America For Beginners

Bringing American culture closer to new immigrants

[Thoughts] How to Handle Homesickness

I am not homesick. I am not homesick. I am not homesick.

Sounds like a mantra and maybe it works like one sometimes.

how to handle homesicknessSurprisingly enough , I don’t miss being in my homeland, its culture, the way life runs or anything like that because I feel like I’ve found the place where I belong and I love and accept America – with all its pleasures and pitfalls. Moreover, I don’t miss my homeland even when caught in a difficult situation or feel in some way rejected by my new surroundings.

 I do miss it, however, when I feel happy, everything goes well, I’m overflown by positive emotions and I do not have enough people to share my joy with. Like right now. I’m sitting in a café, doing some research and enjoying people watching. A cute little girl at the next table keeps smiling at me, I’ve just read an amazing article, my day is carefully planned with enjoyable things, and life looks good. I wish I had someone to randomly call at this moment.

I think about all that and how life is all about small things, and then, as if picking on me, my earl grey with its flavor sends me back to my Siberian college years. And, of course, I get all kinds of memories. That one time when my brother and I were having a tea on a warm summer night and were discussing something at that point significant. Whether to paint the balcony walls Egyptian style or not? (we finally did) What episode of Star Wars should I watch first? Fun stuff like that, you know.

They say, you remember not what people said but the way they made you feel.  Same story here. And many more stories if I go deeper into that.

The question is how to handle it. It makes you sad on the one hand because you miss people you have shared wonderful moments with. On the other hand, they are still with you, even at a distance and you have a good opportunity to create new memories and live your great life with new people.

The solution I found for myself is to embrace homesickness. I believe that anyone going into denial in this case risks getting really depressed. That is why I cherish those rare moments.  I’m glad I have them. In the end, they show that I’m perfectly human.


One comment on “[Thoughts] How to Handle Homesickness

  1. Very well written article. I share a lot of your feelings and agree you have to acknowledge your true emotions and accept them as part of your life.
    Expat or not we all experience peaks and valleys but as expatriates they seem to be higher and deeper, more intense, as we have a sense of urgency to adapt quickly. We have a lot of pressure to appear successful and well integrated as we chose to live in another culture, failure is not an option !

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