Every goal has a price. The goal of living abroad has the price of missing the family while living overseas. It is quite common when you live overseas to feel the fear of missing out. (FOMO). Feeling like life is going on and everyone is celebrating special occasions without you. Although social media today keeps families and friends connected, it also helps you feel the pain of FOMO. In fact, you don’t need to be living overseas to miss family. Some countries like Australia and America are so large that just living in another town or state is too great to go back for every family occasion.
When you choose to live abroad, you quite often choose it because you envision a better life for you and your family. A new job, an adventure and in our case for my husband to learn English as well as a joint adventure.
Most often when you are an expat living away from family, you have so much going on around you that you have little time to miss home. Yet there are key dates, family functions or events that have your feeling like you are missing out. You may even feel a little jealous or sad that you are not there, as everyone is.
There will always be times where you feel a little homesick and feel like you are missing out. It is natural but there are ways you can equip yourself for the FOMO.
Tips on how to overcome the FOMO as an expat.
Stay connected with family and friends.
Fortunately, with today’s technology, you are always connected. This can be a good and bad thing. Good that you can share the wonderful times you’re having. Bad because when you scroll through photos you can miss friends and family even more.
Stay connected by sharing photos via Facebook, Whatsapp, email or one of the many social media platforms.
Related post: 8 ways to keep in touch with family.
Be present in your new life.
As you share the joy of your new homeland be present in your current activities. So often people spend time on the phone sharing during the activity that they miss out on it.
Enjoy the beautiful sunrises and sunsets. Have fun at new cultural events and enjoy the places you explore. There will always be time to share your photos and excitement with family and friends.
Be mindful of scrolling through social media.
For some people, they can feel lonely and left out when they view photos or live updates of family events. If looking at photos sets of the FOMO trigger, set yourself boundaries as to when to use social media.
Your wellbeing comes first, therefore when you are down, if you find joy by looking at photos, connect and explore what your family and friends are doing.
Remember that your family and friends may feel the FOMO too as you share all your great adventures.
I remember my mum telling me once that she loved seeing photos of the countries and places I was travelling in. She was enjoying it with me and my family.
Be at peace with the decision to live abroad.
You may become sad, feel lonely or feel like you are missing out when you think about your family and friends.
I sure had the fear of missing out when I first left home many years ago. I felt like the family was getting together, continuing with their annual traditions when I was alone or with one or two new friends. Yet, it was I who chose to go. I chose to create a life living abroad, so I was the person who needed to change my way of thinking and my traditions.
Being at peace with our decision to live abroad surfaced many times. There have been multiple times where we have moved internationally as a family. Moving between Australia, Switzerland and Jersey. Yo-yoing between the countries is an expensive experience I don’t recommend it. It did, however, teach us that we love the home we have created in Australia no matter how small our family is.
Create your own traditions.
Naturally, during festive seasons, birthdays or special events, FOMO may be stronger. One way to make peace with missing out on the traditions is to create your own special days where you currently live. Of course, your new friends would love this too.
What I’ve found is that over the years traditions you create will change. You may move again; your family will grow and then get small again. Yes, your children will create their own adventures but the blessing is if they live not too far away larger celebrations will take place once again.
A wonderful lady told me about her life and how she and her hubby moved out to Australia in 1948. They were just the two of them. Now they have their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She expressed how the younger generations are so grateful for the opportunities that came from living in Australia.
Plan your trips.
Take time to write down what you miss and what you feel you are missing out on. Quite often the FOMO is in our heads. Yes, you may miss the moment and want to be there for that event. Yet, when you are there, and the moment has passed you want to be back in your new country for the event you are missing.
To help with understanding how to solve the problem of missing out, write down what you are really missing. Is it the family, friends, celebration or long chats with a friend? What you are missing is what is important to you.
I left only to long for the very thing I left behind, family and community.
You will not be able to attend every family celebration. If there is a major celebration you would like to attend, plan it well in advance and arrange to get together with other family and friends nearby.
For many years we found that we were always spending our holiday travelling back to see relatives. After a while, I began to miss not travelling to new destinations. One way to still see family and friends and a new location is to plan a holiday together somewhere new. Create new memories.
JOMO is the joy of missing out. When you embrace activities, interests and are present with your new friends, you create memories. You create good times, laugh more, smile more and enjoy life.
No comparison. – One way to really embrace JOMO is not to compare your life with others. It is let go of the FOMO and connect with ourselves and the environment we currently reside in.
The bucket list – Another way to create excitement is to create a bucket list of places to explore and things to do in the new country you are living in. What cities do you want to visit? Are there any traditional foods you want to try? What adventures do you want to take? Write a goal list and aim to complete your list while you are living there.
Journal – This is one thing I wish I had started years ago. Oh, the adventures I would have written about. There is only so much that you will remember. If you start a journal you can record your day, note your level of happiness, write what you are grateful for and your feelings towards events and activities. Better yet, the more you write the more you have to share.
Community – As expats, a great way to make new friends is to be involved in your new community and are grateful for all the fun times we have with new and old friends.
Related post: 6 ways to be involved in your community.
Hobbies – Become involved in an activity you enjoy. Just because you live abroad does not mean you can’t stick with your hobby. If you join a club you will get to know more people and learn more about the country you are living in. It is also fun to try new hobbies. If the country has an activity, sport or tradition you would like to try, add it to your bucket list.
Turn your FOMO to JOMO.
Sometimes it is the food that you miss. When living overseas you can’t always buy the same food. Every Christmas we loved getting food hampers from family and enjoying a taste of home. When our daughter was overseas we sent her a taste of home in the form of the Aussie Downunder Gift Box.
Living aboard is not easy but it is rewarding in so many ways. The best way to reward yourself with your life abroad is to immerse yourself in the traditions of your new home.
‘Does that mean I need to start watching Australian footy and rugby?’, no, it doesn’t but a few of my friends would love it if I did.
My goal when I first left home was to survive one year living overseas, that was over 35 years ago. Your goal may be to survive a gap year or even relocate to a warmer climate.
Whatever your living abroad goal is if you feel the FOMO as an expat setting in, talk to a friend and find your JOMO.
Do what you enjoy to achieve your goal and live the life you envisioned.
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Angie blogs about setting goals and mastering habits as well as productivity and living abroad. She started blogging while learning the skills to start an online business. Her goal to work online came about due to wanting to see overseas family and travel around Australia. Her mission is to help others succeed with their goals. Angie often shares tips and tricks while walking the beaches or near the lake on the Central Coast NSW Australia.