Can you feel nostalgic and still survive abroad? Here are some expat tips to help you embrace change and lead a more successful life abroad.
My husband often revisits the happy moments we lived in Miami. A place where the sun is always shining. Where outdoor sports are played all year round. He thinks back on the friendly faces, our weekend BBQ’s and long walks on the beach.
He is the type of person who looks back on those years as “the good old days”.
Whereas, I can reminisce and think fondly of those five wonderful years we spent in Miami, but also remember us both making a conscious decision to leave, because it wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows. And so I see it as a closed chapter in our lives.
His nostalgia is a yearning that keeps him living in the past.
Instead, I crave new adventures!
Does this mean he is not happy in Munich? Not necessarily!
He loves strolling through our historical old town and hiking in the nearby alps.
Can he be happier? I think he can be, if he just let go of this sentimentality for all things past.
The Good & The Bad of Nostalgia
Nostalgia is not all bad! The Scientific American actually says that nostalgia can improve your mood and possibly your mental health. It can also provide a feeling of vitality, when you need a confidence boost.
The problem is when we idealize the object of our nostalgia, it can prevent us from living a more present and fulfilling life.
Overcoming Excessive Nostalgia
It takes time to adapt to change. Don’t let nostalgia take away the power to set new goals for yourself. Meeting new challenges head on will give you a boost in self-confidence. You’ll realize you are capable of more than you ever imagined.
And there will come a time when my husband will look back on our years in Munich as “the good old days”.
Featured Photo Credit: Ian Dooley on Unsplash