Do I get homesick while living abroad? How homesick am I? What do I do when I experience homesickness? ...On the next episode of "As the Blog Turns!
Its been one year, one month, and twelve days since I moved from America to South Korea. Its been seven months, two weeks, and four days since I've visited my hometown. Honestly, I haven't experienced an overwhelming amount of homesickness since I arrived here. Or rather, I have yet to feel a a strong desire to return home do to loneliness or culture shock..
However, I do expereince brief moments of homesickness. For example, sometimes I may hear a song that triggers a memory with a family member and suddenly I miss them. Or I may randomly get a craving for a certain food, like homemade chicken and dumplings or jambalaya.
Also, the work environment in South Korea is quite conservative. Therefore, I find myself having to act less outgoing or personable than normal. Where as in the U.S., I could be very friendly towards my coworkers at all times. Sometimes I feel that I must keep up appearances with people and not get too close to them. This is also a result of the language barrier.
Usually these feelings can be hashed with a conversation with my friends. Often they relate to what I am experiencing. I find the best solution is to make a video call to family just to chat. Often times I have little to share, but seeing their live face on the phone screen is comforting.
In regards to missing some familiar food, I have attempted to recreate some dishes here in Korea. They weren't so bad, but some ingredients can be hard to find.
Last year during the month of December, I experienced the greatest level of homesickness. December in America is holiday season, my birthday, and my nephews birthday. Although, I tried to muster up a spirit of cheer it didn't measure up. There's a lack of Christmas spirit in Korea that is ultimately depressing. And having December 25 be my only off day during the entire month was upsetting. It didn't feel like Christmas at all.
Thankfully, there are always Christmas episodes of Glee to cheer me up!
Being away from my family during that time didn't help either. I didn't get to make banana pudding or brownies with my mom. Nor did I listen to Boyz II Men while decorating the Christmas tree. This year I hope to for a more spirit-filled holiday season.
Ultimately, I manage homesickness as it comes. While listening to music can trigger homesickness and nastalgia, it can also help to releave it. I enjoy listening to Hall & Oates or DeBarge to reminisce on fun times spent with my family in America. Sometimes I am brought to tears, sometimes I find myself dancing in the mirror. Either way I am grateful.
I do worry about the well-being of my family while I am away. However, this has tested my faith and I am confident that even though I am not in close poximity to them, they are protected despite my abscence.
And what I do know for sure, is that having a community of friends who I can trust and confide in has helped a great deal. Without them I may not have had the courage to re-sign on for another year with EPiK.
Homesickness comes and goes, but it is manageable.
I have relaized that most are not willing to create a wix account in order to interact and comment on this platform, so, I will create a Instagram post where you may leave your comments or questions as they relate to any of the posts on this blog!