How I’m Beating Homesickness

General, Living in Phnom Penh / Saturday, September 11th, 2010

Time flies. I’ve been here in Phnom Penh for two years already and I must say I’m doing really well. I had apprehensions from the start and one of the most difficult things I have to overcome and still try to overcome often is home sickness. The first few months I was at wits end wondering what to do about how to do this and that, adjusting to the language barrier, meeting new people, trying to fit in with my Khmer in-laws..

Once I was settled in and I was gradually adjusting to out routine and things weren’t so hectic anymore, that’s when homesickness kicked in. I’m sure most expats living abroad goes through the same no matter how long you’ve been away from home. It’s just a natural thing to miss and yearn for something at home.

But at the onset too I’ve decided I won’t be defeated by homesickness. Living in Phnom Penh is amazing, life is simple, uncomplicated but there sure are times I miss things that makes life complicated. Like huge shopping malls, riding in crowded trains, even traffic (though now, traffic here is getting out of hand too). Mostly though I just miss my family and the food!

So how do I beat all this? Lots of ways. The trick is finding out what works for you. Here’s some tips..

  • Get online!!! Make use of those free services to get constantly in touch with loved ones. This way I feel like I’m still part of their lives and them too. Facebook, Skype, YM etc etc. This are all for free, all you need is an internet connection!
  • We used to have TFC on cable TV at home. But I found that the more I watch it the more homesick I get. Perhaps its the opposite of what others feel, but for me I’d much rather catch up of news and stuff just by reading online or through bits of videos on youtube. So now we don’t have TFC and I feel a lot better.
  • Indulge in crafts, that is if you are the crafty type. In my case, instead of twiddling my thumbs doing nothing , why not learn something creative? Here in Phnom Penh, I rediscovered my love for crocheting, digi-scrapbooking, drawing.
  • Blog or start a diary. Instead of bottling it all up, why not start a blog and share your experiences. That what this blog is, really. Someplace where I can blab and blurb abou living in Phnom Penh, things I discover, the culture and lifestyle. If you’d rather have a much more private venue for your thoughts, then grab a notebook and start a daily diary. It sure helps, releasing pent up emotions.
  • Make friends! One of the reasons I love blogging a lot is because it has brought me a lot of new things. And the best gift from blogging would be my friends. I think I’d be a little lost without them. Though we don’t see each other daily, we still manage to share stuff through Facebook. Coffee dates, girl take, thrift shopping,spa sessions,  lunch with Phnom Penh friends are one of the things I really look forward to every week.
  • Discover. New places, new food. Living in a different place offers a lot of new things, new perspectives. Rather than criticizing this things because they are different from what you are used to why not try to experience it? This is what I like doing now, discovering, tasting, and learning more about culture, lifestyle and everything else about Cambodia.
  • Cook Pinoy food! Or check out Pinoy restos around. Luckily, we have a Filipino grocery here so getting what I need for Filipino food is easy enough. Since Asian cooking also had common things, I could easily find things I need too from wet markets. If I don’t feel like cooking and craving for Pinoy food, then there’s a choice of Filipino restaurants too around Phnom Penh.

I’m pretty sure there’s more things you and I can think of to beat homesickness, but for now that’s it! Lol! I do have a lot of laundry to dry. =) Ciao! Till later.

3 Replies to “How I’m Beating Homesickness”

  1. after 15 years of living far from the Philippines, i still get homesick. cooking Filipino food really eases my homesickness. you have a great list to overcome homesickness. thanks for sharing.

  2. Thoughtful and interesting, thank you. I was brought up in manilla but moved to australia at such a young age I can hardly remember anything apart from the delicious food. I finally found some authentic Filipino recipes if you want to have a look, I thought I’d share it with you!

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