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Making Home In A Strange Land

This article was written by:

Cynthia Grguric,

International Psychologist, PhD.


They say "home is where the heart" is. Your heart may physically be here but your real "soul" is back home. The first year of arriving in a new place can provoke many challenges. Like old lovers, one usually compares everything with how things were done or what was normal at home.


Making this a habit can set one up to feel the losses of home more and resent the ways of life in (new country). While normal to compare with what you are used to, it is important to change your focus on how much "better" your familiar system was.

Change is hard. Be honest with yourself on what you need or feel. No sense hiding or fooling yourself. You may need to grieve what you left behind before you can really accept and embrace what is being offered to you in your new home. Allow yourself to grief but set a time limit when you will move forward to make the most of your life here. The sooner you can accept and embrace your new system of life the better you will feel.

Know what you need as far as semblance of home and communication with those you left behind. Let others know too what you need for keeping connected- emails, visits, phone calls, skype.

Whether you came for yourself or for some else can matter for how quickly you acclimate to xx. Finding your own place and "mission" is important. This relieves pressure and dependency on your partner to meet all your needs and make you happy here. Take charge of your happiness and think positively accepting what opportunities are available to you in (new country). Accepting the limitations and staying focused on benefits of your new country will help you be more content.

Finally and most importantly it will matter how much you allow yourself to make friends.

Some suggestions to help with finding a community wherever you are in the world:

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