Lifestyle Personal

Moving Abroad and Being Homesick

Now that I have at least a month of living in Holland under my belt, I can talk about the low points I’ve experienced. I’ve seen so much and done many different things I never thought I’d ever do… But, I do still think of what I left behind. And let me tell you, the homesickness is real. I would often wake up in the middle of the night and expect to see my dogs Oliver and Bijou at the foot of my bed. This is the first time I’m living in a home without dogs (and with an vocal cat). It’s still a bit difficult coming to terms with the lack of their presence. It’s ok to be homesick. If you spend your whole life living in one place, it’s hard to let go. Take the time to overcome it and don’t let it hold you back.

Even food isn’t the same
I’ve been able to find American brand foods in the local stores. I have yet to buy anything because it’s so expensive! I’ve seen boxes of Poptarts and cereal that cost €8 per regular sized box! If I miss something that I can make myself, I’ll do it! More often than not the effort is worth it. I’ve found a lot of comfort in making my own food. The familiar taste is earned in that sense and I can battle being homesick.

Shy tendencies can ruin you
For the first few weeks I had Sander speak to everyone. I never opened my mouth because I didn’t want people to know I wasn’t Dutch. I know now that it’s very common for everyone to know at least a few English words. My vocabulary is also growing each time I leave the house. It’s safe to say that I was overthinking things, but who doesn’t?

It’s hard to stay motivated
The first week I was home alone, I read a lot and revisited my favorite games. I caught up on Youtube videos and organized myself on my new computer. But after all that I couldn’t find the energy to do much else. I got mopey and procrastinated a lot. These feelings come with being alone in unfamiliar territory. I’m taking the steps to emerge from within the fortress. A few days ago I made the journey to the local shopping mall. I had to walk to the bus and then walk the last mile or so to where I had to be. I used the knowledge that Sander had given me as we traveled together. It was a painless experience! I’m also excited about traveling even further, like to Amsterdam.

What is important to remember?
This too shall pass. I read about this story a few years back when I was having a rough time. My dad passed away, I ended a long relationship and it was before I had started school again. The story goes that a king wanted something to remind him the good times and bad times were only temporary. This holds true today. While there are ups and downs in life, they come and go. So even though happy times may not stay for long, it’s exactly the same for bad times. They will go before you know it and that including being homesick.

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