Updated: Oct 31, 2019
I am homesick at least once a year.
Precisely on the third weekend of July when I know all my friends and family assemble for the annual `Schützenfest`. In my hometown we literally get that tradition bottle fed to us from birth. It is the time of the year when I stalk my High School friends faceboook accounts and # on instagram to get a glimpse of the place that once was home.
12 years on and I still do it, every third weekend in July.
Especially as an expat, when we can’t fly home on every birthday or holiday, where we miss weddings, parties and festivities, homesickness is an integral part of our lives.
And that is ok. Accept it.
Embrace it, because homesickness is a lovely mix of memories and emotions that we connect with a place or event, all are rushing through our head when triggered by a date in the calendar, a song, a smell...
With time the brain has turned all the information into an romantised memory that causes us to experience homesickness.
Bad news, there is no cure.
Good news, lets tackle it head on!
Make new memories in a new country and adopt a holiday!
A lot of typical expat locations are melting pots of cultures. Indulge.
Personally my favorite holiday is Thanksgiving.
The food is as good as on Christmas, and why did not one introduce me to pumpkin pie earlier?!
All while having no gift giving hassle.
Each guest brings a traditional dish, everyone appreciates each others company. And best of all I can celebrate with the family I chose, my friends.
Good food, good friends…not much else needed for a great memory in the making.
I can tell already one day I will look back to Halloween and be grateful for having to the chance to take this holiday on. Or, how much fun is Halloween. Excitment increases with each Lolly more in that bag. Trick or Treat! In return I have tremendously enjoyed passing traditions on to our friends. Each Good Friday we have a large fanclub in our house painting Easter eggs, only to hide and find them on the following Sunday. And no matter where in the world I was on New Year’s Eve I am confident everyone with me has watched “ Dinner for one” a German tradition.
Latest discussion in our family home is the arrival of the tooth fairy. Will she come, what will she bring or will it be her Latin American counter part Ratoncito Perez, aka a rat... to be continued until that tooth comes out.
So don’t be sad if you feel homesick simply adopt a holiday or custom and make new memories!
P.S. I would like to add that I love Fiestas Patrias here in Panama. I get the military parade with a Carribean touch to it. Only took 12 years and 6 countries to find the next best thing to Schutzenfest. Almost home.