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Expats who are missing home when they're living overseas are not alone. Just ask Susan Matt. When she moved to Utah from the Midwest, she unexpectedly felt homesick.
"My husband and I had been very much looking forward to moving west, but once I got here I realized how unfamiliar it was," says Matt, a history professor at Weber State University in Ogden, Utah, and author of Homesickness: An American History.
"I had always grown up on stories about how restless Americans are, how individualistic they are and how easy it is for them to be mobile," Matt says. "I felt I must be a very strange person if I was finding it so painful to move on. … As it turns out, [homesickness] has been a widespread problem throughout American history."
— Betsy Burlingame, founder and president of ExpatExchange.com
In fact, homesickness used to be considered a serious illness. During the Civil War, 5,200 Union soldiers were hospitalized for homesickness - then called "nostalgia."
The following suggestions can help expats satisfy cravings for their home countries even as they plant roots in foreign countries:
Ultimately, travelers can adapt, but they should give it time. "There is no one way to adapt to another country and its culture," Burlingame says. "If what you are doing isn't working, try something else."
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