Homesickness and the Holidays

So the holiday season has come in the US! It started with Halloween (if you consider that part of the holiday season – I think it kind of counts because so many people celebrate). Next up – Thanksgiving! Not here though. While Halloween exists in a very small way in Ecuador, Thanksgiving basically does not exist at all.

I’m hearing reports of my friends back in the US starting to go home to see their families for Thanksgiving, and it’s a bit hard to be out of the country and not have the holiday. Homesickness is something I always thought was more associated with going away, and that once I had been living here I wouldn’t be homesick anymore. However, I’ve found that the closer we get to family and friend-oriented holidays, the more I miss the people at home. I’ve been talking with other exchange students about it, and have found that they’re experiencing a similar situation, where they really wish they could be home right now to celebrate with their families.

It’s also hard because I’m from the North, so my entire being is telling me that Christmas is coming and it should be snowing right now! Of course it isn’t snowing right now, it’s 65 degrees just like it is all the time. Believe me – I know how nice it is and I know I’ll miss it when I get back to the frigid Michigan and Pennsylvania winters – but it’s hard not to miss the feeling of Christmas that comes with snow swirling around the windows and studying for finals in the library.

My host family's Christmas tree!
My host family’s Christmas tree!

I am very thankful that IES Abroad (the program I came through) is putting on a Thanksgiving dinner for all of its exchange students so that we can have a little taste of home during the holidays. I also helped my host family decorate the house for Christmas (which tragically happened before Thanksgiving because they don’t have that crucial season marker here), which was really fun!

I love Ecuador, and the holidays they celebrate here have been such a wonderful experience. Most of the time I’m content here, but every so often I still get homesick – and that’s ok.

Published by Kimberly Breyfogle

Class of 2021 CYA Athens, Greece Chemistry, Spanish w/ minor in History, Biology

Leave a comment