I have found that sometimes being an expat can lead to feelings of isolation and homesickness. All you want to do is to get out, meet up with friends, and have a good cup of coffee or a drink. As the one-year mark is approaching of our time in India, I found myself starting to slip into this mindset. However, I was lucky enough to be able to meet up with another foreigner who is also spending sometime here in the same city. The boys went around the market for a little bit while I went out for coffee and met up with a new friend over a cup of coffee, where the boys later joined us. It’s amazing how something so simple can make such an impact and help you keep your sanity when faced with the challenges of being an expat on a regular basis.
Side note: It was the first time I’d really been out for coffee while in this city. Definitely an activity to be repeated–it was like being at a coffee shop back home in the states, an experience I was unknowingly missing.
I have found that it can be easier to cope with such issues by finding other individuals in a similar situation and/or mindset, even if this group is online. Our city is not known for its expat community and it can be rather difficult to find one another to actually meet up. However, there are many expat groups online (many of which can be found on Facebook) that can help you connect to other expats, even if they are not in the same city. Being able to connect with someone else who knows the challenges you are facing and can make suggestions on things to do, where to get things, etc. can certainly help brighten your mood and your outlook when things are challenging or you’re feeling down.
If you’re an expat I encourage you to get involved in expat clubs and groups and to seek out others in a similar situation. Not only will you be benefited yourself, but you might just be the one to help someone else keep their sanity.