Festively Inspiring Guide for the Girls Spending the Holidays Abroad

So you are the adventurous type: You decided to pack your bags and fly across the country to either travel, work or study. You did it alone and for that you should be tremendously proud of yourself. Throughout your year abroad you have missed your loved ones, but you were able to move past the longing and focus on how privileged you were to be in another country.

However, we are now quickly approaching the season to be jolly, and your mood will most likely be starting to slowly spiral downwards and you might not know what to do in order to bring it back up towards the thankful and joyful attitude you once had.

Spending the holidays abroad can be very exhilarating, but also very lonely. It is true that you get to see a new country, experience a different culture and that you get to broaden your horizons.

Yet, alongside this great adventure that you are on (particularly if you are traveling alone) you will find the emptiness that often accompanies the ache of not being able to share these special days with your family and friends.

Despite the desolation you might be starting to experience, there are ways to combat it and ensure you get to enjoy your time during the holidays abroad, and here is how:

1 Research is rudimentary

We live in a world where almost every country has an assortment of different cultures and people – thus, you are sure to find that many of the holidays you celebrate might be celebrated in the country you are now residing in. Do some research and ask around.

You should also consider looking into expat communities – there will certainly be someone who celebrates the same holidays you do and as a bonus, you get to meet new people. Find out where the expats hang out, eat, shop and celebrate the holidays. Many times these people will make your time in a new country feel slightly more like home.

If you want to broaden your horizons a little bit more, why not do some research on the holidays that are specific to that region and which the country celebrates, then in turn expand your experience by participating in it? By opening yourself up to new experiences you are creating new opportunities to make unforgettable memories that you will carry with you for a lifetime.

2 Embrace the new culture and traditions

You are in a new country with different traditions; traditions that, if you find yourself in a country rich in history, are centuries old. Yes, you do have your own traditions to be proud of and which you should never desert, however, it would be an unforgettable experience to take part in their tradition – or you can always make your own.

Invite friends, cook a meal together and have fun! You will be growing as an individual on a global level, especially if your friends are from different countries. The memories you make together will also be something that you can look back and laugh at, you will remember how care-free and enjoyable it was when you had to next to nothing and no one and you still managed to improvise and have a great holiday.

3 Just a phone call away

The holidays are the most meaningful time for a family. It is when you can get together, make memories and appreciate one another for always being there and supporting each other. That is why it is so extremely hard to be away from your family during the holidays and although it is great to be able to spend the holidays with new friends and perhaps a local family, it is still not the same as the homeliness and warmth that is evoked through your every sense back home.

Yes, your new friends can often make you forget about the ache in your heart for not being able to be with you tribe back home, but that should not make you want to pass on the opportunity to get in contact with your loved ones back home.

Do not let the fear of feeling depressed and homesick after the call hold you back. You might think it will make it worse, but I guarantee you that it will not. In fact, it will warm your heart like that first taste of hot coco and you will find your attitude will be lifted for weeks to come.

Read also – Why You Have to Leave Your Hometown at Least Once

So jump at the opportunity to FaceTime, Skype or Call them. You might not be able to spend the time together in person, but technology has made it possible for us to spend it in such a way that you can see the other person and pretend, even if it is for a little while, that you are in the same room as they are. Catch up on memories and talk about what you will be doing together at the next holiday.

Afterwards go out and explore, soak up what is happening around you. Do not allow yourself to wallow in longing; instead allow your heart to be overwhelmed by the gratitude of having a loving family and friends that are always there for you, as well as the appreciation to be able to explore a different country.

4 Adventure awaits

Perhaps you are a lone wolf and prefer not to spend the holidays with others. Do not force yourself to do something you do not want to do – as an alternative, why not opt for something extremely different?

For instance, why not plan an epic adventure? Organize something breathtaking and exciting for the holidays and watch those holiday blues wash away with the waves or dissipate with the adrenaline rush while you zip-line through a jungle like Jane from Tarzan.

Whatever you do, make sure it is big and unforgettable. One day you will be back in your country and you will be able to tell your family and friends of all your adventures abroad – make sure it is a larger-than-life story.

You are in a different place, which for many is a once in a lifetime opportunity, make the most of it. Remember there will always be more holidays with your family and friends back home, but this could be your last chance to really jump off the edge of your comfort zone into a pool of electric experiences.

5 Settle the mind, soul and body

Sometimes you do not need all the Hoo-Hah; sometimes all you need is to sit down and make it about you and your well-being. Chances are that if you are abroad to work or study, you are feeling stressed and over-worked and on top of that you are now alone at a time that is meant to be spent with your people.

Therefore, instead of putting more pressure on you to go out and meet new people, or by spending it with people who, for all intents and purposes, are not your actual family – spend time with yourself.

Sit down somewhere in nature and reflect on the year, all you have done and accomplished and what you still wish to accomplish. Reflect on the people in your life and how privileged you are to have such an amazing support system.

If you are a person that sometimes tend to get overly emotional during your time away from home, I would not recommend doing this step on an occasional day – but certainly do it on another day. Meditation and mindfulness is always a good idea. We need to be able to quiet our minds to make sense of the chaos around us, as well as inside of us.

Read also – How to Be Resilient in Discomfort Instead of Getting Consumed by It

No matter how strong you are, you will miss your family and friends, yet that was part of the package deal when you made the decision to go out and explore the big, wide world. Despite this you should not allow yourself to drown in sorrow and loneliness. You are fortunate enough to be in a different country – embrace it and emerge yourself in the process and experience.

Go out and live, live a life you will remember – live a life that will let you fall down in utter exciting exhaustion; a life that you will one day look back at and tell your children about when you sit around the Christmas tree and think about all you are thankful for. You only have this one life, make it count.