8 ways to avoid the expat blues - part 2
In this segment, I’ve chosen to write about how I personally choose to crush my holiday blues given that I am an expat and have been for the last few years now. In other words, this post is dedicated to all of you travellers, hopeless romantics choosing to follow your loved ones in a foreign country and all of you spending these holidays away from home, you are certainly not alone. Hopefully these simple tips can jog your memory and help you in spending these holidays feeling a tad more like home, no matter where you are in the world.
Here are the top 8 things I like to do to keep my mind distracted from my home away from home situation:
1. Regularly Skype with my family and close friends up in Canada, every so often leading up to Christmas and NY Day. The same applies to my brother who is currently living in Japan.
2. Over the years, my mother and I have baked an cooked traditional home recipes from Québec, Canada and some of our own Italian and Irish heritage recipes for the Holidays. We enjoy conference baking I like to call it during the festive season as it pretty much cannot get better than this when living abroad. For instance, this year we’ll be baking our famous homemade gingerbread cookies altogether via Skype.
3. As we did for last Christmas, Mick and I will be travelling to Griffith to spend Christmas Day with his family. I always enjoy this time of year here as it allows me to feel moreso a sense of home even though I am not entirely at home here, in Australia. So, whenever I get to spend time with his side of the family here it feels nice to say the least.
4. It is now my third Christmas here in Australia, and I’ve come to learn a thing or two about their traditional or typical ways of celebrating this season. I’ve learnt to prepare a pavlova for Christmas dessert which was completely new to me. And embrace a good Christmas Bar B Q with an assortment of meats and seafood as a main. Mick and I also plan on spending New Year’s with another couple of friends of ours camping ocean side seen as it is a common tradition over the holidays here.
5. I’ve made sure to put up our own Christmas tree for both Mick and I precisely to get into the festive mood together and have made it as I would at home in Canada. This way I feel a tiny part of my Canadian festive-self has not entirely left whilst in Sydney. It might not be much but it will do for this year, especially considering we will be spending Christmas Day and NY’s away from our home.
6. I have already been singing out loud to my favourite Christmas playlists which I normally would have playing in the house, in Canada. My favourite has to be all of Bing Crosby’s dreamy holiday music. Cannot get enough of it! It’s amazing how listening to just one song which you would normally listen to with your friends and family in your home country can bring back so many good feelings and memories.
7. Now, as much I can I will try and keep active in one way or another. I know this can be a bit of a dreary point to cover but it is SO important for both our mental and physical health. I typically go to the gym every morning, first thing, as it starts my day off in the best way possible for myself. I’ll roughly do 45 minutes to 1-hour of both HIIT exercises and cardio.
8. Lastly, I try to plan for activities and outings with friends and family as much as possible to keep myself occupied. Knowing myself, as I’m sure it is with many others, if I do not keep myself busy I tend to become a tad lethargic.
I wonder what are some of your traditional customs and recipes during this festive season?