Deflated: Thoughts on Homesickness
Takoma Park Travel Blog› entry 4 of 4 › view all entries
I like home. I am a homesick-kinda person. When I was in elementary school, I would frantically call my parents at 3 in the morning and beg them to pick me up from my friends' sleepovers. I remember laying in the dark in my Strawberry Shortcake sleeping bag and panicking. Homesickness isn't really rational, it just takes you over. Luckily, by the time I was in middle school and high school, my homesickness had mostly worn off and I was able to survive a three-week trip to Europe during the summer. I thought I had it conquered.
I was wrong. When I was 18, I went off to college three hours from home. I spent the first month crying--ok, fine, more like sobbing--about being away from home and things changing. It was not pleasant. When I was 20, I studied abroad in Strasbourg, France, and spent the first four months sobbing in phone booths to my mother. I was homesick, yet I refused to call it quits. This pattern stopped repeating itself when I was older and able to talk myself out of it.
I get slightly homesick every time I leave my house for even one night. It's an aching feeling, like you really miss something, but you can't quite put your finger on what. Thankfully, it's not a strong feeling anymore, but it is always present. That's why it's funny (not funny haha, more like funny strange) that I've lived abroad twice, visited 24 countries, and am never content to be home. I desperately want to live abroad again--and again and again and again. I'm a walking contradiction. I love home! I hate home! I want to leave home forever! I want my bed and comforts of home now! Sigh.
So I don't cry from homesickness anymore, and it's more a slight ache that doesn't affect me. What happens now, though, is that every place I live or visit becomes a little bit of home for me, so I'm always homesick for something. In Strasbourg, I miss tarte flambee, the Christmas Market, crepes, wine and my friends. In Osaka, I miss the yummy tendon place by the Umeda train station, Shinsaibashi, sentos (public baths), convenient stores and bento boxes. In Columbia, Missouri, I miss the atmosphere, Shakespeare's Pizza, frozen alcoholic drinks and the University. In my hometown of St. Joseph, Missouri, I miss my family, Barbosa's, Krug Park and just St. Joe in general. You get the idea. I'm always just a little bit homesick for some place.
The thing is, now that I'm a grown-up (and have been for quite some time now), I can't call my parents at 3 in the morning to come get me anymore. But I bet if I really needed them to, they would.