Originally written December 6, 2019
Homesickness may be a topic most of you have already learned how to navigate if you lived away from home for college or high school. For those of us , who lived in the same place their whole life and are now learning how to deal with it as an adult, I wanted to open up about my struggles with homesickness in Boston and how I cope.
Living in Boston has definitely been the longest I have ever been away from the DMV (DC, Maryland, Virginia area) and I have been experiencing a lot of homesickness. It’s a combination of Boston isn’t really home yet and the people just feel different here. It also doesn’t help that I haven’t been home to visit for a long time!
My initial thought on how to deal with this was to try to find a bar that plays DC sports games. If any of you have ever lived in Boston, you can imagine what a challenge that might be. My next thought was to try to find locations that felt like DC or Virginia to me, however that also proved to be difficult.
Instead, I have been trying to do the things that used to make me happy at home and replicate them here. I want to remind myself that I’m still living in the same world and that home is not about a place but rather a feeling. Here are some of the things I like to do that remind me of home
1. Going to Harvard Square
I have been going to Harvard Square a lot because it is the one place in Boston that does remind me a bit of home. The brick sidewalks and little shops are reminiscent of Old Town Alexandria back in Virginia to me, which is where I spent a lot of time growing up. There are so many little shops, work out places and food places. I feel like I could spend all day walking around Harvard and not get tired. It gives me happy vibes and makes me want to be there all the time.
2. Breathe Cambridge
Part of the reason I have been coming to Harvard Square so much is because I have fallen in love with a hot yoga+pilates studio there called Breathe Cambridge. The workouts are intense but so effective and the instructors are so nice and welcoming. This studio has given me a place where I can go to get away from everything for 60 minutes and it’s so great. Back home I would look forward to my weekly pilates classes and now it has become one of my primary methods to combat homesickness. I’ve started going to this studio enough that it feels almost like a second home to me in Boston.
Talking on the phone or FaceTiming with friends and family has been so comforting when I’m feeling a little down. It always makes me feel like they aren’t that far away and lifts my mood. This one feels pretty simple but sometimes I need a reminder to just pick up the phone and call. If you’re like this too, this is your reminder to call a loved one!
4. Going for a drive
Back home if I was feeling stressed or overwhelmed I would go for a drive and just listen to music with the windows down. When I feel overwhelmed or trapped here, I ask my roommate to borrow their car and go for a drive and it makes me feel so much better afterwards. Driving helps me put everything into perspective by reminding me of how big the world is with all the endless possibilities.
5. Going outside/hiking- There is a certain park in Virginia I like to walk through when I am upset at home, and I want to find a park I feel equally comfortable walking around in Boston. I haven’t quite found “my” new park yet, but just going on hikes and being outside makes me feel like I am doing something good for my body and in turn puts me in a better mood.
Those are the main things I try to do when I am feeling down or homesick, and if those don’t help/do the trick, then I can always curl up in bed with a good book or movie. Luckily I am going home for the holidays soon and I’ll be with my family for a little over two weeks, which is just what I need.
With all this homesickness I’ve been feeling recently, I decided I wanted to buy some sort of state jewelry to remind me of home. I stumbled upon this article about a super cool jeweler who makes rings using iconic architectural shapes of your hometown! This would definitely be a great gift for anyone who has moved recently or anyone who will be moving to a new city, state or country.