Assistant to Kindergarten Principal, Ziyo, from Tajikistan, on how to feel at home in a new country

Can’t feel at home in a new country? Here are some things you can do right now to change that!  

There’s something bittersweet about moving to a new country. On one hand, you open yourself up to a whole new world of possibilities and experiences that you could have in the new land. On the other, you might find yourself struggling to make yourself feel at home, even if you’ve lived there for years!

This week’s podcast was with Ziyo, a 27 year old from Tajikistan that had been moving all around the world since he was 17 years old! He talked about what home really means to him and how he goes about trying to make every new country he lives in as homey as possible.

Even Ziyo agreed that this is probably the hardest part about moving abroad. However, it’s not impossible. There are things you can do to make yourself feel at home in a new country, even if things seem super hard at first, and that’s exactly what we’re going to be discussing in this post, along with the little reasons you might be struggling to call the new place home.

So let’s jump right into it!

 Reasons You Can’t Feel at Home in a New Country.

Here are a few reasons why you might be struggling to call the new country your own home.

 You’re not really embracing it.

You can love a place but still not embrace it enough to call it home. That’s something most people end up doing, they move to a new country but stay in “tourist mode”. When you move, embrace the move from within, and try your hardest to make it feel as safe as home!

 You’re not letting people in

This is something Ziyo talked about too. He said that unless he can form deep connections with people, he can’t really call a place home. Even I struggled with this when I first moved to China! But it’s very important to come to terms with the fact that to feel at home. You have to let people in. Let yourself form deep friendships and relationships. As long as you keep forcing yourself to be alone in the world, you won’t really get to make the new place home.

 It’s not what you had dreamed it would be

You might’ve had a very clear idea of the place you were moving to, and it’s possible that once you actually made a move, things weren’t anything like you thought they would be. That can make you want to dissociate from your present. Don’t let your expectations ruin your today. Make peace with it and work around it!

 It’s just not right.

Sometimes, if our hearts are telling us a place just isn’t it, it isn’t! At some point you might be thinking, I moved to another country and I want to go home. If you’ve done everything possible, but there are major things that keep you from feeling like you belong, you might not belong after all. There’s no shame in bidding farewell to your current place and moving somewhere else to try again!

Feel At Home
Photo by Kelly L: on

 How to Feel at Home in a New Country

Here are a few things you can do to make yourself feel at home in a new country! 

Research before making things permanent

This tip comes from Ziyo. When he first moved to China, he spent almost 2 months living out of a hotel while he tried to figure out if the new home he was eyeing was going to be worth it or not. This is a great thing because the longer you spend researching, the easier the move will be!

Get to know the area

If your house is the only place you know in the area, you’ll always struggle to feel at home. Once you’re all settled in, get out of the house! Check out all the coffee/book shops in the area, see all of the little things you can do near your house, and really get to know the place. The more you feel like you know every street and corner, the homier it’ll all feel!

Get into a routine

It’s important that you give yourself a routine, no matter where you live. Wake up in the same window, sleep at the same time, eat, and set out time for leisure. Routines are a great way to make you feel at home because it creates a familiarity with things!

 Try new things

This is something many people tend to forget about. While it’s good to move to a new place and get into a routine of things, it’s also important to try out new things! Make friends, go out and explore, try out new hobbies, things that you might not have done in your home country. When you start staying occupied, it’s easier to feel at home than to dwell on the fact that you’re not near your family.

Give it time to feel at home in a new country

Finally, if you don’t feel at home right now, it’s okay! I’m sure you might have and currently are researching, “how long does it take to feel at home in a new country/ feeling at home in a foreign country/ struggling to settle in new country”. But no amount of research will truly help you feel at home in a new country.

Moving across the world isn’t easy. There are far too many variables that would make every single person’s experience different. That’s why it’s important that before you start pushing yourself to feel at home in a new country; you give it a bit of time! Maybe all you really need is the initial shock to wear off, to make yourself feel at home! Be patient and stick through the hard phase, and before you know it, you’ll be home!

All Set to Make the Move!

Moving can be incredibly stressful, but it’s also a rewarding experience. Whether you’re moving just for a couple of months, or several years, there are going to be variables here, things that you have to acknowledge and move around. But with the tips outlined in this post, it would become a lot easier to figure out all the reasons why you don’t feel at home and how you can make it finally feel like your own home!

To know more about how Ziyo moved around all over the world and made each place as homey as possible, tune in to episode 5 of the Are we home yet Podcast with Ziyo!

Connect with Ziyo via Instagram here.

Check out the  Are we home yet podcast   to subscribe to the newsletter for updates and early access to information about new episodes and purchase the handy ebook guidebook.

Feel At Home In A New Country

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