Produced by kdanceydowns
Growing up, I have never lived anywhere else besides Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. I grew up in the tropical heat, monsoon thunderstorms and knew very little about the standard four seasons. I’ve been outside Malaysia before, but never for more than a week or two.
Just a month after my 27th birthday, I left home for university for the first time. I was excited at the prospect of living in a new environment but I knew I was going to be homesick — only I didn’t realise how intense it would be.
My life for the next year crammed in a suitcase and a backpack.
There’s no shame being overly-attached to your family or where you come from – everyone feels homesick, even those who are from some place in the UK that’s probably two hours train ride away.
I believe that good home-cooked meals are one of the best remedies for homesickness. So while you’re packing your bags, pack family recipes with you. Even if you’re not the best cook, ask mum, dad, siblings, aunts or your gran even to teach you how to cook simple wholesome meals. After all, you can’t live off ready meals all the time.
Travelling halfway across the world limits the amount of things I could bring with me so bringing 1001 knick-knacks was completely out of the question. So instead I brought along photos, letters and postcards of family and friends. I don’t call home everyday, but seeing the smiling faces on my wall everyday reminds me that I’m doing my family proud.
Some of the faces I see before I go to sleep.
My parents are not incredibly tech savvy so asking them to Skype everyday is completely out of the question. But they have smartphones equipped with Whatsapp and Viber. Both apps allow you to send unlimited text and voice messages and photos over data/WiFi for free, and Viber has a call option, also for free over internet, so I never have to worry about my credit running out. I’ve never been a fan of phone calls – and my family knows this – so text messaging is the best way for me to keep them updated and vice versa.
We all feel homesick sometimes and it’s okay to cry once in a while about it. But know that your family and friends are proud of you for pursuing your studies, even if it is a little later in your life.
So enjoy yourself! Experience new things, connect with the people who are physically around you, and they will be your family, and your home away from home.
If you enjoyed Lina’s blog, why not see what else she’s written?