You know Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and… Homesick?
Did the holidays pull a Rudolph and shed some light on a bit of end-of-semester homesickness? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Most people associate the holidays with family and being thousands of miles away from them becomes more apparent as December goes on. The good news is there are a few simple adjustments you can make to push through your homesickness and enjoy the holidays abroad.
If you’re having a Blue Christmas, (or any blue holiday, really) and not the festive Elvis Presley kind, check out the tips below.
Explore Local Traditions
It’s easy to get so caught up in missing the little things from home that you forget to see the joy that’s right in front of you. Remember to go out and explore all of the great new things your city has to offer during the holiday season. Who knows, you could stumble into one of these Holiday Markets and find something new to love about the most wonderful time of the year.
Contact Your Friends and Family
Yes, it’s okay to miss them. Yes, it’s okay to let them know. Your sweet, cookie baking, present wrapping parents miss you too, and just getting in touch could be enough to stop those holiday blues before they turn you into the neighborhood Scrooge. Technology has made it easier than ever to stay in touch and involved with loved ones from across the globe. If you really can’t bear missing The Grinch with your family while they consider making a Max costume for the family dog, it’s time for the great Skype your Screen trick. The Grinch may be a mean one, but your heart could grow three sizes that day.
Homey Holidays Away from Home
You know what people love? Cookies. You know what else they love? Friendship, and learning new things. Grab your new study abroad friends far and wide and share some of your favorite traditions with them. Spin a dreidel, sing your favorite songs, and don’t forget the sprinkles for those cookies (which is quite possibly one of the sweetest ways to spread holiday cheer).
Send Something Home
Chances are, you’re living in an incredible city abroad and your friends and family are desperate to know what life is like during your grand adventure. Buy a few postcards or trinkets, write a note telling them how much you care, and take the opportunity to practice your language skills in your local post office. Your 50 cent postcard and heartfelt words will be priceless to your friends and family back home.
Don’t Be Abominable
The Abominable Snowman… well, there’s a reason why he wasn’t the Amicable Snowman, and that reason was because he stayed in his cave all day and never looked for the positives. When you’re feeling homesick, remember your time abroad won’t last forever, and reaching out to friends and talking about how much you’ve enjoyed your time abroad will help you appreciate your last few weeks before you go home.
Do you have any additional tips for dealing with feeling homesick abroad? Share your thoughts in the comments!
Kayla Pennington studied abroad in Viterbo, Italy. You can read about her adventures in Italy on her blog.
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