Homesick and Hungry
I have been out of my comfort zone many times during my global travels. Yet nothing so far can compare to this past week living and working abroad in England, despite it’s similarities to the United States.
*Note: the food in the United Kingdom DOES in fact earn it's reputation for being awful, which may have also affected my initial unhappiness.*
Experiencing a different work culture, traveling completely solo, and knowing I will be here for two months became overwhelming and daunting pursuits. This discomfort came as a surprise to me, someone who is usually keen on escaping the familiarity of my hometown. I have always loved venturing across the sea to whichever country will host me, but my typical overbearing excitement was nonexistent. My thoughts were no longer racing with ideas about my upcoming adventures, but instead plagued with melancholy.
I began reflecting on the reasons why I chose to do this in the first place, and I was soon reminded why interning abroad CAN and WILL be one of my best decisions. It could be one of yours too.
Whether you are interning abroad like me, studying overseas, or planning on any sort of travel in a foreign country, these are some things you can do when you feel homesick:
Writing down your thoughts is always a great coping mechanism. You don’t need to poetically craft each word to describe what you are feeling, unless that is what works for you!
A more simple way to brighten up your mood will be to write down a few lists. The first list you should make will consist of the reasons why you chose to embark on your journey. Reminding yourself of these things will help ease any anxiety or doubt you may have. A second might be a list of goals and/or activities you want to accomplish by the end of your trip. This will give you some sense of direction, as well as hold you accountable for completing your original plans.
KEEP IN TOUCH
Just because you are overseas does not mean the people at home have forgotten about you. There are plenty of ways to stay connected, whether that be through social media, video calls, or the traditional written postcards and letters. Staying in contact with your family and friends at home can bring you the comfort you need in times of distress.
Remember that you ARE going home. Your time abroad will go by fast. Embrace it while you can. Often times, I find leaving my time abroad to be more difficult than leaving home was... And so that’s when I begin to plan my next adventure…
Happy travels :)