After moving to the US at the age of 12, I participated in mission trips and summer camps, as usual for a kid my age. I quickly noticed on these trips and at camp, there was always at least one person who was homesick and in need of extra loving and care. I had no idea why that happened, it baffled my young self. I would think, 'how could that be?? We are having so much fun and every day is an adventure.'
I seem to be backwards though. Most people get homesick when they are young, and then they grow out of it. I, on the other hand, was never homesick as a child or teenager, instead I seem to be growing into it with age. The first time I ever experienced being homesick was the summer after my freshman year of college. I had moved to Virginia Beach with my college roomate for a beach photography job. Everyday was an adventure on the beach, and off the beach my nights were filled with handsome lifeguards and different parties. It was a fantastic time! Mid summer though, I felt a pang in my heart...what could it be I wondered? Along with the pang came thoughts of home. "What were they doing, did they miss me, how was my family, what were my friends up to?..." Each day after that initial pang, it grew and grew. Suddenly most of my being was filled with this 'heartache' for home. The adventures weren't fun anymore, I missed my family, I missed all my friends, I realized life at home was happening without me and all I wanted was to be a part of it again. I didn't realize it at the time, but that was my first bout of homesickness.
I didn't experience it again until after college graduation when I moved to LA. Then it happened a third time while I was living in South Korea. The homesickness I experienced in South Korea was the least that I had experienced though. I guess I knew that it wouldn't be easy for me to go home at that point, and the homesickness faded away so as not to ruin my whole experience. (Thank goodness!) And now, for the fourth time in my life, I am experiencing homesickness. This is actually my second time living in California while being homesick...seeing any trends here? You'd think I would learn! No matter the beauty, no matter the adventure, homesickness is always possible I guess.
Having had homesickness 4 times now, I am well aware of what it is. For me, there seem to be no warning signs, it just creeps up on some random Tuesday. It happened that way each time in the past, and this time too. It blind sides me and cripples me for a day, maybe more. Then I climb out of my sorrowful-feeling-bad-for-myself mood, pick myself up by my bootstraps, and continue on with life. Forward ho I say! Until next time...