I’m having the time of my life, but am also feeling the most feels. I’m in one of the most beautiful places ever and am super grateful to be here, but I’m also longing to go home at the exact same time.
Homesickness is somethin else.
It fluctuates. I could be having the best day ever and then see or hear something that reminds me of home and remember that I am over 2,500 miles away. I’m so far from home that Apple Maps doesn’t even show me a route to get back home.
For me, homesickness hits the most on Sundays. Those are the days where I would get to hang out with my friends at church and then spend time with my family afterwards. Out here, we tend to travel on the weekends, so Sunday ends up being a day that we are returning to San Ramon. But if I’m not travelling, I am on a quest to find a church that will allow me to be apart of a community while I am here. Either way, there is usually a point in the day where I think about what I would be doing, and I get really sad and wish that I could teleport back to all the comforts of home.
One of the things that is always a tragedy is when you see something that “is the same” as something you would eat or do at home, but when you eat or do that thing, it turns out to not be quite the same as what you’re used to. Take for instance ketchup. In many restaurants and homes out here, the ketchup looks almost like a jelly and is sweeter than what we are accustomed to in the US. Everytime I am served this “ketchup,” I feel pretty played, but every once in a while, someone will have the real stuff that I’m used to eating.
If you didn’t know, I am from Vegas, and it can be very hot out there. Because of this, you really don’t see many bugs. We have the typical cockroach, moth, grasshopper, red ant, and all those other suuuuper basic insects/bugs, but they are in waaaaaaaay smaller quantities than most other US states. I probably see less than 10 bugs in my house in a month. Here, I see more than 10 bugs in my room in a day. So I’m sure you can see how much of a shock factor this has been to me. There are spider webs (and spiders) and gnats pretty much everywhere, but everyone else seems to be okay with it, so I guess I can get over it??? Last week I found a millipede on my bathroom wall and I have killed multiple ants trying to crawl on my hand while I’m eating. Bottom line is that all of the bugs are for sure a major contributor to the homesickness I feel. I’m not used to getting bit by unidentified creatures while I’m sleeping, or being cautious about mosquitos because they can give me deadly diseases. BUT WE OUT HERE.
As for the food portion of homesickness, I miss having sweet foods for breakfast, pho, and In-n-Out. The food out here has been good. Different, but good. Unless I go out to eat, I eat whatever my host mom makes me which is cool cause she can cook well, but I miss being in control of what I eat. At times, I also miss meals without rice and beans and that are little lighter on my stomach, but life goes on. We workout so that we can eat good right?
My host mom does her best to make me feel at home and welcomed here, and she does a great job. She is very kind and is always asking if I am okay and makes sure to tell me which streets to not walk down by myself and always asks me what adventure I'm embarking on for the upcoming weekend.
I reeeeally miss my friends. The people I have met out here have been cool, and I am grateful for all of them, but it’s not the same. I miss all of our stupid hang outs and going over to each other’s houses. Which is something that I especially miss, because even if all of us study abroad students wanted to chill at someone’s house, we can’t because we technically aren’t allowed to have people over to visit, which kind of sucks. We get to hang out whenever we travel or eat out, but it would be nice to hang out and not have to spend money. And while we are similar in many ways, we are still different in others, so we are still working out those differences. I have already started planning things for my crew to do in the summer when I get back.
Whenever I’m in my moods of homesickness, I have to remind myself that a lot of people are longing to have the opportunity that I am currently living in. I’m really out here being immersed in a different culture and language, getting college credit towards my major, and getting to travel to really beautiful places. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity. The discomfort I feel is only temporary, but if I enjoy myself while I’m here, these memories will last forever.
Check back later for more updates!