I have been studying and exploring Europe for five weeks now and something that goes hand in hand with that is beginning to feel homesick. I have learned how to deal with this feeling and ways to get through it.
The number one thing that has helped me when I am missing home is to get up and go for a walk around the town. I have found that the times I feel the most homesick are when I am just hanging out and not doing much to occupy my mind. Walking around the busy streets of Florence, or wherever I may be at the time, shows me how large and diverse this world really is. It has proved to me that taking this leap of faith and choosing to study abroad for four months, away from everything I have ever known, is so worth having these feelings from time to time. Getting up and exploring or just walking around the city truly makes me feel the most alive, and the most like myself that I ever have.
Another cure for feeling homesick is simply talking to your family. As cliché as it sounds, it is true, they are only a phone call away. Taking the time out of your busy schedule to pick up the phone and to have a ten-minute conversation with your family or whomever you might be missing at the time makes all the difference in the world. I have noticed that doing this makes me feel like I am not missing out, and I am still there with them. Seeing your parents or siblings faces on Face Time when you haven’t seen them in weeks is such a heart-warming feeling and instantly makes me feel better. Besides my family and friends at home I find myself missing my dogs all of the time. I am a huge dog lover and not being able to cuddle or play with my dogs whenever I want is definitely difficult. It might seem strange to some people but my dogs are a huge part of my life and they bring me so much happiness. Luckily, Florence is extremely dog friendly. Day to day when I am walking around the city, or heading to my classes, I see countless adorable dogs which makes me feel a little more at home. On a side note, the dogs here are so well-trained, most of them are not even on leashes and follow their owner’s every move.
Being away from home and the United States as a whole for over a month now has taught me some very important life lessons. There is so much more to this world than the place you were born and raised in. I have experienced it first-hand that once you get out of your home town and see other parts of the world, the little things become just that; the little things. There are so many different people, languages, cultures, views, and ways of life in this world to learn and submerge yourself into. I realize what I knew previously to leaving the everyday life I lived in the States is so small when looking at the bigger picture. I am anxious for my return home with a different perspective on life, and being able to see how these experiences will change me for the better.
I am so thankful for the opportunities I have been given here and I am excited to see what is next to come. I plan to make the most of the months I have ahead of me. This past weekend I went on a trip with my school to the French Riviera, Monaco, Monte Carlo and it was unforgettable. The upcoming weekend I will be in Cinque Terre, Italy. Thanks for reading!
Ciao for now,