As I’m sitting on my balcony overlooking this gorgeous city, with a breeze in my hair and the sound of the waves crashing down below me, I can’t help but to feel homesick. I’ve been here in Salerno for almost a full 3 weeks now, and it’s finally hit me: I miss home.
Homesickness is totally natural and OKAY, especially if you’re almost 6,000 miles away from home like I am. It’s so easy to get caught up in the idea of living in a fantasy world abroad, but the reality is that big changes like this are hard! All it means is that it’s time to get to the root of the problem so that you can start seeing everything around you in a more clear, positive light!
If you find yourself homesick while studying abroad, here are a few tips and tricks that have helped me out when there’s nothing I would rather do than cuddle up on the couch with my dog!
- Journal. Quite possibly the best thing that’s happened to me here is being able to write on this blog and share my experiences with the world. Not only do I get the satisfaction of reliving the incredible opportunities I’ve been fortunate enough to have here, but I am able to reflect on what makes them so special to me as an individual. It is so important to stay connected with yourself and not to lose sight of your identity even when you feel so detached from your “normal” life.
- Create a Routine. Get out of bed at the same time every day. Drink that cup of coffee. Finish that crossword puzzle. Whatever it is for you that can normalize your environment, do it!
- Go get some good ole’ American food. Yes I know I’m in Italy, surrounded by some of the best food in the world. But let’s be honest, everyone needs a big fat cheeseburger or some crispy chicken nuggets every once in a while.
- Find your place. I’ve talked about it on here before, but for me this is the boardwalk, or ‘lungomare’ as its known here in Salerno. My mid-class breaks and evening strolls here remind to take a breath of fresh air and listen to the world around me. Take a walk, go for a run, and watch your worries melt away.
- Stay connected. In this day and age of technology, that one person you’ve been longing to talk to is only a phone call away. Talk to those you love and work through it! They’ll remind you of why you’re here and it’ll make it all the more sweeter when you get to see them again!
Remember: don’t beat yourself up because it is totally ok to feel like this sometimes! Even now, writing this post has helped me to clear my mind and find the balance in every day that I spend here. Go out and explore the world without fear of the unknown!
Ciao a tutti!