Absence Makes The Heart Grow Fonder
THE first time I moved out of home I was 18. I didn’t move too far away, just an hour and a half down the road to Castletroy in Limerick. At first, I would definitely say I was anxious to go home every weekend. My Friday schedule was easy in my first semester, just one lecture at 9am which most people rarely made it to anyway after a Thursday night in the Lodge, so basically I would head home first thing every Friday morning. As time went on I became more and more used to the idea of being away from home but when things got tough I always had one place I wanted to be and that was always home in Blarney. Because well, as great as travelling is, sometimes there is no place like home. Since then I have had a brief stint in London and last year spent six months in Bangkok. Now in a city I love, there are times when I still crave the comfort of home. I can’t even quite pinpoint what exactly that comfort is, just being around familiarity and family I suppose but nonetheless it does prop up it’s head from time to time.
Homesickness isn’t something everyone experiences and even I wouldn’t say I suffer from it badly, just every now and then. I have been away just under three months and to be honest it feels like it has been much longer. There literally hasn’t been a dull moment since I got here, especially in relation to work as some of you will know. That, along with moving apartments and some money worries, have been a little tricky to deal with and maybe that’s why a touch of home sickness has crept in but it’s reassuring to know I am only 2 hours from home. These little difficulties are all part and parcel of living out of home. I think the mentality that the grass is always greener is fitting here because even if I was living in Cork, these situations would no doubt occur at some point or another so while they have been challenging they are not impossible to overcome.
There are always little bits and pieces I carry with me when I am away from home. Being the sentimental soul that I am I always have photographs of my friends and family on the wall, a note from my best friend Ruth that she gave me when I set off for Bangkok, some good luck cards from friends, family and previous work colleagues as well as some other little keep sakes that I have on my shelf. Then there is the staple that every Irish person abroad more than likely will get a shipment of and that is, of course, tea. My Mom always ensures I have a supply of Barry’s to keep me going and despite having to wait 45 minutes to get it from the post office it’s certainly worth it.
When I do get a little lonely for home I have a few remedies that I always go to. Walking! This is something I do religiously at home and so I always try and find somewhere I can go to get some exercise in and when I do discover somewhere it reminds me just how lucky I am to be where I am right now. Writing – simply because I love it and I get a great sense of satisfaction from getting thoughts down on paper. Skype – talking to friends and family and being able to see them makes being away that little bit less difficult. Being able to discuss the challenges and good times you face while away with loved ones is something I am very appreciative of. Treating myself! It can be as simple as getting a hot chocolate in a cafe or taking some time out to just relax and watch one of my favourite TV shows but nonetheless it is these little things that help ease any touch of homesickness I might encounter. These things will differ for everyone but I find they help a lot.
Christmas is once again only around the corner and I can’t quite believe where this year has gone but it does mean I will be back in Cork in six weeks and I am very much looking forward to it. I will spend about two weeks there before returning back to Prague. My itchy feet lead me to foreign places and I love that but I also love knowing I can always go home. Whether in the future that will be just to visit or to live remains to be seen. In Ireland there is no way I could afford my own home – not to mention how difficult it would be to get a job I like. Time will tell on that front but for now I’ll just have to keep any homesickness at bay by drinking lots of tea and hot chocolate. But there is no doubt that I think there is a whole lot of truth in ‘absence makes the heart grow fonder’.
Photos c/o collegemagazine.com, freepeople.com