Difficulties with Boredom and Lonliness

First of all, let me acknowledge that I have a wonderful, loving and supportive boyfriend who is doing his absolute best to support us both on one salary. He is sweet and caring and I am lucky and grateful to have him.

I am feeling a bit lonely and bored lately in general. I of course do not want to bother Jens with this, as he carries a great deal of stress already, and the last thing I want to do is make him worry about me. But– I have been in this country for just over a month now, and I have yet to make any “regular” friends. I am still very dependent on Jens for everything, so it’s difficult for me to go out on my own. I do not have a vehicle, so unless I get up at 4am to ride into work with him, I don’t leave home. It is incredibly isolating.

I look forward to getting a job and making friends, but this does not help me much now, and jobs are difficult to come by when you don’t speak Swedish. Which is another isolating factor. While everyone here knows English, people only use it when speaking directly to me but usually maintain conversations with groups in Swedish, preventing me from participating. I am sure they do not do this on purpose, but it is very difficult from my end to not feel isolated, and I enjoy listening to conversations, even if I do not take part verbally.

So, I spend a lot of time doing housework and yard work, and thinking about all of the creative and fun things I want to do, but not having the inspiration or motivation to do them. I am an extrovert, and I need social stimulation. When I don’t get it, I feel lonely and depressed. So, this is probably one of the hardest things for me in moving to a new country. Even worse, I think, with todays social networking sites. I feel like I am on the outside looking in at all of the fun and adventures people are having, and I find myself missing my friends and family.

I am bound and determined to make this work. I really do love it here, and I love being with Jens. I know that this is just one of those small mountains that I must climb, and it will be better on the other side. But in the meantime, it kinda sucks.


16 thoughts on “Difficulties with Boredom and Lonliness

  1. I really see where you are coming from. I felt the same way before I met up with my study abroad group in Ireland. Everyone speaks english here, but the conversations were minimal, and all the people in my hostel seemed to travel in groups so I felt distant. I would see what my friends were posting and I was wondering why I traveled alone in the first place. I need social interaction too! I go crazy without.
    I think that finding something creative to do will help you out a lot. Blogging has kept me sane, I hope it helps you too. I would use social media to not only see what your current friends are doing, but seek out other individuals in your area. I searched “dublin” twitter, or I would tag it in my posts, and within a few days I found some students from America studying in the same place I was. We met up and it has made the trip a lot easier.
    Hope this helps! :]

    • Thanks Juan! It definitely does help. In one aspect, I know this is a part of moving to a new country, a new culture and a new life. However, once I get into that space, I feel like it will never end. If I hadn’t just come from living at a hostel where I worked as a tour guide, it would probably be less of a shock. It’s also summer, and I am used to be out doing all of my summery things. It’s an adjustment. I look forward to finding my place here, but in the moment it is not so easy. THANK YOU for your support, suggestions and kind words. I definitely helps hearing from someone who’s been there!

  2. Unfortunately, the Swedes are famous for being extremely difficult to make friends with. Its not you, its them. At least they’re not like the Dutch who make it impossible for you to learn their language by switching to English on hearing the slightest of accents. By the way, have you considered doing volunteering work? Nobody says no to free help, it keeps you busy, you feel useful, get a chance to learn the language and get to know new people. Plus – you get experience that looks real good on your CV.

  3. I definitely understand! I still feel like this sometimes, and I live in the city, and have a few friends here. It’s definitely just part of the whole package that is moving to a foreign country and basically re-starting your life. Hope you feel better soon, just know you’re not alone in your loneliness!

    • Aw! Thanks, Zeta! I mean, I don’t feel good that other people are lonely, but it’s nice to know that it’s a common experience in this situation. Thanks for the support, and hugs to you when you feel the loneliness too! Things are getting better- I have a car now, I will begin SFI tomorrow, and we are getting a puppy on Friday, so I will be busy for a while 😀 I will write alllll about it soon! Thanks for the support, and thanks for following 😀

  4. Hang in there, darlin’. I can totally relate from my time in Japan. I had some awesome friends who came from a mix of English-speaking countries, but the closest lived about 45 min away by train and travel was expensive. Everyone in my town was incredibly friendly and patient with my limited Japanese, but they were also very busy. I really missed just “hanging out” with people. My only advice is to give yourself several projects for every day to be the “work” (studying the language can take up a few hours easily!) and then a few different things for fun. That volunteer suggestion is excellent: some of my best memories come from town events I took part in.

    You’ll make friends soon, just wait. You’re such a positive, fun person and that translates into any language. 🙂

    • Thanks for sharing your experience! I forget that I have friends who have experienced the same thing. I see how awesome you turned out, and I can take a deep sigh of relief. 😉
      Thanks for the love and support! I hope everything is super awesome in Canada! Shoot me your Skype info on Facebook, and hopefully we can chat sometime soon! 😀

  5. Obviously I am in a totally different circumstance, but things are pretty isolating here as well. I’ve also had a bit of a creative bump that’s been draining my motivation. Let me know if you ever want to skype, maybe we can show each other our projects and maybe inspire and motivate each other 😉

    • Katie! YES! Let’s skype sometime. I am sorry I didn’t respond to this sooner! My skype name is Writetocreate Find me and we can have a conversation of creative proportions! 😀 Hugs!

  6. Hi there Corin! I just found your blog, and upon scanning your post headlines, I had to read this one. I, too, am an American living in Sweden now (Linköping, for the past 6 months). I moved here with my American husband, though. I feel you on the loneliness and bored side of things; I’m a new stay-at-home-wife. It is a hard transition, but it’s nice to see that others can feel the same way in similar situations… At least you have a built in Swede to help you along! Good luck with everything. I enjoy your writing, so I’ll be following along 🙂

    • Hej Katie! Sorry it took so long to reply! I have taken a hiatus from blogging this summer, since we have been so busy. A few weeks after I wrote this, my boyfriend went on vacation, and we have been non-stop since, which was a nice change of pace.

      It is definitely nice having a Swedish boyfriend, as he already has friends and family here, and knows the area well, but there are benefits to being completely new: BIG ADVENTURES! Yeah, I know how isolating it can be though, that’s for sure. But hey, if you are interested, I would totally be down for meeting up sometime! You are only about 3 hours from Gothenburg, or 1.5 from Jönköping, which is directly in the middle. It’s not too weird, I guess, this is something I do on a regular basis (ie: Couchsurfing.com)

      OH! And then, there is that! I have found a few good friends through Couchsurfing.com You can sign up and meet people for coffee. I have met my best friend here that way! It was so funny, we actually just found out her family is friends with my BF’s family. Small world (country. County. Archipelago.)
      So, you have some options for making friends in the area! And as I said, I would also be happy to meet up with you, once I get more comfortable driving a manual. If you want, you can even add me on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/corin.porter Feel free! I know this might seem a little odd for a stranger to be so open, but… that’s just me! I am like a puppy who just wants to be friends with everyone.
      I am also happy to show you around Gothenburg, if you and your hubby are ever in the area! I hope you are well, and finding your way in the last week since you posted. As people have told me, and as I continue to find out- it does get better. And keep in touch! I am happy to be a support!

  7. I’m struggling with that exact same thing. It was actually really nice to read this. It makes me feel less alone. I feel like I depend on my boyfriend far too much for my social needs and I really just want to make atleast one really good friend here in switzerland but I haven’t yet. sighh.

    • Sarah! You are not alone! This was one of my most popular posts ever- as far as comments go. People really identify with this, and I realize this is very common. That made me feel better for a while, but eventually there comes a time when we each have to do *something* to break free from the loneliness of living in a foreign land. I started volunteering at a language school 12 hours a week. I don’t get paid, but at least I’m getting some work experience here, and getting out of the house every other day. I have also found Couchsurfing.com to be very helpful. You can sign up and contact people to see if they want to get coffee. This is great because the majority of people on CS speak English, and are interested in meeting travelers. I met one of my good friends this way. 😀 Good luck, and I promise it gets better, but you have to be active- it’s the only way to keep from falling deeper into the black hole of despair (especially with winter fast approaching!

  8. Pingback: A New Chapter | When In Roam

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