Salut YouTube and welcome back to the Not Even French Channel so I have a guest with me today you'll probably recognize if you're subscribed to the channel her name is Audrey and she is an online counselor and she's got a lot of knowledge around living abroad expat life that kind of thing and we've done a video together already on the concept of culture shock and she's back today to talk about homesickness hi Audrey hi so everything you need to know about Audrey will be in the description box below she's got a website she's got a Facebook group a blog Instagram everything. Do you want to let us know a little bit about what we'll be talking about today? Yes we'll be talking about homesickness which is something that most expats experience at some point if you stay somewhere for a longer period of time of course we experience it at various levels but homesickness I think is something that is quite frequent for expats yeah it's something that I've I've struggled with because no matter how homesick I get I can't go home like I just I can't drop everything and go back to New Zealand I'm literally on the opposite point of the planet but it's all relative because I genuinely believe whether you're three hours away from home or thirty hours I think it's the same feeling. Completely and also I think it's important to mention it's not because you're missing home and that you're flying home that when you arrive home all of a sudden you will not be feeling homesick or still depressed because I think sometimes as part of homesickness is maybe romanticizing parts of things that you have in your home country and then when you come home you're like oh like that's not exactly how I imagined it. It's missing a memory which is really really hard because sometimes I go home and it's kind of like you know when you watch a TV series and then you kind of drop off and then you pick it back up again and you're sort of like you don't recognize the characters anymore like people have died people have come on the scene and you know it used to be one of your favorite TV series but you're like I don't even recognize anyone in the show anymore like what's going on and sometimes I have the same feeling when I go home I'm sort of like I love this place but it will never be the same as when I lived here which is completely normal and it wouldn't be the same had I stayed, it's the most strange feeling. So when your clients come to you about homesickness what kind of symptoms or what kind of things are they saying what kind of experiences are they living when they're going through homesickness? Well it depends really on the level but I say that when people would seek my help it's more like they're feeling a very very depressed or and when I say very depressed it's like maybe they are isolating themselves a lot like not integrating with other people or doing any kind of activity outside of the home so there's like this withdrawl or maybe they'll be feeling really really bored as well and it can go as far as being even have symptoms that could be diagnosed for actual depression. And do you think it's possible to both love your new country and to be homesick or does it usually come from a place of not being completely happy where you are? No I don't think this necessarily comes from being unhappy where you are I think it's definitely accept exacerbated if you didn't want to live there and you had to settle there for various reasons because maybe your family chose to live there and you have to follow but then all the positive things that you would usually force yourself into seeing 'Oh what are the positives? Why did I make this choice of living here?' then you don't necessarily have that but no I think that even if you love living somewhere there are things at a deeper level where you notice that oh yeah people are very friendly I love the culture here but there are things that we don't connect on on maybe a deeper level so this can cause some kind of home sickness, wanting relationships or conversation to be more seamless you know natural and that's constantly having to feel like oh we're on a different page and also sometimes it's very benign but I think that an accumulation of small things can also create a lot of homesickness so often food I think has this a very deep emotional connection with our feelings. When I was in Hungary I gave a workshop and there was this indian girl who said that's been very difficult to live in hungary i found that like the food has no flavor she found that to really be exacerbating her homesickness the fact that food was so different. So what kind of things do you suggest to your clients to try out when they're feeling homesick what kinds of solutions or things can they try to try and get over that feeling? There's a lot of things one of it is good could be just to acknowledge that it's there and make some space for it because I feel like if you're trying to just brush it off and just not taking the time to acknowledge okay I'm feeling homesick it can actually be exacerbated and a way to take care of that sometimes could be like is there anything that can make you feel a little bit like home or can feel familiar sometimes if you have access to specialty grocery store and you have access to specific type of food that you miss or asking for people who are who are abroad from your family to send you something I think it's important to keep ties from people with people back home which can be very healthy and helpful especially when you're longing for this understanding sometimes just having regular Skype meetings with a few close friends and family can be very helpful but on the other side you also want to integrate and get over that hump of feeling homesick so I think sometimes avoiding too much social media of looking constantly at what's happening back home what aren my friends doing is also very important to at some point not to completely let go of but you know not spending too much time because especially on social media it's such a filtered perspective of what people back home are doing that it can sort of exacerbate really clearly this feeling of homesickness. If you're projecting yourself and you're like well that's my friends hen's party oh that's my friend's birthday party so if I were there I'd be there right now that can become quite unhealthy. I think it really helps to have someone... I'm really really lucky because I actually met my husband in New Zealand and so he's got a lot of fond memories of New Zealand and finding that person in your new world who is interested in your country or your culture and you can either teach them about it or share joint memories about it I think that's really useful as well and my husband he actually listens to New Zealand radio every single day which to your point I actually stopped doing because I found it a little bit too much like I wasn't focusing on what was happening on France as if I was still living in New Zealand but he's kept up with that it's really cool because he can just slot into any conversation about New Zealand so that really helps as well and something that I've also found too has helped me is that I've identified a few like special places in Paris that I really really love that make me feel so grateful for living in the city and one of them is down on lle de la Cité where The Notre Dame is and when I go down there I like if I really am feeling down or homesick I love to go down there on a nice day and just soak it all in like that gratitude like remember how lucky you are to live here to be seeing these things to be learning all these new things and it's just kind of like for me it's a physical place that brings up all of these feelings of gratitude so that helps too. I do agree with what you're saying just having sometimes a comfort zone and returning back to it I think it's important when you're in a new country of course to explore and get out of your comfort zone but if you're having like a very intense phase of homesickness returning to this place of comfort, sometimes it's something as silly as just a coffee shop because it feels maybe all coffee shops like hipster coffee shops have a similar vibe. I think sharing the fact that you feel homesick to your friends and family back home really helps because some sometimes I mean I'm expecting them to be like I miss you too, come right home but instead they say 'Rosie this is an amazing opportunity and we get it we miss you too but don't give up!" I've had so many conversations where I'm ready to throw in the towel and I'll say I just want to come back home and they're like don't you dare you know not only do they get it because they miss you too but they're actually able to be like look at everything, they help to see the positives. Completely and that being said I think like if it persists and it's something that you know has been lasting for a very very long time maybe there is like deeper questionings or actions that need to be done like do I want to stay here long-term which is also a possibility you know that after all this reflection you decide that yeah I do want to go back home if that's a possibility or to move somewhere else which is also very valid and a possibility because sometimes I like homesickness you know it's it doesn't seem to be going away and you're fundamentally very unhappy at this place and then there might be other things like in the longer term that needs to be done. Totally and I think people should challenge themselves to be okay with that as well it's not a failure if you decide as you decide that you would like to change things up and it also may not be about a country like I couldn't write off France based on Paris I couldn't say I hate France and living in France based on Paris you know because if I lived in Biarritz and was working for Quicksilver and surfing every morning, my life in France would not feel the same as well so sometimes I ask myself like am i homesick and not really liking my life right now in France or is it the fact that I'm not a big city girl and then actually it's actually Paris that is dragging me down rather than the concept of France I think this is also part of the homesickness that sometimes this was helpful is really identifying what do I miss what is bothering me and I really pinpointing what it is because like you said there may be something you can do even within the same city that can be addressed like maybe if it's your job that is triggering this sense of homesickness because you feel uncomfortable with your job you don't necessarily have to go all the way back to New Zealand you can just work towards progressively trying to find another job. Sometimes I just need to see the sea that's what I'm missing is the ocean so you know a three hour train ride to Marseille or two hour train ride over to Normandy and I can get that hit so sometimes I think that's really useful as well it's not about like oh I don't like my life here that's so extreme that's catastrophic thinking it's like scale it back, what is it specifically that's bugging you? Thank you so much Audrey for being here and adding so much value and giving us some really concrete tips I know that any expat seeing this can completely relate and will hopefully find some of these tips in this video really useful. Is it okay if anyone is watching this video and they feel like they would like to reach out to you..? Yeah I completely I'd be happy if people want to check in with me from my website Facebook or Instagram I do consult with some expats and sometimes you just if you need some information I'd be really happy to just refer people to the right references so yeah you can connect with me like that. I hope that you guys enjoyed this video if you've got any tips for other people and how to overcome homesickness or you know any life hacks that have enabled you to really integrate into a new place please leave them down in the comments below we'll definitely look out for those because it would be really useful for anyone watching the video and otherwise I'll see you guys next video Wednesday! A bientôt !