The journey of an expat is often met with many challenges, especially when travelling solo. Despite that, it can be a very rewarding and memorable experience. One of the many emotions experienced by travelling expats and students is, loneliness, together with a lack of sense of belonging. This can be the downfall for many expats as it can be quite difficult to recover from it. With that being said, it is possible to overcome loneliness and in this article, we will give you some tips how to do that.
One of the first problems that arises is that, in the beginning one is caught with too many things to do, such as, settling in the new apartment, signing contracts and getting used to new routines, that they will not dedicate enough time in making friends. Whilst at first it may not seem as a priority, finding the right friends is not easy task and the earlier you start the better. Without friends, one tends to feel a sense of isolation and develops the mentality that they have to fend solely by themselves.
Another limitation arises due to the lack of knowledge about the surrounding areas. Newcomers often do not know where to go and where all the entertainment is. Research well about your location and ask experienced people where to visit and what events to attend. Apart from that, it also helps to form part of expat groups, where you can meet many people with similar interests.
Make socializing a priority and ensure that you reserve a day for leisure in your busy schedule. Whilst working hard is crucial for a good quality of life, leisure is also very important in order to maintain a work/life balance.
Once you start meeting new people, try not to be too picky. Learn how to allow more people in your life and have the ability to enjoy yourself with different characters. Do not let cultural or language barriers stop you from making friends, keep yourself open and interact with as many people as possible.
Another way to beat loneliness is to keep your objectives insight. Focus on your goals, reasons why you moved abroad and remind yourself what you wish to achieve out of this move. There is also the option to seek professional advice or the opinions of other experienced expats.