Many people envision a life abroad. For some, it is a temporary lifestyle change that lasts for a year or two. Others roam across continents as digital nomads, while others settle for life and create new families.
There were an estimated 66.2 million expats around the globe in 2017. Finaccord’s study forecast this number to grow to perhaps 87.5 million by 2021. But, Covid arrived and had some impact on this growth. As far as the Czech Republic is concerned, there are somewhere around 200,000 national passport holders living overseas currently.
And sometimes, these expats or long-term travelers miss their home comforts. In the US, it has been reported that up to 75% of the population has felt homesick at some point in their lives.
Could it be that installing a VPN could bring you that much closer to the Czech Republic, and reduce your homesickness?
How can a VPN reduce homesickness?
Typically someone experiencing homesickness can feel sad, depressed, anxious, and even grief. If you are overseas and missing home, it could be certain comforts that you miss or people. Friends and family are common reasons to feel homesick.
It could be that you had a bad day at university or at work, and this can trigger the feeling of wanting to be back in familiar surroundings and in your family home.
Homesickness is related to separation anxiety disorder, and adjustment disorder. It is a form of emotional distress and can cause many negative feelings to surface. It can bring anyone to tears and cause sleepless nights. It could even end with someone giving up their travels or time abroad to head straight back home and miss out on the potential experiences they would have gained.
A VPN could help someone to connect to websites that are specifically aimed at their home country, ones that may not even be available outside of a particular geographical location. This, surprisingly, may alleviate some of the feelings of homesickness.
What can a VPN do for you?
Many countries have certain restrictions due to government controls. Some websites in other countries are simply not accessible by individuals in certain other regions. Or sometimes, alternative content is available in one country than it is in another.
This can make it difficult for someone to access the apps, websites, and content they desire from a different location. A VPN can let you change the location to the Czech Republic or a region that your chosen website is accessible from.
So, for example. If you were sitting at home in Prague and wanted to view flights you would normally be directed to your local version of your chosen vendor.
However, a foreign version of a flight carrier for instance might have better deals than the Czech one. Unfortunately, you have been automatically sent to your local site. But, by pointing your VPN to the UK or the US, you can access their flight prices instead.
What could a VPN do for someone with homesickness?
How about some entertainment for a start? If you are studying in the US, you won’t be able to access Netflix Czechia, or will you?
Many expats or nationals living overseas might like to watch movies and TV shows in their native language. But, this isn’t always possible. There are plenty of movies that show life in the Czech Republic, but you might have difficulty accessing them from abroad.
A VPN can switch your IP address back to Czechia so you can indulge in some nostalgia and comfort.
Using a VPN could also help with contacting friends and family. Not all countries are internet friendly, and if you came from China for instance you might have difficulties messaging your friends back home. In this instance, the friend could use a VPN to access Facebook and then message you wherever you may be.
Restrictions on social media, streaming content, geo-blocked websites, and problems with banking or PayPal could be helped through the use of a VPN. You could even use a VPN to simply browse a geo-restricted ecommerce site back home for some virtual window shopping.
Who can use a VPN to link with their home country?
It was in early 2020 that Prague announced the opening of its first expat center. Designed to welcome newcomers, and long-time expats in the city, it was a welcome addition to many.
Not all expats and those staying overseas are so lucky though. Not everyone receives this kind of support, and the internet can be something of a lifeline at times.
A VPN is a useful tool for creating secure connections, and for switching IP locations, and it can be used by anyone.
- Students (including foreign exchange)
- Business travelers
Almost anyone who is traveling overseas can make use of a VPN. For those who are staying long-term and are suffering something of a culture shock, then a VPN can help boost positive moods, and alleviate homesickness. But, for others, it can be a valuable business or communication tool to send data home securely.
Are there any other motives for using a VPN while away from home?
As you have just read, security is a part of what makes a VPN useful. A VPN can be creatively used to view geo-restricted content of Czech YouTube channels, but it can also make sure you are safe while doing so.
A VPN will route all of your data through the provider’s server and encrypt it. This ensures that all your incoming and outgoing data is protected from anyone trying to harvest your information.
Cybercrime is a genuine threat today, and a VPN can ensure your time overseas is safe, if online only. Your identity can be protected, as well as your IP address and location.
There is a fair chance that at some point you will use public WiFi overseas. You may be living in student quarters, on campus, in a hostel or hotel, or in shared accommodation. Unless you are lucky enough to have your own private network, your data could be subject to increased security risks.
It is advisable to use a VPN then wherever you go online, even if it is to search longingly for a restaurant serving vepřo knedlo zelo nearby. As a foreign national living abroad you will almost certainly have to access your banking or credit card accounts online at some point. You could find that your IP is flagged and you are blocked from logging in. A good VPN could help here. Even if you have no trouble accessing your accounts, a VPN will protect the data you send and receive.
Homesickness might not be able to be completely cured by a VPN and the internet. But, it could certainly be relieved. Just being able to view and enjoy native-language TV shows can be a boost. Talking to friends back home can give a great emotional lift, and in some restricted countries, a VPN will be essential for access.
A VPN is also a vital app for anyone who is spending time overseas and needs to spend time online for studies, work, or taking care of finances. Public networks can be a risk in some circumstances, and a VPN will help to keep your connection secure.