessons. With today’s resources you’ve got no excuse for being monolingual!  

Figures sourcewww.ef.com.es/epi 

 

 

Travel

5 Top Tips for Saving Money When You’re on Holiday

Looking to head off on a holiday in the next few weeks or months? Travelling abroad can forge memories which’ll last forever, but that doesn’t mean it won’t cost you a pretty penny in the process. If you’re looking to save as much as you can on your travels, take heed of these five tips for saving money when you’re on holiday.

1. Cook your own meals

It might seem like a hassle to do so, but cooking your own meals when you’re out on holiday is a clever way of saving a few pennies on your overall travel expenses. Unless you’ve paid for an all-inclusive vacation where the food is provided for you, you’ll definitely save money preparing dishes at your accommodation.

There are several different types of meals you’ll be able to easily produce for yourself, all of which are relatively easy and tasty. Make it fun by using natural and locally sourced ingredients from the area you’re staying in.

 

  2. Travel in low season

Heading out during a time of the year when prices are reduced is a smart way of saving money if you’ve got your heart set on visiting a load of tourist attractions. These might see the price of your vacation skyrocket if you hit them in the hotter months.

Generally speaking, travel in the winter or autumn months (which’ll be dependent on the part of the globe the country is in) will result in you experiencing a massive decrease in prices across the board. The tourist traps will still be there, but with less custom they’re likely to not offer such extortionate prices.

3. Don’t waste money on frivolous things

There’s no end to the ridiculous trinkets available for purchase from the markets and stalls you’ll find strewn along wherever it is you’re visiting. Souvenirs seem like a great idea in the moment, but do they really serve a purpose in the long-term?

The silliest souvenirs out there are often some of the more expensive, with the likes of t-shirts, “traditional” clothing, rugs and even vuvuzelas just a small selection of the ridiculous types of things people will come back from a holiday with. They’re a waste of cash, and something you won’t appreciate as soon as a few weeks after you’re home.

4. Budget

When it comes to saving money on holiday, it stands to reason you’ll be able to make a positive difference if you sit down before heading out and give yourself a strict budget to adhere to while you’re away.

Giving yourself a set amount you’re willing to spend every day will cap how much you’re leaking when it comes to funds. While you may need to go above this pre-determined number in case of an emergency, try your best not to.

5. Plan ahead

You can make your trip a little clearer (and therefore theoretically more money-efficient) by plotting out your schedule beforehand. Make the most of holiday planning tools you can find online, to roughly plan where you want to go and what you want to do.

This basic plan of attack doesn’t have to be regimentally stuck to, but it does at least provide you with an outline of where you’ll be going and how much you’ll be spending.

Have these money saving tips helped when it comes to your next holiday? Follow the advice we’ve given here and you should find yourself saving money when it comes to future travel plans.

Travel

The Emotional Cost Of Travel

How can you afford to travel all the time? It´s a great question that many would like to know the answer to.  How to get to that state of financial independence that allows you to roam around the world, exploring a new city every month. But sometimes, we forget that the price of travel doesn’t only come in dollars.

Travel as a lifestyle isn´t a ‘normal´ thing. That means that when you decide to travel, it means you have to give up other parts that belong to a normal lifestyle. When you travel often you miss out on a lot of things. A lot of those things are very mundane and are totally worth giving up when seen as one thing. But adding all those little mundane things up you get a lifestyle of comfort and structure, something that becomes harder and harder to maintain when you keep wanting to discover new things.

So the cost of travel doesn’t just come in dollars. It also comes in the feeling of homesickness, because you no longer know where home is. It comes in thousands of international Facebook friends but not as many close friends that you get to hang out with all the time. It comes in having to say goodbye to people, places and feelings even if you don´t want to.
Travel has taught me to be more independent, but sometimes I fear that my independence is getting in the way of me making actual relations with people. Instead, from the moment I meet them I start emotionally preparing for the moment we will have to say good-bye again.

And, maybe the worst part of travel, when you come `home´ and you realize nothing has changed, except you. It feels the same, yet it feels different, because everything you’ve experienced have made you into a different person, with different hopes and dreams, different stories to tell, yet people still have the same hopes and dreams as before and still talk about the same things at the dinner table. It´s that feeling that eventually led to this blog, and all it stands for. “Too foreign for home, too foreign for here, never enough for both” (by Ijeoma Umebinyuo) 

That feeling of not belonging where you are supposed to belong

Now I would be lying if I said it wasn’t worth it. It´s one of those no light without darkness kind of situations, ying and yang, where positive and negative feelings can perfectly balance each other out. But I would also be lying if I said I wasn’t struggling with it. I see people settling down, having all these things that my lifestyle would never allow me to have, yet I know that even if I wanted to, I couldn’t live like that because I’ve been bitten by the so-called travel bug. It´s the burden of knowing what is out there, because what has been seen can never be unseen. The world is too big and too beautiful to live life in one place and I would encourage anyone and everyone to go and live abroad, travel the world and chase all of your dreams. However, you should realize that it´s not only a financial but also an emotional commitment and once you go, you can never go back.

Post-Exchange Life

When Everything Is Possible After Your Exchange

I don’t know if all of you have the same feeling as me after going back home, but here is my story.

I haven’t been shy since I turned 12 and started to wear braces. I never had problems with my look, with having friends or traveling. I was kinda mature, independent and knew what I wanted to do in my life. So my exchange wasn’t exactly about that. But it changed my life the way I wasn’t expecting – all of us experienced this.

The changes started quick (earlier than magic three months). In my case firstly I started to see the change in my body – obviously I gained weight (again like most of us). Later I saw more interesting changes like having feelings different than happiness or sadness (yeah I was kinda heartless before exchange haha). Later I realized how much I have learned and grew up. How problems are not problems any more. How being sometimes lonely is not the end of the world. How forcing yourself to be a good exchange student by not staying all the time in your room, trying to talk with host families in a free time, helping them in the house, going for Rotary meetings, helping with Rotary programs, being thankful and even going to school every single day is not that bad and you actually like it. Changes  go on and on, because exchange is not only going to other country and someone is comings to yours – it’s also in my opinion (ex)changing yourself into a new person who is mostly better you, who will not be recognized by your family or friends, but it’s ok, it’s good, it’s really good! Remember this!

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Going to the topic of this post. After all these changes happened I returned home. My parents already knew that I had changed, but my friends didn’t. About some things I hadn´t even though. My friends told me – for example I started to wear dresses, I stopped to friend zone boys and actually started to flirt with them. I didn’t care about what people thought about me any more. Then came first day of school and it began – all the things which seemed impossible for some people were pretty easy. I came to my school knowing only few names (because all my friends have graduated when I was on exchange). None of them were my friend and after less than a month I had friends who I could hang out with, in the first week I wasn’t sitting alone in the classes (and it wasn’t because someone had to sit next to me because of no more free spots) or staying alone on the hallway. After four months I started to have a boyfriend (another huge change at me for my friends who remember my ex from the beginning of high school and few random kisses, because as I mentioned earlier I opened my heart for feeling during the year abroad). I count it as a little success after exchange hahaha
Later I had a huge challenge with organizing Rotary meeting in my city for exchange students in Poland. That’s a thing which is organized by Rotaract club every year and as I’m a member and I didn’t know how hard it was I have decided to do it. I supposed to have a lot of help from others members, but like we all know everyone has their own lifes and not everybody can help you and of course I revived some help, but so mostly I had to do everything by myself – luckily one of the guys who was organizing this meeting two years earlier helped me by telling me what I have to do, giving me all the contacts and other stuff, but it was still crazy. It was all did in three weeks, one of the most difficult weeks in my life, trying to get everything done so all the Rotary people will be happy and what is more important make this three days amazing for almost 60 exchange students. After having a huge problem with booking a hotel, because there was also some other event in my city and all the hotels where booked, I had some other issues and finally few days before I was just praying. Finally it all went so good, awesome and exchange students were very satisfied. And from then on I knew that the only way I could have done it is because I “survived” a year on exchange.
During this year I also applied for new in my country Rotary exchange program (New Generation Exchange), which is a program for few weeks (6 weeks to three months) in the other country where You can have an internship. I would never say before my year in US that I will go on next vacation to South America – and I did, I’m here in Colombia. I stay here for a little bit longer than two month and I feel so good. I feel amazing being exchange student again, living in the other country, meeting new people, learning a language (which we all know is sometimes so hard), traveling and loving it so badly that I don’t wanna go home.

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I could go on with things which became possible after coming back home, but I guess this already says enough. I just wanna add; everything is possible during and after your exchange. It’s your life, your new life! Take chances, don’t overthink it, make this year your year, makes your dream come true during rest of your life and when you come back home remember that you are exchange student and that you will always be, not all the people will understand you, for the closest one or just friends (for me it’s my boyfriend) it may be so hard to figure out why are you going abroad again, why do you keep in touch with people who you met few times and who are miles away from you. But I can tell you one thing – do in Your life whatever YOU want to do and not others wants you to do – be independent, be different, crazy, free and You will have a great time! And now go live your life, have fun and remember you can only reagent things that you haven’t done

This post was written by Magda. She is 20-year-old Polish girl who did her exchange in Colorado, USA.

 

 

Exchange Student Problems, Study Abroad 101

How To Beat Homesickness

Homesickness. It is probably something everyone has to deal with at some point in their life, and it´s awful. However, despite what it might feel like, homesickness might not necessarily be about you missing ‘home´ but more about you missing ´a home´, in the sense that you might miss the feeling of a more stable, reliable and familiar situation. The lack of a familiar situation can make you nostalgic for the things you had before, even if you never even liked them at the time (in the academic world, this is called the Nutella Syndrom). This can result in you trying to hold on to the past, which will make the homesick, ending up in a vicious cycle. However, you can break this cycle by following these two steps.

Step 1: Make Peace With Your Old Home

It´s very normal to feel homesick from time to time, but it´s a horrible feeling that ultimately will make all parts of your life much harder. After all, your home what you have known for a big part of your life. The challenge is to find a balance in cherishing the memories, without this interfering with your new life.

Now, in order to get rid of your homesickness you have to make peace with the fact that the place you are longing for is not a reality at the moment, and that doesn´t have to be a bad thing. Things change all the time, and so you have to change. Try not to think in the past but in the future.

A very important part of not trying to live in the past is to make sure the way you are keeping contact with your friends and family back home isn´t taking over your life. If you want to know what the best way to keep contact with home is, click here to read the article ‘How To Keep Contact With Your Friends And Family While Being Abroad´.

One thing that can help is to write yourself a letter about all the things you didn´t like about home. You can write this letter beforehand, in a moment you are angry or upset, but if you are suffering from homesickness right now it might be a better idea to write a list of things you didn´t like. This can be anything from the weather to family arguments or a bad valuta. This is not necessarily to demonize your old home, but for you to find a balance. When feeling homesick people often romanticize and idealize their old home, and ´ ideal´ places could never live up to reality.

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Step 2: Create A New Home

This might seem like an obvious one, but getting a new home will most likely take care of the nostalgic feelings you are having about your old home. The best way to do this is to create a routine that you follow. Decorate your place in a way that makes it feel like home. Of course, this is easier said that done, but here are a few things you can think of.

Create A Routine

Try to do certain things at the same time. That means waking up at the same time, taking a morning walk around the same park, getting coffee at the same place, giving a dollar to the same homeless man in front of the supermarket. Creating a new routine will help you find your place when everything is new and will help create a more stable environment.

Part of this might be to decorate your house, and make it into a home! Hang pictures on the wall (preferably pictures that aren´t of your friends and family back home). Try to make it a nice environment that will make you feel comfortable and more at ease.

Learn The Language

When you move to a different place and don´t know the language, it´s hard to expect to feel at home. Learning the language might be hard, but putting in all the effort in the first months will definitely pay off on the long run!

In order to make more contacts, you could also join a Language Exchange group, or ask people around you to help. You would be surprised how many people are willing to help you learn! But don´t forget, you are the outsider, which means you will have to take most of the initiative. Local people already have a social circle and even if they really did enjoy meeting you, for them there is just not the same amount of pressure to make a new friendship or to make an effort to meet you.

Create New Traditions

One of the things we usually miss about our old homes are the traditions. Therefore, an easy solution to missing the old traditions is to make new ones. Have a dinner night at your place every Friday night. Have a certain spot where you and your friends always meet. Try to incorporate some of the local traditions into your daily life. Even if you don´t get them, or they are not the same as they were at home, new traditions will quickly make you feel more at home and before you know it, you´ll be in some other place feeling homesick for the new memories you have created. 

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Make Friends

Obviously having a group of friends around you is very beneficial to your well-being, and I don´t think I have to spend any more words explaining why. If you are not sure how to go about making new friends, don´t panic. In the post ‘How To Make Local Friends Abroad´ I explain how you can find yourself some local friends.a

Again, don´t forget, you are the outsider, which means you will have to take most of the initiative. Local people already have a social circle and even if they really did enjoy meeting you, for them there is just not the same amount of pressure to make a new friendship or to make an effort to meet you, which is why it is sometimes hard to make friends abroad. Don´t worry though, realizing why people sometimes don´t  seem to care as much as you do is half of the work. Don´t feel afraid to ask someone again if they couldn´t make it the first time.

If you´d rather have international friends, you might want to consider joining an Expat or Exchange student network. Facebook offers a great amount of Facebook group these days, so just try and search for ‘Expats [ insert city or province name ]´ and see what comes up!

Or maybe you could even join a dating site or use an app like Tinder to go on romantic dates. Having some love in your life could make all the pain go away in a second!

Talk about it

It´s okay to let people know you are struggling with this. Maybe not everyone will understand to the same extent what it feels like to miss home, but the majority of people are more than understanding to the subject, and the fact that they know you are going through this can make them more open and helping towards you.

One of the most comforting things in hard times is knowing that you are not alone. Therefore, it might even be more comforting to speak to other foreigners, as they are probably going through the same process. Even if other people don´t seem to show it, you will probably be surprised how many people are feeling just as miserable as you at times (and are really good at hiding it!). Feel no shame, you are not alone!

Keep a journal

I would recommend everyone to do this. Keeping a diary can help you reflect on your emotions. It´s good to read back things you have written years, months or even days before. It can help you remember the things you maybe didn´t like when you were back home, or how much you longed to go abroad. It can also keep track of your progress in the process of feeling at home in your new place. Reading back the first impressions you had, how lost you felt in the first days will make you realize how far you´ve come already.

 

In the end, time might be the best remedy. Don´t beat yourself up about, because feeling homesick is natural. Just don´t think that going back home will solve that problem.

If you ever feel the need to talk, you can always reach me through the Nationality Unknown Facebook page