Katrina Matthews-Mcgann
November 26, 2016

I am officially at the point in the semester when I’m ready to say goodbye, pack up, and go back home. There’s a large part of me that, if, for whatever reason, the remainder of my study abroad program was terminated, I wouldn’t be too sad that I would have to return home sooner than expected. Now don’t get me wrong; I’m not trying to say that things have taken a terrible turn and that I hate being here in Spain. Nothing terrible has happened (except midterms, but those are terrible no matter where you are in the world). I’m just saying that three months seems to be my personal limit of how much time I can take being away from my family.

I like to think that I’m a completely independent person, who doesn’t need constant contact with her mommy and can handle anything life throws at her. But I’m not. I am 100% not that person. Back home, I talked to my family, or at least my mom, almost every other day. Being here in Spain has made it a little harder to do that. It’s not terribly difficult to come up with ways to communicate with the fam back home (Skype and Facebook Messenger have been the communication platforms I’ve used the most). I think the biggest issue I’ve been having trouble with is scheduling issues. When I’m up and active and ready to chat up all the people I know, everyone is asleep for the night on the West Coast. And then when everybody over there is finally ready to get the party started, I’m getting ready for bed in Spain. Time zones are one of those things that you off handedly think are going to make things slightly complicated (but you’re smart and you’ll figure things out really quickly, no problem) but then when you’re actually trying to coordinate talks with your friends and family you find out it’s a lot more annoying to deal with than you previously thought.

Communication issues aside, these feelings of homesickness aren’t entirely exclusive to my being in Spain for the semester. If I were back home, studying at my school in California, I would still be feeling the same way. I would definitely be over academics and studying at this point (like I am here) and would be very ready to go back home to Oregon and just rest with my family. This just seems to be who I am. However, the point I’m trying to make with these two comparisons is that it’s completely reasonable for you, dear reader(s), to feel unbearably homesick while abroad. If it’s easy for me to feel homesick when I’m a three-hour plane ride from home in the U.S., then it’s very reasonable for me to be homesick when I’m on a completely different continent.

And if you feel the same way I do, just know you’re not alone. One of the best things I’ve found that help me combat homesickness is just talking about it with someone. Trust me, there’s at least five other people on your program at any given time that feel the same way you do. 

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Katrina Matthews-Mcgann

<p>I&#39;m a third year college student excited about seeing everything this amazing planet has to offer. Originally from Oregon, I&#39;ve slowly been finding my place in the world through travels throughout North America, China, and now Europe! I hope this blog offers advice, inspiration, and a bit of humor for any current and future travelers.</p>

2016 Fall
Home University:
Pomona College
International Relations
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