21
Jan-2014

Travel Abroad: How to go from Homesick to Feeling Well at Home

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In the midst of the Seattle Seahawks going to the Superbowl, we realize although super stoked, we couldn’t have picked a worse time to be living abroad. There’s nothing like a Division rivalry game, played at home in Seattle, for the NFC Championship, to make you absolutely homesick. Oh, did I mention Seattle’s current gem, MACKLEMORE performed at halftime??? AAARRGGGHHH!!

Well through it all, these are my 5 tips that quickly turn me from homesick to feeling well at home, even in dire straits right now missing out on one of the biggest moments in our city’s history.

1. Use a “trigger” to remind you, you’re not alone.
During my early 20’s (aka, when the drama was still relatively high and immature), I lived with my brother in a duplex – me taking the whole basement, and him taking the upstairs floor. Whenever I would come home terribly upset and sit in my room to wallow, sometimes my dear brother would play the Fugees version of “No Woman, No Cry” on blast in the living room and I could hear it below. Every time I hear those fateful lyrics, “hey little sister, don’t shed no tears” – it automatically makes me smile and reminds me I’m never alone. We’ve all been through rough patches in life, and have come to find a ‘trigger’ that immediately helps us feel better. When I’m in that place of loneliness or sadness, I always know that song will bring me back to knowing even 1,000 of miles away – I’m never alone.

fugees2. Find a taste of home.
Yep, I’m an American. So a taste of home for me? No matter where I am in the world, McDonalds french fries taste the same in every country. And if I’m absolutely, last resort home sick, no doubt I will eat those terrible – but amazing – salty things. Shoot, I do that in Seattle when I’m home sick from my parents in Colton. It brings me right back to a happy place of riding next to my dad in the car and he would once in a lifetime grant me with a cheeseburger happy meal. And I mean once in a lifetime. 

3. Find someone that feels the way you do and commiserrrr..love together. They say misery loves company, so what I’m saying is like that – but the opposite. Instead of being miserable with someone else that is home sick, share with them what you love about home, the things that bring you joy, and listen to them do the same. Learning about other people’s concept of home and the great things in their life, I guarantee, only deepens your well of love and sense of home.

4. Share the (virtual) love!
With technology these days, it’s easy to stay connected. And being abroad, I’ve found, gives you a lot more opportunities – albeit much more scheduled – time to really connect with your family and friends. Skype, blogging, Facebook, Google hangout – you name it, allows for meaningful connections and love to be shared from thousands of miles away. And honestly, with the concept of no wasting time, you’ll cut through the meaningless stuff and get to the good stuff 🙂 So schedule some time with the ones you love, and catch up!

5. Last but best of all – be grateful you are homesick.
Above all, being homesick means one thing: you have something to be homesick about, and that’s a pretty amazing thing. Just as there are times in your life that you need to be home, I believe there are times that you are meant to not be at home because there is a certain gratefulness that comes along with being away. You start to narrow your focus on priorities, how you spend your time, and where it matters most to put your time and energy. When that all comes together, you are so grateful for the time and love shared between the people that are so dear to you. When you do go home, all your time is spent doing nothing but those things, when usually if you live there, you pilfer your time away with distractions and meaningless wastes of time. Not to mention, praise the Lord for the conveniences of home when you don’t have them abroad. Living away from home is a great opportunity to develop this type of gratefulness and priority-based living for when you return. Can you really be homesick when you realize how lucky you are to have so much love in your life, a place to call home?

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I’m sending out my love especially to all those in my life that are out there living their dreams away from home: from San Francisco to Italy; Cleveland to Australia; Laos to New York; and everywhere abroad. I’m sure just as you, I am looking forward to my return home, and looking forward to yours too 🙂

And of course….GO SEAHAWKS! #12THMAN

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