Homesick for the Holidays

Thanksgiving this year for me was one of the toughest days I’ve had since being in London. Although it is a day about giving thanks and being thankful for those around you and the life you’re living, I was feeling sad. I was fortunate enough to have had my boyfriend and two friends from back home in Minnesota travel all the way to London for the week before Thanksgiving, all three leaving the day before Thanksgiving. This was amazing and I had a blast showing them around London for a week but when they left I felt empty. It’s a strange feeling missing someone and being so happy when you finally get to see them, but then being even more sad when they leave than you were before you saw them. Especially when it came to my boyfriend who I didn’t get to see for two months. I missed him terribly and when he got to London I was so thrilled (that’s actually when I asked him to be my boyfriend, at the airport). But when it came time for him to leave, I wasn’t just sad because he was leaving, I was sad because I wasn’t going with him. Getting a small taste of home and then having it taken away is slightly heartbreaking. 

 

Thanksgiving is obviously an American holiday and celebrating it from London was nearly impossible. There were some pubs and restaurants doing specials due to the high quantity of Americans living in the city, but it is nowhere close to being at home. This was the first Thanksgiving I had ever spent away from home and that day was the most homesick I had been since arriving in London. My American friends in London were all either traveling to other countries to visit family or had family/friends visiting, leaving me to celebrate alone. I spent the first part of my day sleeping in and going to class as usual on Thursdays, but when I was done with class I wasn’t really sure what to do with myself. I kept getting Snapchats from my family who was all together (except for one sister) and seeing them all together without me made me experience some serious FOMO. I walked to Wasabi nearby to get some sushi and ate it in the restaurant alone, not my preferred way to spend Thanksgiving. When I got back to my room I was able to FaceTime my family and talk to them while they finished up cooking lunch and then sat with them while they ate. It’s a tradition to go around the table and say what we are thankful for while eating so I was happy to still be a part of that from thousands of miles away.

 

Experiencing this homesickness for two different reasons forced me to sit back a bit and analyze my surroundings. I am so incredibly lucky to be on a once-in-a-lifetime three-month trip in London. I’ve made great friends, I’ve been able to six different countries outside of England in the last three months and I’ve gotten to call London home. I had dreamed of studying abroad since before I even started college and I was never sure if it was possible. Going abroad is so expensive and there is a lot of planning that goes into it, but everything worked out in the end and I was able to fulfill this dream of mine. I know I will continue to look back on this experience for the rest of my life and be thankful, but I will also be thankful that I have so much to look forward to at home.