8 Tips for Mending a Broken Heart While Living Abroad

January 27, 2015
8 Tips for Mending a Broken Heart While Living Abroad

It’s not easy being a woman living in a foreign culture.  New relationships may be exciting adventures especially abroad, but there is also the increased chance of miscommunication across languages and cultures. Few things have felt as painful as realizing more than once that I’ve fallen in love with a man who was counting on my perceived departure date and is surprised that I want anything more than sex.

When the possibility that I might stay in their country longer than they thought becomes a reality or they realize that I might be looking for the chance of a commitment in the future, the fear in their eyes and their texts grows at a viral rate. Add onto that more conservative views about women’s roles in a host culture and it’s easy to feel like an outsider.

Relationships are not easy, and without a strong support system abroad, your emotions may be magnified. Each time my heart breaks, I don’t think that it will ever be possible to open my heart to someone again. Still, do I wish I hadn’t risked my heart for these men? No. That risk taking is what compelled me to live abroad in the first place. As painful as the endings are to these relationships, I’m proud that I’ve tried. I’ve shared loving moments and memories that, at that time, only enhanced the country or city I was also exploring.

Either way, one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is that my happiness comes from me. The second is that it’s okay to walk away from something that’s just not working. If you find yourself dealing with a breakup abroad, here eight tips that are essential for mending a broken heart:

8 Tips for Mending a Broken Heart While Living Abroad

1. Take a break from social media

It’s easy to overanalyze as an observer in someone else’s life, and that kind of distraction might not be the most positive thing you need.

2. Don’t just exercise, explore where you live.

You’re living where you are for a reason and now’s the perfect time to take advantage of it.

3. Spend more time with local friends

Embrace the support system you have in place in your host country and don’t be afraid to meet new people.

4. Talk to a loved one at home

It’s easier in a time of emotional need to count on people who’ve known you the longest. Skype exists for a reason!

8 Tips for Mending a Broken Heart While Living Abroad

5. Practice gratitude

Try to write down a few things that you are grateful for each day (even little things that make you smile), in order to remind yourself of how lucky you are in other aspects of your life.

6. Eat a good meal

Now’s a great time to get to know more about the food in your city or town and treat yourself to something you’ve been wanting to try.

7. Embrace a part of yourself that you have been neglecting

This could be anything from taking a local dance class to starting a blog about your travels. Now you have the time to focus on it.

8. Be kind to yourself and to others

Don’t let bitterness, frustration or sadness consume you. Life is short. Don’t be afraid to love again and keep exploring! Mending a broken heart is essential. The world has a lot to give for people who seek what’s waiting around the corner.

Top photo credit: David Jubert / 8 Tips for Mending a Broken Heart While Living Abroad

About Whitney Hall

Whitney HallWhitney lives in Monteverde, Costa Rica, and works with international visitors at a bilingual school. She previously lived in Nicaragua, Tanzania, Mexico and London, and guided trips to Namibia and Peru. She’s originally from California and loves to go hiking and work on her photography blog in her free time.

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