When I started this blog a month ago it was because I missed traveling and seeing the world. I haven’t been abroad in over three years due to various reasons, but this blog helps me satisfy that itch. However, sometimes I think the harder itch to scratch is missing home. And today, it is what I miss the most.
When Hubby and I moved to San Diego a year ago, I joked with everyone that it would be another “study abroad” experience for me. There is no doubt that the culture of Southern California is quite opposite of South Carolina. But in all honesty, the culture has been pretty easy to adapt to and I enjoy bringing my southern hospitality to my California friends. San Diego really is a great city and I feel spoiled to live in a such a beautiful, international place.
Rather than the culture, what has been hard about residing in the Pacific time zone is missing all the birthdays, the family dinners, and the everyday life of being with those you love. In addition to it being Father’s Day this weekend, it is also my mom’s birthday. While my brother and his family will gather around to celebrate my parents, my husband and I will be 3000 miles away. We’ll talk on the phone and we’ll mail gifts, but isn’t quite the same.
The distance of living so far hit me the hardest when my grandmother got ill in January. She was 97 so I knew my days with her were numbered, but I never really contemplated the challenge of being so far away if she did get sick. When my parents called on a Wednesday and told me she was slowly declining, I bought a flight for Friday to go and see her. But on Thursday morning she passed, and I lost my chance to say goodbye. Although it’s been five months, I sometimes still cry when I think about it. I blame the distance for not being able to see my beloved grandma one more time.
I 100% believe that we gain so much when we go away, whether that be to California or Cambodia. It’s the reason why I’m a study abroad advisor. What I learned from my six months spent in Italy changed me for the better, and I see hundreds of student come back from abroad with new skills, knowledge, and confidence. But today as I’ve been thinking about my homesickness, I realized sometimes we have to give something up in order to have the growth obtained from travel. Sometimes what we give up is worth it, but sometimes that loss lingers with us. I far from regret our move to the west coast. In fact, I think it was the very best decision for us. But my husband and I both realize that we have made sacrifices as well.
For anyone out there experiencing that pang of homesickness this Father’s Day weekend, I hope you too can say that the experience you are gaining abroad is worth the sacrifice. Just be sure to call Dad on Sunday.