Preface: I wrote this about a week and a half ago when I was feeling really down. I put off posting it because I wasn't sure if I wanted to share this part of my life with the world...I'm still not sure. But I figured, since it was cathartic to write about my homesickness, maybe people who experience it and read this will remember what I wrote and know they're not alone- every expat gets homesick sometimes. So here it is~
That voice in my head has some feelings it wants to share:
It’s been about a month since I moved to Japan, and thankfully, everything has gone pretty smoothly! I’m finally settled in my new apartment (just waiting for internet now >.<). It’s a 1K: a one-room apartment with a kitchen. It’s actually got a decent sized kitchen for Japanese standards! I’ve also got a washroom with a separate toilet room, and a small walk-in closet. It's so perfect!
I’m super happy with where I live and couldn’t have asked for a better moving experience. Tsubasa, my boo, has been a huge help- I could never have built the IKEA furniture all by myself!
However, after I taped some photos of my family and friends onto the wall, I started feeling inexplicably sad. Until then, I’d felt very at home here in Japan; completely fine with how things were going in my day-to-day life. I would Skype with my family often and not feel sad or lonely at all. It felt like I was back at college, living away from my family but still only a hop, skip, and jump away. But as I looked at their faces, in that moment, I suddenly felt so far away; I could almost physically feel the distance.
I won’t lie…I cried. I don’t think I realized how different it would be. Not that it’s different in a bad way; it’s just different. Like with any new experience, I guess there’s always a moment when you think, “Whoa, what have I gotten myself into?”
I definitely experienced homesickness. I’ve only experienced it once before, when I studied abroad in Japan three years ago. The best way I dealt with it was to accept and acknowledge it, cry it out, take a deep breath and move on. So that’s what I did.
I’m sure when I encounter another new phase of my life here in Japan, I’ll feel the same longing for my family and the familiarity of home. And when that time comes, I’ll do what I always do: cry it out, make some tea, and take a deep breath.