Joining again with my other fellow expat ladies to discuss Homesickness! Something I am VERY well versed in…sad to say!
1. How do you fit in to your new culture without losing some of your identity?
I’m not sure I will ever fit in completely but the goal is to understand the culture, while educating everyone on mine! Perfect example: I just threw a friend of mine a baby shower yesterday and in Germany, this is not part of their culture. They actually think it’s superstitious to bring gifts for a baby that isn’t born yet. But we played games, had snacks, and my friend got a few baby gifts which was just so great. They didn’t have to accept traditions in my culture but it’s something I like to share with them. Something different. After the party, all of them were raving about how great that tradition is in America and they want to start throwing them all the time for their pregnant friends.
On the other side, they show me their traditions and the different things they celebrate here and I go into it with open eyes and ears. I try to soak up the culture and understand it. Mostly for my husband and our future children. I want this part of him to live on in our family forever.
I won’t ever lose my identity. It’s impossible. I’m a loud mouth NYer! But culture is simply something you have to accept as part of the expat transition and sharing your culture with others in return is a great gift!
What do you think your biggest trigger for homesickness is?
EVERYTHING. If I see families together, mom and daughters shopping, or if the leaves start to change. I’m a homebody and I miss my family more than anything but mostly, I miss my culture. The Syracuse basketball season is coming up, pumpkin flavored goodies are everywhere, and new fashions are coming out daily and I can’t be home for it. The German culture is so different. The language itself makes you feel like you’re a million miles away but the lack of peanut butter and pumpkin flavored foods kills me!
I tell everyone to try and focus on what you do have here. Peanut butter may taste like dirty cardboard but at least its here if you absolutely can not live without. And pumpkin…well…that’s something that just isn’t the same however, I have learned to make really cool recipes with pumpkin. Nothing sweet, no pumpkin pies or pumpkin muffins but I make a mean pumpkin soup!
Homesickness makes going home that much more special. When I see my family, I soak them up. I move a little slower and I relish in the time I do have with them. Whereas before I left the states, I didn’t see what was important to me.
But seriously….care packages people…send them my way!!! 😉
Until next time, Readers!!!! xoxoxoxoxo