Dealing with homesickness in the USA

Hello everyone,

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

Thanks for sharing your experience,


When working there the first time on a two year stint I immersed myself and integrated myself as much as possible by meeting people, and concentrated on what is good about so much of the US culture, sport, outdoors, heritage, interesting countryside and notable natural sites.  I soon felt 'at home', and part of the landscape.  The people side put me at ease, notably because the parts of the US I worked in were just great places to be. The mid west, mainly in St Louis, and Cincinnati, plus also Portland, Oregon, and Dallas Texas.  All very different, but all impressive in their own ways.

I returned to the UK every 2 months or so, and only missed family and friends, plus the greener landscape of the UK.

I usually found a 'British' shop somewhere on my travels for treats, but I completely changed to eating US food, but in moderation.  I actually lost weight while there, which I put down to very long walks on various trails where I was based.

Everybody's different, and what keeps some people afloat abroad would not fit others, but live the life there, walk a lot, eat properly, seek out good people, and immerse yourself in the culture, ...... and you will enjoy!

I must admit that I've found it harder to make friends over here than I thought it would be. I have made efforts to bring my neighborhood together, organize golf and make myself known.

To beat any homesickness, I download BBC podcasts and my commute becomes a British haven. Most of my downloads are comedy shows and the Radio Sheffield Breakfast Show  podcast.  In effect, for 1 hr a day, I could easily be commuting anywhere in the UK.


'My Dance in the Clouds'r review]k under review]rried, and frenetic, with an overload of information and demands. I miss the mountains and the sea. I miss, oddly, the winds of Old Ireland. 

How do I deal with it?

A mixture of ways.  Realism, for one. The knowledge that the Ireland of old has changed a lot. The world is transforming even as we reflect. Even while we ponder the good, and the not-so-good, the realization that 'only Change is constant' is maybe not the equivalent of a warm and comforting embrace. But it does, in some ways, provide us with an encouraging pat on the back. This IS 'the New World', and I am privileged to be here.  Carpe Diem. Live each day. Absorb the sights and sounds of America. I am a US Citizen now, after many years, and I'm proud to fly the flag outside my door.

In quieter moments, maybe early in the morning, after a dream tossed night, my thoughts wander back to favorite haunts of old. I remember the place I loved, where I wrote, in all its honest fragility, a short story I called "The Little Bird off Slea Head". It was an honest piece, challenged, as all my writing is, but it did capture for me some element of wistful longing, that has stayed with me. Despite the wars of life, the rough and tumble of flying airplanes and helicopters, shots fired in the night, lovers faithful and disappointing trysts, I have -in my own way- probably (dare I say it) retained a unique Irishness. An element that will never change. It only takes a few seconds of Celtic music to trigger a flood of memories. A quiet emotion. A longing for something that is most likely gone forever.

I have thought - seriously- of buying a holiday cottage on the West Coast of Ireland.  There to read and write, and listen to the wind red-lining past my chimney. There are days and weeks I am totally serious in that endeavor, and I have spent much time researching price and availability of such retreats. At other times, the sheer logistical complexity associated with tearing up roots here, which include ten rent houses, mostly occupied, baffles my tiny mind. It's not easy going back. And would I miss Texas?

And here I smile, even as I ponder the quiet background hum of some distant, persistent vision. Sometimes it is better to travel hopefully. Maybe that was the point of 'Starry, starry night' as I lay on my back, lying on the float of my helicopter, staring up at the stars of the Milky Way. Alone up on the helideck, whilst my ship lay anchored a thousand miles offshore. Somewhere North East of Papua New Guinea, and far, far away from County Kerry. I was homesick, many a night. But gazing up at the enormity of the Universe, strangely, I was also at home. I was where I was, oddly, meant to be.

In similar vein, maybe that too was the point I labored to make in a poem I wrote, called 'My Dance in the Clouds'. My life has been far from dull. Not only has it been varied and colorful, filled with laughter and hilarity, and stupidity-on-steroids. My little life has also seen its fair share of quiet reflection, and every man's lot of heartbreak and bewilderment. As much as Man has been kind to me, and understanding of my nature, he has also deeply disappointed me.

And this then, curiously, is how I deal with homesickness. I live my life. I am determined to drink the cup dry. To get my ticket's worth. To never, ever quit. To fly on. To ride on. To think on.

To dream on.

I was in Egypt for 2.5 mos and returned to America a few days ago. I use What's App with my friends and family to communicate. I've been watching the soap operas in Arabic I watched in Egypt on You Tube. Instead of "preventing" feelings of homesickness, I accept them.  I try to feel my feelings and journal about them.  I hope to return to Egypt soon, so that thought keeps me okay too

QUOTE:  Instead of "preventing" feelings of homesickness, I accept them.  I try to feel my feelings and journal about them.

I think that's a good way of stating a truth:  those feelings are what makes us.

Embrace who you are. What makes you tick. Your inner life. Why squash it down?

There are some great comments here! I think that the best way to cope is to find something you really love to do and join a club. There are clubs for just about anything in almost every city. I like the outdoors so I joined several hiking clubs, as you can imagine you will be many different people with similar interests as yourself. There are too many clubs to list but a few are tennis, dancing, backpacking, social...etc. You join a club and before you know it, you make many friends.

Well in a fact, I am now in Germany and being French I York
I have to say New York is not a typical American city
There is more Italians in New York than in Rome
There is very good French restaurants and boutiques in New York
You can eat fondue savoyarde, flamish from Alsace, Lapin sauce moutarde the same week
As a fan of korean food there is one street full of korean restaurants...
The best opera and ballet in the world
Ok the down part is the subway and train, in fact all transportations from another planet. So ugly and not cost efficient. .
And the problem of America is distance between cities, and lack of education for the majority, therefore
A candidate like trump is a possible president.
So the lack of education and infrastructure, healthcare transportation coexisting with incredibly good universities, fantastic music venues such as carnagie hall or Cleveland, a spirit of positive attitude no matter what, a huge misery with homeless, disables with no help etc...
A country a little bit extreme but difficult to leave.
France is of course absoluty wonderful, but French people think it is not and prefer to be expat...hahaha
Being in Germany is in a way better family wise: if any thing arrive I can go to France  in one hour flight..
But now I miss New York...hahaha
In fact the most difficult thing is with people :
You make link with family and friends, and when you leave...ouch.
So I miss France, New York, Montreal, London, Bruxelles, Paris, Lyon,Berlin, cretes, bergamo, napoli,



Well, my first coping mechanism was to work! work , work work work and work!
Eventually, I started finding social events and groups nearby and I started going out and meeting people. Some of them became friends.
Some good places to start are at local religious places, online sites like meetup, or facebook.
You can also find professional networks that hold meetings.

Keep yourself busy and just be yourself at all times. Although I wouldnt call myself an introvert, I'm not a very sociable person either. I was single when I first came to the US and I deliberately avoided orher people's  family gatherings because it made me feel very lonely and homesick for mine. That was rough for me. Now that I'm married and my son is an adult, I'm starting to feel very lonely and homesick again. It's sad to say this but the truth is, that gnawing feeling of longing for your motherland never goes away. The good news is, you will meet a lot wonderful people in your adopted country that will make your world brighter and happier.

well i was homesick for god knows how many years  used to go back at Xmas time  in the end i got my wish to go home so off we set off back to uk end October 2013 i knew after being there a few weeks after being away over 10 yrs nothing had changed  and we now had come back to after having two great businesses to have to start again  that things weren't going to be easy and we had got used to a really really good lifestyle   so after 4 months  i saw a new business we brought it and we repacked 2 forty feet shipping containers 2 kids and a dog and came back  and now really dont have much time to feel homesick as there are more positive points then negative been here  and the saying is true life is what you make it and being able to go back to uk whenever you like helps  but at first its hard  if you have kids it helps as at events you can start to make friends

Hi Priscilla

It sounds like you long to be home, wherever that my be. Rest assured, I would trade places with you any second, if I could. Sorry I didn't give you the advice you asked for. I guess you didn't expect a reply like this.


at the moment i do not long to be there as there is too much going on here lifes very good lol

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