I think I’m homesick for the wrong country

Danielle Limon is a freshman studying journalism. She is traveling and studying in Avignon, France during Spring Quarter. Interested in her journeys? Follow them and and follow her Twitter, @daniellelimon.

I don’t think anyone can leave his or her home for a relatively long time without expecting to be homesick.  What we don’t expect, however, is to be homesick for a place that isn’t our home.

I knew that being here would be different, but there are a lot subtler changes that I’m finding make all the difference.  Things you don’t notice are gone until you need them.

Contrary to that however, are the things I’m finding I really like here, that I know I won’t be able to find or do back home.  Could it be? Am I already getting homesick for France, even though I haven’t left it yet?

Now don’t get me wrong, I love my family and I miss them very much.  And not having internet or relatively inexpensive telephone access for the majority of my time here has made it really difficult to keep in touch with them.

But there is a new list of things that I’ve acquired that I believe I will find very hard to leave behind after my study abroad experience is over.

For example: I love walking through town and being able to stop and sit at an outdoor café for lunch or for coffee.  I love being able to walk home from a boulangerie with a French baguette under my arm.

I love the food, I love speaking the language, and I love being able to hop on a train and explore nearby cities.  I really like the way things work here.

I personally can’t say I’ve been too homesick while being here, but I’ve had my moments where I’ve wanted country music, Mexican food and the familiarity of home. I’ve missed being with my friends, speaking Spanish with my grandma and singing in the comfort of my own shower.

But to be honest, I think I will be a little bit homesick for this place after I get back. Not necessarily this city itself, but for the experiences I’ve had here so far, and the experiences I’m planning to have before I get on that plane back home in a few weeks.

Unfortunately, it’s a lot easier to find things from home here than it is to find things from France back home.  But hopefully, I’ll be able to find things to bring me back for a while if I start missing this place, because I can already tell, it’s going to happen.

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