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Feeling homesick – should you stay or should you go?

You may have arrived in the Netherlands with the intention of staying forever, yet even those who have lived in the country for many years sometimes experience feelings of homesickness so intense that they believe their only option is to remigrate. If you can’t decide whether or not it’s time to say goodbye to the Netherlands and head for home, then here are some useful tips that might help you come to the right conclusion.


1) Don’t make a snap decision

Just as you didn’t take the decision to emigrate to Holland lightly, neither should you make a rash decision to return home. Ask yourself why you want to go back in the first place. Many feel that they’ll simply never adjust to life in the Netherlands, forgetting that it takes time to adapt to a new home and work environment, a fresh circle of friends and an alien culture. Don’t expect to feel at home overnight – assimilating to life in the Netherlands, or indeed any other foreign country, is a lengthy process that can often take years.

2) Try not to allow life-changing events throw you off course

Major events, such as a redundancy, death or divorce, are of course extremely distressing and it can be tempting to imagine that everything would somehow seem better or easier back home. Whilst a life-changing event can be a legitimate reason for returning to your country of origin, it would be a real shame to let one incident spoil your entire emigration plans if everything else is going well.

3) Talk to others about your homesickness

Don’t keep your homesick feelings to yourself – talk about them with your partner, friends and family, and preferably other immigrants who live in your area, as a problem shared really is a problem halved. Try and avoid hiding away at home and get out and meet those in the same boat by joining a local expat club.

4) Set a realistic timeframe

Determine an acceptable timeframe in which to try and make your emigration succeed. If by the end of that period you still feel that repatriation is the only option, then at least you will have given your emigration to the Netherlands a fair chance.

5) Don’t regard remigration as a failure

If you do decide to return home, then don’t view this as a failure, but rather a positive step towards correcting an unhappy situation. Regardless of whether you go home or not, you’ll have benefitted from a hugely rewarding experience; one that you’ll never forget and that many others are never even brave enough to try…

And don’t forget that you can order all of your favourite Dutch products online, wherever you are in the world, at Dutch supermarket Holland at Home!

Prefer to read this article in Dutch? Then why not visit our sister blog, Heimwee.info, specifically intended for Dutch emigrants abroad?

3 comments on “Feeling homesick – should you stay or should you go?

  1. Pingback: Frequently asked questions about emigration | Dutch Community

  2. Pingback: Dutch books about heimwee | Dutch Community

  3. Pingback: Homesick for Holland? Reminisce with poems about the Netherlands! | Dutch Community

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