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Newsletter editorial, Jul '13: Homesickness

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Newsletter editorial, Jul '13: Homesickness

Postby Dave » Wed 31 Jul 2013 09:54 GMT

This month's newsletter editorial was all about a typically expat ailment - homesickness, which can be a more serious problem than non-sufferers might think.

Have you ever suffered from homesickness? What did you do to alleviate the pangs? Please share your remedies with fellow sufferers here!
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Postby Graeme » Thu 1 Aug 2013 04:17 GMT

Never had it, but I've seen the way it effects others and it does seem to be pretty devastating. I wondered if it was a sort of situational depression which might be helped by a mild anti-depressant? Interesting article though. :D
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Postby Dave » Thu 1 Aug 2013 04:44 GMT

Thanks, Graeme. :-D

Likewise, I've never suffered from homesickness. Our family moved every three years or so when I was a kid, so I never put down deep roots in any one place, and I went to boarding school from the age of 12 onwards, so I've never felt tied to a particular community. I have seen a couple of people suffer with it, though. Nasty, even with a community of sympathetic people around to help.
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Loneliness a personal view

Postby Playbyte » Thu 1 Aug 2013 09:00 GMT

Expat loneliness

Being an ex military man who has served in a lot of places around the world I have become used to moving every 3 years and therefore I don't experience loneliness. However, I do experience it when I am away from my wife for periods of time.

In this day of being able to communicate by mobile, the Internet, Facebook, Twitter and indeed Skype it is very easy to keep up with family happenings and what your friends are doing.

Whenever I moved around the world it was good to know there was someone at the places i was going to who would "babysit" us until my family, and I became settled. Invariable when I moved to a new place within the Army I knew someone at the base I was going to.

It was also normal practice for someone to welcome them on arrival, buy in a starter pack of essential foods like tea, coffee, bread milk etc so that the incoming family had something to work with immediately.

Quite often letters were exchanged between the person in residence and the one coming in so that local knowledge was passed on to make it easier to settle. Nowadays, with emails, it is far quicker to be able to correspond and target the food welcoming pack to the need of the family coming in.

I think there is a niche here for expats that could be filled by a group of people setting up a system of contacts before arrival, seeing the new comers in and potentially becoming friends with them.

If they then did not feel they needed any support at least it was offered but always available to tap into.

Using the forums is a great place to get information because it is up to date, and answers questions by those who have moved to the country in the past. As a new person looking to retire to Malta I asked in the forums for an email pen friend but sadly no one took me up on the offer.

There is nothing more daunting, and exciting, to move to a new country but I am sure that having a welcoming face to see you settled in on arrival makes all the difference.

I dont think it would be an onerous task to have a number of people prepared to send welcoming emails and set up a welcoming smile at the airport. Having a group who are prepared to do, this listed and controlled through the forum. Those who are prepared to help wouldnt need to give out their personal email as one could be set up specific for this and indeed have a group listing within the forum specifically for it. Once someone takes on a new person then they could have a different email address to make it more personal.

Regards

Roger – Coming to Malta in 2016
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