Moving to Vancouver nearly 2 years ago was the first time being away from the nest. It honestly still feels like a dream to be living here. Nearly every kids dream is to live alone and feel as independent as possible, or at least mine was. Don’t get me wrong I do get rushes of intense homesickness. Some days I just crave to be home with the comfort of my family, especially when times get tough. The saying is true, “absence makes the heart grow fonder”. Being away from home has made myself so grateful to have grown up there and appreciate all the beautiful moments with family and friends. The feeling of missing someone, something or a memory can feel so overwhelming and even heartbreaking. It can spiral into the trap of overthinking about other things like “will I ever go home, or is this my new home?”.
The confusion of where you truly belong kicks in, but just take a deep breath and realize where you are now and how much you appreciate your home that will forever be there to visit. Home really isn’t only the place you grew up but where you feel most comfortable! For me, it isn’t so much homesickness for Bali but homesickness for my family. It is possible to feel homesick for people rather than the actual place. It definitely gets hard without any family to fall to here, but I’ve managed to create my own sense of family and warmth living here!
Things I do and things you can do:
- Call, send a message, or video-call! Honestly, I’ve never been closer to my mom since I’ve moved. We talk as if we’re best friends now. Scheduled calls help especially with time difference. Sometimes we all get too busy but in the end calling always cheers me up when I’m feeling low.
- Keep in contact with your old friends! My childhood best friend who is still my other half to this day, is someone that will be in my life forever. I stay in contact with her as much as I can and even during our busy times of not talking for a month, we catch up and it’s as if we never stopped talking.
- Keep an active family chat. This keeps everyone in the loop and up to date with the tea.
- Send pics! Ask for pics! This makes me feel more present as I can actually visualize home. I always ask for pictures of my pets and my family. I even send pictures of my dinner. I can’t even count how many times I’ve sent food pictures to the chat.
- Plan a future visit to look forward to. When I planned my Bali trip I was at my happiest state as I knew I’d be seeing my mom and sister. Lately it has been hard with the Pandemic but we are all on the same boat and we all need to support each other.
- Remember your roots! Cooking Indonesian food, my dad’s recipes, and my favourite childhood meals always reminds me of home. I play the music my dad would blast at home to create a familiar atmosphere.
- Make your space as cozy as possible. To me, a home must be a space where I can feel myself, safe and fully comfortable. So decorate, rearrange, clean, do whatever it takes to make your home as cozy as possible!
- Build a new home. Like myself, you may be planning to start new or to be away from home for a while. Start to build your own life and space of happiness. Accept that this is your new adventure and surround yourself with positive people and energy.