the meaning of homesickness.


Homesick: adjective, sad or depressed from a longing of home or family while away from them for a long time.

While during my first oh….10 days…in Thessaloniki,I was miserable. Terrified is another excellent adjective for me to use. I got to Thess about 4-6 days earlier than the rest of the people in our program. There was one other girl I traveled with, but we didn’t hit it off like I had originally thought. So I felt alone. Very, very alone. I called home on Skype to my best friend Ashley, and sobbed to her, telling her how scared I was that my friends would move on without me and I would be forgotten. I cried and cried asking her why I did this to myself.

Then, a week later I met amazing people. I enjoyed their time and their quick friendship, and learned I would be okay. Shortly after that week, probably another two weeks later, I was in heaven. Every day was an adventure for me. The Greek language was something of an evil plot against my English and French language background. Nothing made sense, until I made a rule for myself. That rule lasted the rest of my time in Thessaloniki. That one very simple rule was:

“Everything that makes sense to us, makes no sense to them. Everything that makes sense to them, makes no sense to us. Throw everything out and all you have is sense. “

This rule works flawlessly. After I threw out everything I knew about language learning, I instantly understood the way Greek was formatted. After I threw out everything I knew about time, the thought of taking a bus an hour before class to get just 10 minutes away, made perfect sense. After I threw out the junk from the previous owners of my new apartment, the gypsies down the street picked it up. Perfect sense. This rule applied to everything.

So, shortly after I accepted this rule, I fell into the rhythm of Greece. And that rhyme is beautiful. The sound of the market on Saturday morning, the compliments of my ‘beautiful nose’ and ‘gorgeous eyes’ that never get old, the roll of the die while playing tavli, the taste of the sixth frappe in a day.

Life in Thessaloniki was perfection…and school hadn’t even started yet.


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