Lucky for me, my summer break falls from mid-December and goes through mid-February. With nine weeks off, I had time to go home to Colorado, without feeling like I was missing out on too much of my travel time. I went home for about three weeks-what a whirlwind! It was wonderful, and exhausting. It seems like every night, I had plans with a different group of friends. It was *so* nice to see the family and friends I've been away from! It was also a little bit of "reverse culture shock" to go into stores and be reminded of how much STUFF is available in the U.S. For example, one of the things I used to take for granted is being able to eat whatever I want, no matter the season (Raspberries! In the middle of winter!). Not to mention all the food-stuff I had missed.
I ate way too much. I drank way too much. I wouldn't have it any other way! The whole time I was home I was surrounded by loved ones and it was so nice.
My mom asked me, is there one question that everyone asks you? I thought, and there was: "Do you love it?" And the answer is yes. I do love it. I feel like I'm doing what I was meant to do.
So it took me a little by surprise--after a few weeks home, buying up all those things I missed and stuffing a suitcase with them, and the long flight back: wait a second...am I feeling...homesick? Yes, the first time I really felt any hint of homesickness wasn't after months of being away. It was within hours of returning. Not that I am unhappy to be in Paraguay. I certainly didn't dread coming back. I just finally realized what (actually who) it was I'd been missing all along. I guess the good thing is, I'd been keeping myself too busy to really notice before. My circle of friends is gone from Paraguay in January. They're almost all traveling, and I'll be joining them tomorrow.
So what did I do? I took a long nap (I was so exhausted after that overnight flight), and made dinner plans with a few of the friends I knew were still in town. I started to feel better right away.
But homesickness is something that nearly everyone will face, at one time or another, when deciding to live away from family and friends and what is familiar. Is it worth it?
Do you love it?
I don't know anything worth doing that doesn't have occasional drawbacks, discomfort, and moments of uncertainty. That's what makes you grow.