One of my biggest worries before going abroad was how the holidays would be not being at home. Starting about a week ago there was a noticeable mood change around the group of American students here. Conversations at lunch would quickly switch from discussions about classes and homework to discussions about what everyone misses the most from home. For me it was especially difficult seeing all my friends from back home and Linfield’s statuses on Facebook about leaving for break, spending time with family, and eating their favorite foods from home.
One of the best parts about being abroad is that when you’re missing home you’re not the only one feeling that way. I am so thankful to have the friends that I’ve made here who, when all I wanted was to be home cuddling with my dog, brought me chocolate and watched Christmas movies with me. We battled homesickness together because isolating yourself will only make things worse but letting your friends help you through it will actually make things better.
For Thanksgiving this year my friends and I decided to make a reservation at an American restaurant near our university for all of us. There were only four Americans at our Thanksgiving meal and in total six countries were represented. While it wasn’t the Thanksgiving meal that I’m used to having at home, it was one of my favorite Thanksgivings of all time. For me the holiday is about spending the day with the people you want to be with and this year I chose to spend the day with the people who have become my family over these past three months.
There are many things that I am thankful for this year; the opportunity to study in Hong Kong, a supportive family back home, the amazing friends I’ve made here, and above all the past three months that have been some of the best of my life.
Cheers from Hong Kong,