There’s No Place Like Home
Travel abroad is exciting—new sights, new foods, new languages… ESL study abroad was all this and more. Cue the fireworks!
But, excitement can wear thin after awhile. Sometimes it’s nice just to put your head on the pillow of your childhood bed, and listen to the familiar sounds outside your window. There’s such comfort in feeling at home in a place, somewhere that gives you a deep sense of belonging. Now that you’ve returned from study abroad, allow yourself to relax back into life in your own country. Enjoy the chance to walk the streets of your youth, and speak your native language.
Maybe you’re still in the depression stage of your return home. It’s common for students returning to their home countries after study abroad to have feelings of disconnectedness, or to feel sad that such a life changing experience has come to an end.
The familiar sights and sounds of home can irritate you. People aren’t interested in hearing your complaints about your native country, or your praise for the US.
Take a few days to sleep in. Let your family cook for you. Go through all the photos and mementos from your time as a study abroad student to the US, and relive the experience. Then grab one of the gifts you brought back for a friend, toss it in a backpack with 3 photos or mementos, and walk to their house.
You have a destination but there’s no need to run. Take your time. Stop into a local café, or have a snack from a food cart. Chat with the people you run into along the way. Wander. Take a photo of something beautiful. Let yourself be reminded of what you love about your native country. When you arrive at your friend’s house enjoy a meandering conversation of catch up. They’ll ask about your time abroad, show them your photos, tell a great story, and give them your gift.
When you return from study abroad it may take some time to feel connected to your own culture and country. Maybe you’ve become restless, and are inspired to keep travelling and learning, but don’t rob yourself of the comfort of feeling at home in a place. Because a place where you know the way to your friend’s house by heart IS home.