I did not expect the homesickness caused by not being surrounded by the people who ground you while studying abroad. I knew I would feel some sort of homesickness from being so far away from the familiar. However, I didn’t realize I was in this liminal space until I met up with a friend from Hope.
My friend, Sofia, is currently studying abroad in Italy and we decided to meet somewhere near the middle (Belgium). Wow, I needed that visit. A side of myself that hasn’t been able to be expressed came out and it was wonderful. I am not saying that I have been shielding or hiding a section of myself. Rather, different people bring out different sides of me.
A friend in London described that feeling as people being varied forms of home. You may feel a different kind of home with your parents versus your friends. And that can be broken down even further from friend to friend. I have built a home and sanctuary with my friends at Hope. I have been away from them for so long that I have built a new home in London. But physically returning to a friend from Hope, even for a short two days, was like a breath of fresh air. A piece of familiarity after being surrounded by the unfamiliar for just over 2 months. I love London and am refusing to believe I only have a month left here, but I also miss the people back home.
Technology has made contacting friends accessible through facetime and texts. However, it is nothing like going for coffee at 205 or LJs with them and just talking about life. I am unbelievably lucky to have had the opportunity to see Sofia this weekend and it has just invigorated me to spend my time in London to the fullest.
That short visit healed some of the homesickness I didn’t realize I had. I encourage anyone planning on studying abroad to not dismiss their homesickness but to find a way to ease it. To use it as fuel to live your time abroad to the fullest.