I Will Not Be Homesick!

Cairo, Egypt

It’s all my classmates seem to talk about recently. How much they want to go home for Eid. How excited they are about going home for Christmas. Who they’ll visit where while they’re in America in January. There’s a serious rash of homesickness going around, and I’m determined not to catch it!

It’s not that I’m immune. Two years ago in Jordan, when I was unemployed, running out of money, defaulting on my student loans, unable to pay my credit card bills, but being warned by my mother not to come home to an even worse job market in America … I was certainly homesick then! It was the first real case of homesickness I’ve had to face, though … and I don’t want to do that again!

I have a tried-and-true strategy. I ask myself, “Would you give up the amazing things you’re doing abroad right now, just to be back in America?” I can usually convince myself that I would not.

Particularly now! This CASA Fellowship is a privilege and an honor, and I worked too damned hard to get here for me to give it up now! Not only that, but I’m closer to being home than I have been in almost 3 years. I have a guaranteed plane ticket to America in June, paid for by the good ole American taxpayer, and a dozen ideas for summer jobs when I get back there. This is the home stretch, people! Seven more months? Ha! That’s nothing!

And hopefully other people’s homesickness will lessen a little after next week’s 10-day break for Eid … followed by a 4-day weekend for Thanksgiving, which we will be celebrating with a great big CASA potluck!

2 comments

  1. Don't do it. I thought I'd be much, much better with being back than I really am. I feel like an alien sometimes. I would rather be elsewhere and I often feel like I can't relate to anyone. Because to most people “going abroad” means they spent 6 weeks touring Europe. And they'll talk about it like it's some sort of epic adventure that made them better people because that's what you're supposed to say. But none of that means anything. Being gone for six weeks doesn't force you to adapt in subtle ways to things that when you return make you stand out because you have a hard time breaking the habits. And it does not mean having to learn to function for an extended period of time in a culture where you do not speak the language — like banking and navigating the city on a daily basis and grocery shopping.

    I don't know…maybe you'll have an easier time of it when you come back by virtue of your particular language expertise. I hope it's better for you than it has been for me. Because I'm ready to go back. To anywhere that isn't here.

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  2. I know that feeling exactly. I felt exactly the same way when I came back to Goucher Senior year, and everyone I knew was either graduated or living off campus, and no one really wanted to hear what I'd done abroad, and everybody seemed so backwards and unprogressive and America-centric… Plus all that bullshit everyone kept going on about with those evil Muslims and the War on Terror…. Yeah, I know the feeling exactly.

    But I also remember how wonderful it was to come back from Peace Corps and eat real cheese and drink as much wine as I wanted and have a boyfriend and kiss him in public and…. Well, you get the picture. I need a couple years back in America … but believe me, it's unlikely to be permanent!

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