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Dealing with homesickness in Namibia

Hello everyone,

Being an expat in Namibia can turn out to be a wonderful human, social or professional adventure... with potential moments of nostalgia and homesickness along the way.

What are your personal tips to prevent homesickness?

How do you deal with such feelings?

Are there shops or stores offering products from your home country in Namibia? Or maybe venues with music and ambiance from your homeland?

Thanks for sharing your experience,

Priscilla

Oh, simply by staying in touch often and regularly with those you love and vice versa back home! Nowadays with internet this is easy peasy.

Back in the days, 1983 at the age of 25, when I arrived as an expat in Johannesburg, I received piles of letters from ex-colleagues, friends and family. Once a fortnight I'd put a pile of letters on the table on the veranda with a view towards the Magaliesburg and I started replying, one by one, on the thin blue airmail paper.

Even nowadays there's no reason not to write a letter or a postcard back home because you will get replies in many cases. This in fact, in my opinion, would beat homesickness. Skype with video, oh I wish I could have done my mother that pleasure. She was my most faithful penfriend for 16 years, until her death.

From reading this post I feel nostalgic as it seems that Windhoek is still very much like Johannesburg in the eighties. People - whether SA's or expats - were hospitable and outgoing, and ate a lot of meat! :) And indeed partied like the Irish. If you end up in a place where people are standoffish and you find it hard to settle - as happened to me later in French Canada - then you will be homesick, no matter what you do. So connecting with local people and befriending them as well as expats is very important, but where there are lots of expats that is usually not a problem.

If there is one HUGE drawback about living (long enough) in a (Southern?) African country it's that you never really feel at home if you leave, not even if you go back home. Everything has changed there. Hospitality and spontaneity are unequalled. Never mind the weather. I heard it when I lived there and have experienced the dread of 'Mama Africa' calling you over and over again. She won't let you go... Feeling safe - my main reason for leaving RSA - if you are not happy otherwise is much worse than being on edge now and again.

Immerse yourself in the culture where you are and you don't really need to go to venues with music from your homeland. Youtube will offer plenty. And if you mix too much with people from your homeland you might just be exposed to the nasty gossip as if you live in a village! :)  Good luck!

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