There's No Place Like Home

As the middle of the semester nears it’s hard not to feel a little homesick. When the sun starts to set earlier in the day, and the wind starts to blow a little colder, I am reminded of all the little things that feel like home. My whole life was spent growing up in a small town in New Jersey, and coming to the city of Boston felt like a journey to a new world. The open fields and farms I saw everyday were replaced by city streets and restaurants, and it was hard to find a way to fit in.

Don’t get me wrong; I love Boston and living here, but it has never felt like home. Maybe part of the reason is due to the fact that I am still living in a dorm, which does not quite feel like a permanent place to live. Without a kitchen or a dining room or living space, my dorm sometimes makes me feel as if I am a temporary lodger in a cheap motel. I tried to make it feel more “homely”  by spending time taping up posters and hanging up lights, but the feeling of safety and stability is still lost.

So, this semester I went on a mission to find a home far away from home, to see if I could fill in the missing feeling of security. I felt like much of this gap was created from the loss of culture, and I spent time trying to find things that reminded me of my childhood.

The first thing I did was that I went on a hunt to find good Indian food. While Boston University doesn’t seem to have a lot of places nearby, I felt that if I found something that tasted like my mom’s food it would make me feel better. For my birthday, I went to a small Indian restaurant that advertised its expertise in South Indian cuisine. I took a group of friends with me to eat all my favorite Indian food including dosa, pakoda and biryani, and we spent a lot of time marveling over the good food and the atmosphere. I spent time trying to find food from other parts of India as well and had my mom send me Indian food from home, but everything felt like a replacement to all the food I would be regularly eating at home, making it hard to be comfortable.

Source: Hungry Forever

I also started re-watching Indian movies. One of my favorite things growing up was going to the theatre with my family and watching the new Indian movies that had come out that week. On Fridays, I would log into Netflix and watch another Indian movie, singing along to the songs and dancing to the choreography. I would even call my sister after it was over to talk about what I liked and enjoyed. But, while it reminded me of my childhood, it wasn’t the same. Watching a movie in a small laptop screen wasn’t the same as watching one at home, cuddled up in front of a projector with my family.

Source: Bollywood Journalist

I even decided to go home more often, to see if I could find something that I was missing here. But all that did was make me more homesick when I got back to Boston, making me miss something that I could not even identify.

Honestly, long story short, I’m not sure if I’ve found a way to make Boston seem like home. It's hard to find stability in a new place and I’m still struggling to feel comfortable with where I am. While I miss my family a lot, trying to visit all of time would be unfeasible, and finding alternatives to things that remind of home makes me feel disorientated. I realized that instead of looking at the past, I had to make new memories here that would make me happier. Finding new activities and creating new experiences was the only way I could stop ruminating in the past and allow me to make Boston just as homely as home.

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