There is a phenomenon among expats that only they know about. They put on their large smiles, they show their strong self to friends and colleagues, eventually to the world, but if you pay close attention you may catch them off guard. You may catch a second of detachment, when they rest upon a memory, when they travel far far away into motherland. At home things amplify. It’s called missing home, missing the small things that made Home their Home, the familiarity that made childhood the safest place to be, the people that got them right without even using words… That’s what we have been celebrating in September for two years now, as part of the Heritage Month.
Homesickness is a powerful trigger for what we love about our past, our family, our culture. It gives us a sense of pride for our individual and ethnic heritage. And since no one can escape it when moving to another country, heritage is part of the backpack expats take with them. Moving abroad is a complex process, that merges two worlds. But as hard and new it would all be, it’s among the strongest experiences one can leave to define and redefine oneself.
So, MobileRecharge lined up with the trend set up by the International Homesickness Day celebration that started on September 27. We also made a list of things worth living, as Homesickness Weekend is as rare as Christmas.
#1 Don’t miss this video we’ve created especially for YOU
This is our own way to show empathy towards what you’ve lived when you moved abroad. Just wondering if you can recognise yourself in the Alien animated character, if you can remember the feelings he-she talks about. By the way, we had “I’m an Alien in New York” tune in the background when thinking about it…
#2 Don’t miss the CONTEST on Facebook
The Facebook contest running right now can bring you a free top up. Yes, YOU’ve “heard” well: a FREE mobile top up for one of your friends, or maybe a family member.
#3 Don’t miss these Expat movies!
The movie that is like a glove for International Homesickness Weekend is Lost in Translation (2003). It encapsulates the negatives of expat life: culture shock and homesickness. But we’re not on the same page when it comes to the final line, the conclusion.
The Painted Veil (2006) starring Naomi Watts recreates a magical atmosphere and brings Shanghai under the loom. The story has many angles: social interaction and culture shock, a complicated partnership within a context that brings people together. The inspiration is W. Somerset Maugham novel from 1925.
Casablanca is the ultimate expat movies, but not many have the power or patience to watch a black and white footage from 1942. In a nutshell, it’s a great agenda of what an expat faces at first.
Under The Tuscan Sun (2003)… omg! It is a standout by all means. It captures that glimpse of an idealistic expat life, and glosses over many of the expat challenges, true, a bit superficially. But still…
The Immigrant (2013) is not often on the lists with expat movies, but we highly recommend it. We don’t even need to explain too much if we unfold the casting: Marion Cotillard and Joaquin Phoenix. Amazing, right? Well, the whole film is a complex web of emotions and human interaction, all triggered by the arrival of a Polish on the Ellis Island, New York City.
#4 Don’t avoid sending a gift if you fee like it
Gifts are good on any occasion, and easily welcomed if they have a pragmatic function and an affordable value. Like e-cards, sweets, a low money transfer amount or a mobile top up for someone in the motherland of your sweet heritage.
#5 Don’t miss calling your folks
Good pretext to call you folks, especially if your family is not very talkative. Need an excuse to hear their voices? Tell them it’s International Homesickness Weekend and they were on your mind. Nowadays is too easy to make long distance calls with the VoIP technology and all…
KeepCalling.com is a top service in this direction. A service for expats made by expats.
#6 Make “Heritage” a personal thing
We hear the word everywhere. We love it because it rings a bell, the Big Bang bell of our existence. Yet, what’s in a word like heritage? We’ll take some time this weekend to sit comfortable for at least few minutes on a break and acknowledge what that means to each of us. What does it mean to you?
IS it the food you carried with you to the new country in your thoughts, in your memories, or the recipes in your bag? Is it the music? Or the educational style? The traditions and the feasts? The festivals you had as a kid and teenager? Or maybe the native products of your childhood whose labels you still Like on Facebook when someone puts an article together on this topic?