How an OFW can Overcome Homesickness

by Gily Tenorio on June 9, 2012

in OFW


Occasionally, I’m writing topics related to welfare and personal finance for OFW as my means to help them while working away from their families. I, myself, is also an OFW and I’ve learned the hardships they are going through as they work abroad.

There are many problems and hardships that an OFW can encounter while working abroad. One of the popular problems that they may face is homesickness especially those married people and with children.

In my first few months in Korea, I have struggled this natural emotion. Good thing, after almost 8 months, I was able to bring my family here and live with me as long as I stayed with my current company.

In this post, I want to give some tips and advice on how an OFW can overcome homesickness. Here are the things that you can do to lessen up being homesick, stay happy and hopeful for a good future.

1. Don’t make yourself idle

Look for good and beneficial activities that you can do whenever you are alone or not working. If you are idle, you are more prone to feel homesick. If you have a hobby, do it frequently. You can also try to learn new things or study new things like cooking, playing a musical instrument or even blogging!

There are many things that you can do so you won’t be idle. Think of some productive activities that you can try out and fill your mind with positive thoughts in life.

If your company has a hobby or sports group, it will be nice if you can join one that interests you. For example, if you like basketball, look for friends or a team that is regularly playing basketball. In this way, you will avoid becoming idle and at the same time, you will be more healthy.

2. Talk, call or chat with your family regularly

In this modern time, there are many available means of communication that you can use to make you closer to your loved ones even you’re working abroad. Most of them are free like Skype, Yahoo Messenger or Facebook Chat.

However, if you are located in areas with limited Internet access, it will be better to buy your own mobile phone with the capability to call abroad. In this way, if you are feeling lonely or homesick, you can call your wife and kids more often.


You can also send an email to them which is faster than the traditional snail mail. GMail has also built-in chat and messaging system that you can also use if you are more inclined in sending long messages.

Unlike ten or twenty years ago, the tools and gadgets we have now are a big help and better in fighting homesickness and loneliness because of being away from your family. You only need to learn how to properly use it to your benefits and advantage.

Right now, I’m just alone here in South Korea. My wife and son stayed in the Philippines when we returned for a vacation last April. I feel homesick sometimes because I used to be with them here. But good thing, my wife and I can regularly talk everyday through Skype and Chikka.

3. Create or make a good hobby

A good hobby can be anything that benefits you emotionally, spiritually and even in terms of financial aspect. For example, if you are a type of person who likes to write your experiences, then maybe, you can try to make your own blog. You can create a blog for free in Blogspot or WordPress.

I’m noticing many OFWs are now going to photography as a hobby. You can look for a group of photographers in your area so your skills will be developed and your knowledge about photography will increase more.

Some people want reading books or creating helpful videos and many more. It is better to discover what you really like and interest you the most. From that, you can start to make that hobby more enjoyable and fulfilling. In this way, you’re homesickness may lighten up.

4. Go to a church regularly

I cannot imagine my life here in Korea without the church I’m going now. It helps me a lot not only in terms of my spiritual nourishment but also in other parts of my life.

I have known many friends through the church, I went to many places because of church activities and fellowship and so on. However, it should not be your motive that’s why you want to go to church. It is just like an additional bonus that your homesickness will lighten up.

5. Remember that time is passing by quicker

Maybe you have notice that as an adult, days or weeks are quicker to pass by now than when you are still a kid. Sometimes, you are surprise that it is Christmas again or your birthday is fast approaching.

As you work abroad, you are not exempted from feeling lonely and homesick but you should remember that time is passing by quicker for people who are busy with their jobs and filling their minds with healthy and productive things.

Perhaps, you may be surprise that you have already spent one year in the country you are working now. Even homesickness will also pass-by faster than you normally expected.

Final Word

Being an OFW and working abroad for the first time will make you feel lonely and homesick for being away from your family. It is a part of being an OFW and you can lessen the impact of homesickness based on your effort and the activities you are doing. You may follow the tips I mentioned above to lighten up the load of loneliness and feeling homesick.

Do you have any other suggestions on how to overcome homesickness? Maybe you have other tips that you did or experienced before that helps you fight homesickness. Please share it through the comment box below. Thanks!


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About the Author:

GilGil Tenorio is a blogger, a husband, a father, and an active Christian. He likes playing guitar, C.S. Lewis, Plants and Zombies and NBA. Follow him at Facebook, Google+, YouTube and Twitter. Thanks!


Comments on this entry are closed.

Mary @ Buy Sell Funds June 10, 2012 at 22:12

Great advice. Advancement of technology already changed homesickness issues significantly. Social media let’s you get updated about friends’ happenings even if you’re not home.
Mary @ Buy Sell Funds recently posted..What Are the Top Mutual Funds to Buy In 2012My Profile

danecca June 10, 2012 at 04:13

Nice article! I cannot say more.. Thank you very much for your advice. I am also an OFW and I can personally say that all the things that you’ve mentioned were effective =)

Gil June 10, 2012 at 22:01

Thanks for the visit. Being homesick is difficult but you can overcome it.

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