I know that it’s only been about five weeks so far, but the feeling of missing home has already been seeping into me. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love and adore Barcelona; it’s a beautiful place with beautiful people – and I’ve already made some wonderful friends here… but still – the memories of home still linger at times.
I miss home, as in California as a whole. Home as in my family, home as in Riverside – the city where I met heaps of life-long college friends, home as in the diverse and glorious food of California. Missing home is a pretty common feeling when abroad, and I’ve also spoken to a few friends of mine who feel similarly. So at this point, what can you do?
- VIDEO CHAT
A large part of home for me is the people; it’s not too difficult to stay in touch with them, given the amount of technology that we could now choose from. But there’s no other form of communication as personal as video chatting or phone calls. Most of the time you can lose the richness and the nonverbal cues through text messaging –but with video chatting or phone calls, you can see the facial expressions and hear voices of your beloved ones. It just takes a bit of time and effort.
- HOME COOKING
I miss the food in California A LOT. I know that I’m in Barcelona right now, and I should be eating tons of tapas and churros con chocolate. But I’m not going to lie; sometimes I have cheat days where I’ll eat food that reminds me of California.
Maintaining a journal, or talking to other people about how you’re feeling can help you refocus your attention on the present. Thinking about home and missing it is a completely valid feeling, but it’s also important to realize that you are in a different country right now, and the remaining time that you have here is limited and should be used wisely.
These things have worked out for me so far, but everyone is different. After all, you know yourself the best – so do whatever you need to in order to take care of yourself and your wellbeing. Self-care is important!
By Ainsley Chac, University of California Riverside