Whether this is your first time away from home or you are living abroad for a year or two, there will be times when you miss some of the people you love.
When you find yourself thinking about your family, your long-distance boyfriend or even your pet, life can get rough. Here are some things you might find yourself doing when you are away from the ones you care about most.
1. You start searching for scents that remind you of home.
You might be walking the streets of Florence, or you might duck into a perfume shop in search of a new fragrance in Paris and somewhere, it will hit you.
You’ll realize that you recognize the smell of your grandmother’s spaghetti or the Chanel perfume your mom wears.
When you know these smells, it’s almost like a kick in the stomach; it’s like having a taste of home without the full meal. But also, it’s addicting.
You end up searching for those same smells in other parts of your new home abroad, even though you know it will be painful when you find them.
2. You find random things that they might like.
You might find a dish that your favorite aunt would like to have or see a foreign film that would make your best friend swoon. In your life abroad, you find the people you love back home creeping back in.
It might not happen the first month you are there or even the second, but after a while, you'll start to notice aspects of life that remind you of the people about whom you really care. And once you start noticing these things, it’s hard to stop.
3. You find yourself talking about your life “back home” or a particular person.
Living in a new culture is an incredible experience, and one that you'll want to never forget.
However, after living in a new country for a few months, you'll find yourself talking a lot about what life is like back home more than you'll want to talk about your new favorite pizza topping or the new favorite karaoke bar.
When you find yourself slipping and talking about your long-distance boyfriend more than you are about your new life, you know that you’re feeling that first wave of homesickness and everything that comes with it.
4. You start making plans for when you return back home.
You have your set date for your homecoming, and you know the hour when you will crawl into your bed back home, where you will stay for several days.
You also know which friends you will see first, which fast food restaurant you will hit up and the certain movies and TV shows you will watch now that you have access to some media in your own language.
After you get over your location's distractions, you find yourself planning familiar activities for when you're back home.
5. You spend more time on your cell phone than you probably should.
Constant cell communication has changed travel. Traveling in today's world means you won't have to feel like you'll never see your family again, and you won't have to wait weeks between communications with your friends. It’s very easy to keep in contact with everyone in your faraway life.
Because it is so easy, you might find yourself spending more time talking to these people than actually enjoying the time you have in the locale of your choice.
You want to know everything about your brother’s new girlfriend or how your best friend aced her interview rather than going out for sushi … again.
No one ever said it wouldn’t be a challenge to live abroad and away from the people you love, but sometimes, you find that it’s incredibly lonely.
Remembering to enjoy your time away is an important part of the experience. And, who knows? After some time back home, you might just be homesick for the place you left behind.