How to Make a Home Away From Home (10 Tips)

7:13 AM Shannon McLeod 0 Comments

I've lived on my own in Thailand for over six months now. This has been a life-changing experience, full of positive moments, but there are times when I am homesick. I miss being able to visit my family and friends, drive myself wherever I want to go, comfortably shop in a store, etc. I don't let my homesickness get me down though. I acknowledge the way I am feeling, let it sit with me, and do something to move past it. Here are some tips to make a home away from home.

1. Have a movie night.

The first thing I recommend is to have a movie night. Try and find one of your favorite movies online and watch it by yourself. Put on your pajamas or some other comfy clothes, dim the lights, and enjoy. Since my computer is broken, and I can't watch the movies I brought with me, I find movies on Netflix to watch.

2. Hang up DIY artwork.

Make some DIY artwork for your room. I like to take index cards and write inspiring quotes on them. I then put some washi tape around the borders of the index card and put them on my wall. You can make an entire gallery wall of these if you want to.

3. Keep your space clean.

Do the dishes from the day before you go to bed, make your bed when you wake up, sweep the floor one or two times a week, clean out your fridge once a week, spend one weekend morning or afternoon a month cleaning your entire apartment, etc. Keeping your space clean keeps your mood up. The cleaning process is also a great time to get in some exercise and clear your thoughts. I find cleaning to be more of a therapeutic experience as opposed to a chore. If you find cleaning to be boring, change the way you view cleaning. See it as a fun activity rather than something you have to do.

4. Make your favorite food.

If you don't live in rural Thailand with nothing to cook out of but a rice cooker this will be easier for you to do then it is for me. Make some chocolate chip cookies if they are your favorite food. Cook some mashed potatoes. Indulge in your favorite food. I like to make French fries in my rice cooker sometimes. They're truly one of the greatest things I've ever tasted.

5. Do something you love to do at home in your international home.

Draw, knit, write, exercise, play an instrument (if you brought it with you), start a blog, take a nap, listen to music, cook, bake, ride a bike, etc. Whatever it is you love to do, do it. Set aside a specific time once or twice a week to do the things you love most. Work can be stressful. Add on the stress of living in another country and you can get overwhelmed. Take some time for yourself to do the things you love.

6. Talk to your family and friends.

Something that always makes me feel better is talking to my friends and family. It's so easy to stay in contact these days with Facebook, Line, email, etc. I like to call my friends and family at least once a week and talk to them for a couple of hours. It makes me feel better to be able to stay connected with those I love and care about.

7. Have a solo dance party.

Sometimes you just have to stop what you are doing and dance your feelings out. Put on some of your favorite tunes and let the crazy out. Whenever I feel a lot of built up stress coming on to me, I just put my headphones in and dance for as long as I need to. I always feel better afterwards.

8. Meditate or do yoga.

I love doing yoga. I've been practicing every day this year and I honestly never want to stop. Yoga isn't just a physical practice. It's also a mindful practice. I like to meditate as well to help clear my mind. Many people are under the impression that meditation is about not thinking at all. Meditation is really about letting your thoughts come, being mindful of them, and lightly pushing them away. It is an easy practice. With either yoga or meditation, the point is to do your best at whatever stage you are at every day. Some days you can meditate longer than others. Sometimes you won't have good balance during your yoga practice. The point is that you show up and try.

9. Pamper yourself.

I did bring some face masks and nail polish with me to Thailand. Sometimes I like to pamper myself by using a face mask while I paint my nails. Your pampering could involve putting cucumbers on your eyes while you listen to music. It's up to you how you want to go about this.

10. Reorganize your space.

When you get homesick or feel stuck with where you are, one of the best things to do is to reorganize your space. This could involve changes like moving big pieces of furniture around, or it could be small. I recently cleared off a shelf in my apartment to put some of my dishes on because the top of my fridge was getting crowded. I also cleaned out some things I kept outside in my kitchen area. I never used them, so I wondered why I was wasting valuable counter space with these things. I now feel like I'm in a different apartment.

I hope these tips help you as much as they have helped me over the past six months. Please leave any suggestions you have in the comments below! Let's build a community!


Check out my previous post here.

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