Homesickness is a big part of living abroad, mostly if you’ve moved to a totally different culture and to a place far away from home. Sometimes being homesick doesn’t have to do with a specific “home” but with the feeling of security, love and comfort that a place has given to you.
It takes from 6 months to a year to start actually adapting to a new culture and feeling homesick is a big part of that adaptation. You start giving things from your past away in return for things from your new culture. It’s not bad to do this, it’s just you mourning your culture and adapting to the new one!
When I moved to Cyprus I would cry my eyes out because I didn’t understand the language. I only spoke Spanish and the only thing I knew how to say in English was “May I go to the bathroom?” and Greek was out of the question. But in the span of 3 months I learned how to speak English and not surprisingly I lost a lot of my Spanish, which I had to gain back when we move to Costa Rica again 5 years later.
However, another thing that happens when you move abroad is that you start acknowledging how amazing your culture is. And that is what has happened to me this time around.
Because I was so immersed in the Costa Rican culture for the past 6 years, learning the idioms, constantly listening to Latino music, eating the “normal” Costa Rican food, that those things had already become a big part of who I was without me even realizing it and now that I am away from all of that, it makes me sad, you know?
For example, I used to HATE Latino music but since I moved to Kenya there hasn’t been a day where I don’t listen to it. And talking with a friend of mine that has gone through the same thing, she said to me that that happens ‘cause it reminds you of home and the more you listen to it, the more you feel comfortable in your new country, and she’s totally right.
Everyone goes throw a different type of homesickness depending on the circumstances that they are in, but one way or another it’s never easy. My best tips to deal with homesickness (because it’s inevitable) is to do something different that you would never do back home like join a sports group or take up knitting
(we all have different likes okay? haha) . I started this blog for example. Because it doesn’t have any connection to my Costa Rican life it takes my mind of things and makes me aware of the future.
Also, talk with someone you are close to about what you are going through, be it someone back home or someone in your new country or a family member, talking it out can make everything feel better even if the other person doesn’t understand what you are going through.
Homesickness is never fun or easy, so I hope this helped you if you are going through something like this.