When I moved to Europe, for several weeks everything felt so amazing and surreal. It's like winning the jackpot in adulting lottery. I could not believe that I have my own apartment, a corporate job, a great boyfriend who happens to live in another European country, etcetera, etcetera. Life could not get any better. I got my shit together. Or so I thought.
Homesickness hits you sometimes when you least expect it. While you're browsing your Facebook feeds, when you're listening to a song, when you see an old photo, and oftentimes, when you're most vulnerable -- when you're sick, having a bad day at work, or when you get into a disagreement with a boyfriend/girlfriend/spouse. The triggers could vary but at the end of the day, you have to deal with it. Here's what I do when I miss the good ol' Philippines.
DO THINGS I LOVED TO DO BACK HOME
I love playing the guitar. So whenever I feel sad and missing home, I take my guitar out of the case, go to my favorite corner in my apartment and play until I decide to do something else. I genuinely feel a little bit better afterwards because such an activity gives me a sense of connection back home.
Working out releases feel-good hormones a.k.a. endorphins in your body. Remember what Elle Woods said?
Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don't kill their husbands. They just don't.
With that said, I try to do yoga or if the weather is nice, I go out for a run. While I'm getting my endorphin-fix, I also try to...
APPRECIATE HOW BEAUTIFUL MY NEW HOME CITY IS
The quality of living here is undeniably greater than Manila so when I start to appreciate this and the beauty around me, I stop feeling homesick.
RECONNECT WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS
Since the internet brought an end to long-distance calls, I do try my best to send messages or Skype or Google Hangout with my family and friends back home. Talking to them helps me feel less lonely.
THINK OF THIS FOREIGN CITY AS MY NEW HOME
I try to not obsess over my old home and focus on the fact that this place is now my new home. This is home. When I go back from a holiday, I always tell myself, I look forward to go home and lay on my bed. This is home from now on.
AND FINALLY, I COOK MY FAVORITE PINOY DISHES.
I usually cook my favorite Filipino dishes to avoid homesickness -- adobo, giniling, ginisang munggo, paella (okay, paella is not so Pinoy but still a fave). The aroma and the taste of these dishes always take me back to my mom's kitchen. It's not as good as being home but it's better than nothing.
My methods might sound silly to some but hey, it works for me. Are you also away from your old home? How do you deal with homesickness? What do you do to cope? I'd love to hear your ideas. :)