HOMESICKNESS REMEDIES ➕
I've been in a funky funk this week (probably because of midterms and internship applications) and I'm trying to shake it off. Here are some ways I'm dealing with missing LA/NC - suggestions are welcome!
- •Social. Media. Detox.Sometimes the best way to deal with FOMO is not knowing what it is that you're missing. Checking Instagram/Facebook right when I woke up was an incredible bummer - I'd get sucked into scrolling through my friends' fabulous lives and not want to crawl out of bed. 1) social media is not real life anyway 2) comparison sucks 3) I have half the phone data I did in the US, and I need to conserve it for more useful things... Like my translation app.
- •Macaroni and cheeseComfort food and convenience food are impossible to find here (especially during Ramadan). Cooking is a huge ordeal at my place. Velveeta macaroni and cheese was my go-to quick-fix lunch and I cannot find it ANYWHERE IN AMMAN. I did find a complicated recipe online, with an even more complicated trip to the grocery store, and made homemade mac-n-cheese that tasted sooo similar - it was almost like I was standing in my kitchen in studio city again.
- •Adopt-A-FamilyI had Iftar with my language partner's family tonight, and I got treated like just another kid for a few hours. I was apprehensive because they are super-conservative Muslim and I am visibly-tattooed Christian, but I fit right in. (And I never "fit in" in Jordan.) It was so comforting to listen to sibling squabbles and chop endless vegetables and be a part of something "normal."
- •Viber OutI can call my parents landline (they're technophobes) from my Jordanian number of something like 1cent per minute. Skype and other video chatting are super glitchy with my internet connection, which can be frustrating and stressful. I would call home on the walk to coffeeshops or errands just for 5-minute chats in LA - again, it feels like home.
- •Clean your roomI am a pathetically messy person, but organizing and cleaning my room makes me feel like I can control and manage something, even though the rest of my life details are giant question marks.
- •Go even further out of your comfort zoneI recently started Indian dance classes. I would NEVER do dance classes in LA - my moves are most similar to salmon flinging themselves upstream during mating season. But since I'm already wayyy out of my element, might as well do something I would "never" attempt in the past.
- •Never spend two nights in, in a rowWhen tempted to curl up in a ball and watch Netflix every evening because it's easy and doesn't require any Arabic - GO OUT. Meeting friends for studying and shisha, watching breakdancing competitions, wandering around Paris Circle, whatever - I have to get out of the apartment and go exploring.
- •Celebrate little victoriesI argued the taxi price down a whole dinar? I successfully ordered a pizza to the right address? I think maybe that cute guy in the upper-level Arabic class smiled at me? TIME TO PARTY. But really though, recognizing the tiny awesome things is great when homesick-brain gets into a "everything is so hard and sucks forever" loop.
- •Cry (a little bit)Sometimes it's just HARD and you have a mini-meltdown in the language center bathroom. Vent to your friends, send your mom a weepy text message, dramatically thunk your head against the wall a couple times... And get back out there. Homesickness is temporary, but so is being in a kickass new place, and you don't want to miss out!