By the end of first semester, I was done with Calvin. I was ready to be far away in Spain, living a 'more interesting and cultured' lifestyle. I was ready for a fresh start, and I was also ready to be there so I could avoid the dreaded goodbyes.
Whenever I leave a place, I don’t burn bridges, exactly, but I do try to fade. The fade is slow but gradual. I start getting prickly with my friends. I begin to clam up. I become distant. I hate this about myself. I know I'm doing it and my friends know I'm doing it. We all hate it, but I have a hard time stopping myself from building a shell around me. I always think this shell will protect me from missing the things and people I leave behind.
I was wrong.
The first month, as you can tell from my last article, was extremely rough. However, this difficulty is not a ground-breaking experience. Most people feel homesick during their first month in a new place. You start to wonder what kind of memories your friends are making without you. You become paranoid, thinking your friends have forgotten about you. You feel alone and distant from everything you ever knew, and you can't help but wonder if you made the right decision.
If I could go back and change my behavior, I would. I would tell my roommate every day how grateful I was to have her in my life. I would try to schedule more time with friends, rather than avoiding them at the end so I didn't have to do goodbyes. I would value people over things, since people are here even when things break, disappear or go out of style.
However, the one positive element of homesickness is you discover how much your friends and family care about you. My friends and family have been so supportive of me throughout my time here. When I need to rant or talk, they listen. They text me, tell me they miss me, and remind me that I am important and loved. I'm so grateful for these amazing people, and I can't wait to see them and tell them all about my adventures when I return in just three months!
Homesickness is an inevitable aspect of traveling to new places, but I promise the pain ebbs away every day as you become more and more enamored with your current location.