Are you a self-proclaimed ‘homebody’? I’ll be the first one to say that I am. I love relaxing, staying in, having the comforts of home at my fingertips, being near my family and friends, and knowing that all is well and peaceful. Then I had this grand idea to study abroad and experience something completely different. Go figure.
Conquering the stresses of preparing for living in Spain for a semester was a victory by itself. I jumped out of my comfort zone to meet new people and make new friends (who are now lifelong). Practicing another language and learning to have confidence in speaking Spanish, despite my lacking language proficiency, was a huge accomplishment. Now I face the dilemma of wanting to see my friends and family and absolutely, positively loving my life in Valencia.
Did I mention I love it here? So, why have I felt such homesickness lately? It all hit me about three weeks ago when I Skyped with my parents one weekend. They asked how I liked Valencia, and I said, “I love it here,” began choking up, and all-together started crying. Now, this isn’t going to be some sappy sob story. But I don’t know what came over me! When I begin thinking about the network of people back in the U.S. who make my home so comfortable, I become nostalgic and wish I could zap myself to the states for just one hour. If only, if only.
However, I have finally overcome this difficulty that I have been dealing with for these past few weeks. Going through the homesick stage was tough. I cried several times possibly for no reason other than that I missed my home. But now I know just how much I love where I am right now. I am meant to be here. I have overcome some of my homebody-ness, learned to appreciate change and become comfortable in a completely foreign place. There is no explanation other than that I have experienced many stages of studying abroad: stress, excitement, nervousness, more stress, elation, homesickness, and, finally, comfort.
I am here. Valencia is my temporary home. I love it. Does that still make me a homebody?