Overcoming Homesickness in London
Many expats become homesick at some point while they are living abroad, but if you chose to move to London, you won’t have to worry too much about this.
London is one of the most multicultural cities in the world, and you are almost certain to find a community of people from your home country living in the city.
From restaurants to social clubs to bars frequented by people from your country, there are plenty of ways to banish homesickness while living abroad.
If you are feeling homesick for America, start by checking out websites for the US community such as Americans Abroad at Meetup.com, which is a very active social group with over 8,000 members.
Panzer’s is a well-known store in St John’s Wood that opened in the 1950s. It stocks products for homesick Americans who move to London, so visit it to find your favorite food from back home.
If you want to watch American sports, there are many bars you can choose from. The best place is the Hippodrome Casino in Leicester Square, which shows NFL, NBA, NHL, and more. Teams from the NFL frequently play games at Wembley stadium in the autumn, complete with tailgating before the game.
2. South Africa
Shaka Zulu is the largest South African restaurant in London. It is also a bar and a nightclub, and you will find it in the Stables Market in Camden.
If you are a rugby fan, join the Springbok Supporters Club UK where you can follow the rugby with other expats – it’s also a good social club.
Shop for your favorite food at The Savanna, where you will find boerewors, biltong and much more. There are many stores to choose from all over London, so you’ll never be far from one. You can also get all the news from back home by reading the South African Times online.
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There are a few areas that are known for having a large number of Australian residents, including Shepherds Bush, Earl’s Court, Willesden and Fulham, so consider moving into one of these London areas.
Once you are in London, check out the Australian Times website, which is especially for the Australian community in the UK and has a large section on London.
There are lots of bars frequented by Aussies. Head to one of the many Walkabout bars, or visit any of the pubs in Shepherd’s Bush and other areas with large Australian populations.
SANZA is a great place to find Australian food, so stock up on all those things you are missing from back home.
4. New Zealand
Start by reading the New Zealand Times, a site especially for New Zealanders in the UK. You may also want to join a dedicated Facebook group like London Kiwis, which provides lots of information and details of social events.
The New Zealand Society, claims to be the oldest networking society for New Zealanders in London, and you can also find out about lots of interesting events here.
Kopapa is a New Zealand owned restaurant on Monmouth Street in Covent Garden that serves up breakfast, lunch and dinner. Also look out for cultural events such as the Waitangi Day Pub Crawl.
5. Latin America
There are many restaurants for the Latin American community in London. For Argentinians, Gaucho has lots of locations in London, and Casa Malevo on Connaught Street is another great option.
For Peruvian restaurants head to Ceviche Old St on Baldwin street or Pachamama on Thayer Street. Tostado in St Anne’s Court in Soho is a good Ecuadorian restaurant, and there are many more options for all Latin American countries, just take a look around!
Salsa on Charing Cross Road is a South American bar, club and restaurant where you can also take salsa classes. Head to the area around Elephant and Castle for lots of shops selling food from different Latin American countries.
The website Latinos In London is a guide to Latin American entertainment and culture, and there are lots of events listed here. Or visit Latino Life, a guide to Latin lifestyle in the UK, where you can find details of live music, dance classes, arts and more.
Also look out for festivals like the London Latin American Film Festival and the CASA Latin American Theatre Festival, which are popular with the local Latin American community.
Another place to check out is Latin American House. Founded in 1983, this registered charity supports Latin Americans in London, providing legal advice, and even have a bilingual nursery.
Never get homesick in London
All immigrants and expats can suffer from homesickness at some point. But if you are living in London, you are fortunate in that you can always find bars, restaurants, shops, cultural centres, and a community of people from your own country to prevent homesickness from taking hold.
So explore the above places and more during your time in London and never get homesick again.
Have a favorite London haunt that banishes your cause of the abroad blues? Tell us about it below.