For someone who has never been away from home for more than two weeks, the thought of being on the opposite side of the world for six weeks was nervewracking. I believe everyone experiences a little bit of homesickness while they are away from home for long periods of time, even if on vacation.
Personally, for me, I was holding out strong for the first three weeks of my study abroad program. After the third week, I started to feel waves of sadness and lonesomeness. When you think about it, it almost sounds selfish because you are out exploring the world on this once in a lifetime chance with classmates and friends, but yet your heart and mind still crave the desire for being at home. This is due to the fact that home offers a sense of security that no other place, no matter how wonderful, could ever provide you with.
So how does one fight through the desire of wanting to be back at home while being hundreds and thousands of miles away? My sister actually came up with a little homesickness kit that she gifted to me before I went abroad. In it, she had printed out pictures of things and people that had significant meaning to me. She also wrote me motivational letters to keep me going when things were becoming difficult in class. This little kit had a huge impact on me overcoming my homesickness.
Another tactic that truly helped me to stay sane was staying in touch with loved ones from back home on a consistent basis. It also helps if video chat is possible because that way one is constantly being exposed to the faces of those that we hold dear and true to us. It almost feels like you did not leave home if this is incorporated into your daily schedule.
Making friends is also crucial. For me, it helped that I went abroad with my three best friends from back in the states because it felt like I took large pieces of home with me abroad. In addition to having my best friends around, making new friends also made the adventure abroad more exciting. It provided me with more people to travel and do activities with. Essentially, it felt like I had one big family while I was abroad.
Hopefully, this post helps you in overcoming your homesickness while being away from home. The next time you’ll hear from me I’ll be back in the states. Ciao!