Dealing with homesickness in Singapore

Hello everyone,

Being an expat in Singapore 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 Singapore? Or maybe venues with music and ambiance from your homeland?

Thanks for sharing your experience,


Singapore is such a cosmopolitan and diverse place that everyone can find anything from anywhere, really. There is no reason to be homesick for worldly possessions!
However, being far from friends and family, in an unfamiliar place is cause for most homesickness - and the antidote is the same in Singapore as elsewhere: Go out, explore, meet new friends an make this strange place your new home - this is easy here and you'll be surprised how "homesick" you will be for Singapore once you leave again.

Homesickness I presume this word can be felt within your own country, unless you are coming from a small country.

Singapore is (probably) the only cosmopolitan city in Asia where you will find various ethnic group of people (though mainly from Chinese origin), and can get all kind of food (just name it). People are friendly and help you if you are in need. It's a clean and safe place to be with your family n friends. As everything has its drawback, it has too. I only find the humidity (climate) and its size. Other than that you will love this place and you will miss this place the day you leave (as Beepi said).

Homesickness is a part of living alone. The best way to deal with it is making some friends. Those who are new and stay alone might feel the pinch for sometime. I found weekend walking groups, photography friends and one or two colleagues with whom I might get a chance to catch a film at times. Overall my best relaxation has been travel. For sometime, untill one is settled Singapore offers cheap travel options to different places in South East Asia, that's a great thing to explore. I still did not find a few interested persons for shoestring group travel yet. But, overall the plans and preparation for traveling o long weekends keep me ticking. I also find relaxation in preparing my own food, and sometimes playing on PS4. Enjoy Singapore, make some friends, get a camera... and everything else will be fine.

When in Rome, so as the Romans do. Live where you are; ergo, you are home wherever you are. Do not get homesick, or you miss out on what happens at your place in time.

For those missing food back home, I suggest get out and explore what foods are available where you live. It's amazing how people back home look forward to going out for an Asian meal as if it's a real treat. In Singapore, and many other places, you can enjoy exotic and delicious Asian food everyday, and for most other western foods you can pretty much find it in the many supermarkets and specialist food stores. And there are lots of companies in the west selling groceries online where you can order your Edinburgh Rock, Mr. Kipling's Battenberg Cakes and Clotted Cream Fudge delivered right to your front door.

For those missing family and friends, this may be related to loneliness. I mean, if you are having a really great time then you won't have time to miss those people. And they will really be envious of you living out in some place exotic. They really must be so jealous of you. And if you are married and have children, then I don't know why you'd feel homesick for friends and family.

Anyway, the way I feel is that if you are really really homesick, then perhaps you shouldn't be living in Singapore but living back where you come from. I don't know about the rest of you, but I embrace every country I have ever lived in. I consider every day a new adventure. That's the great thing about living abroad, it's an adventure.

I remember my dad told me that, when he was young, his father sends them snail mails or cassette tapes with "voice recordings" - which, I think they get to receive every month or two.

I guess what I'm saying is that I feel a bit lucky, because now we have social media and "instant" messaging apps that I use to communicate with my family and friends easily. That thought alone eases any feeling of "homesickness. "

I wish someone had warned me about the homesickness before I arrived.  I was homesick for a long time and still get bouts of it now, five years after being here.   It is a feeling of deep unease, you are sad for no reason, everything is foreign, nothing feels comfortable, and you carry around the overwhelming thought in your head "this was such a bad idea, now how do I get of this and out of here?"

The first three weeks of living in Singapore, I smiled broadly at every European looking person I saw on the street.  I was so happy to see my 'normal'. Everything tasted wrong even our usual brands of food.  The heat was unrelenting during the day and the sun was far too bright and it made my eyes hurt.  The apartment was too new to be a 'home' and my husband was trying too hard.

How to cure homesickness?  The answer is time and friends. 

Eventually it all becomes your new normal.  People look different here, sound different, do different things and after a while you realise - that is OK.  You get use to the food and even begin to like it.  You find out how to deal with the heat and the sun becomes less bright.  You even find you are enjoying yourself.

Best advice I ever received about moving countries - "date other women" - at first I thought this was very odd advice, but it is true.  You have to go out and find friends and if you are a woman, find other women.  Meet for coffee, meet for lunch, invite people to your place, use your children as a way to make friends or join groups.  Talking and connecting with people makes you feel better and you will realise you are not the only one feeling the way you do.  You need a support network and you have to go out and find one. 

Homesickness is the worst feeling in the world but it does go away...

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