Tuesday, September 9, 2014

When Homesickness Sneaks Up on You

I have tried 4 different kinds of milk and none of them taste right.  And it’s not just me.  The toddler won’t drink it either, so I know something’s different about it.  It’s not in my head.

I didn’t expect to be homesick.  I’ve lived here before and I know people…but there’s still a nagging voice that says “Ugh! If I were at home (fill in the blank)”. Last week was a struggle.  What’s interesting is that my schedule is really falling into place. I am in the groove with work. My partner and I have a good pick-up/drop-off system going with the kids. Things look a little more settled at our apartment…well…we bought a rug and some curtains.

Now that the frantic “get settled” frenzy is over, I guess I’ve had time to miss the U.S. I miss how easy it was to phone-a-friend just to check in about their day or my day.  I miss not wondering whether I’m culturally incompetent (“Did I miss something?” is a recurring question). I miss my church. I miss family gatherings.  I’m sure it doesn’t help that the big kid is turning 4 this week and we won’t be with everyone to celebrate.

Anyway, the good thing is that I could name it for what it is and know that it will pass.  So, to get out of this funk, I have decided I need something else to ruminate over.  Before I left, I posted about trying a 30-day meditation challenge (Aligning Mind and Body).  I have to report that I did not stick with it.  BUT, the good thing is, you can always start again!  So, I’ve decided to re-commit to meditation, incorporate exercise into my weekly routine, and I will also start reading “Oprah-like” articles and quotes about gratitude, perseverance, and life challenges.  

What strategies have worked for you?

1 comment:

  1. Some tips from other friends who are abroad:
    --know that homesickness is part of the deal, like jet-lag
    --put up cards and pictures of friends and family
    --keep busy
    --join new social groups (ie. exercise groups, book clubs, etc)
    --vent with other expats (but don't get stuck in the expat bubble)
    --remind yourself why you chose your path, keep an open mind, and take advantage of your amazing and unique experience