Almost 4 months into Argentina and there’s a sinking feeling in my stomach, one that comes and goes, but has lately made it’s visits more frequent–I’m missing home.
Now, I’m not surprised that I feel this way. I knew that eventually homesickness would nest itself in my stomach, at least for a little while. There was even a part of me that was welcoming it; I know that a true test of character and ability occurs when one is feeling uncomfortable, challenged or even hopeless. And a true competitor at heart, I craved such a challenge. How hard could it be?
Well, I’ll tell you, some days it can be pretty damn hard, friends. Luckily I have a great host family here who takes good care of me, and my town here is so welcoming and helpful. But sometimes, not even the best tasting dulce de leche ice cream after a delicious meal can beat those homesick blues.
What exactly do I miss about my home? Besides the obvious–my family, my friends–I’ve come to appreciate all of the little things that comprise “home” for me.
When it comes to food, my close friends can tell you that my literal hunger for breakfast tacos has manifested itself into dreams more than once. And there’s nothing worse than driving to Chick-Fil- A on a Sunday than just flat out not having a Chick-Fil-A in your country…*sigh*
But life isn’t all about comida for me (though this blog may prove differently). I miss the drive from Austin to San Antonio, where I’d end up on my couch next to my mama watching old movies until I fall asleep. I miss the weekly margarita trip to Gloria’s with my friends. More recently, I’ve been missing tailgating before the Texas football games and hiking in the Greenbelt in the Fall weather. The list goes on…
BUT, don’t think for one second that I’m not happy to be here in Argentina, one of the most beautiful countries I’ve ever been to. I’m loving it here! Like I mentioned before, I’ve been lucky enough to be placed with an awesome host family who cooks delicious meals and makes me feel at home.
I’ve also had the opportunity to travel around the country, ooh-ing and ahh-ing at it’s beauty: the Andes mountains, the charming German towns, the sunsets stretching across the sky illuminating the expansive countryside that surrounds my town.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that being here so far has made me appreciate all of the things that comprise “home” for me: my family, my friends, my city, my Tejano culture. Cliché, I know, but true nonetheless.
But, one thing I always remember is something a good friend of mine told me recently: your happiness lies within yourself and all that matters is how you cultivate that happiness, not necessarily where you cultivate it.
Such a beautiful point that has made me realize that I should appreciate both my “home” here in Argentina and my “home home” back in Texas. There are plenty of things to be grateful for in both places.
So, the next time I feel that sinking feeling in my stomach, I’m going to remember my favorite things about my home here: running in the park, eating meals with my host family, teaching/laughing with my students everyday, having merienda (tea time) with my little sister and her friends, and writing here, in my room, with the sun shining on my face.