2018 Fall Taiwan Temple Exchange Thomas Kuklinski

On Homesickness

I don’t know what to write about. I’ve been tired recently.

I’ve started living in Taipei. I’m no longer moving in. I’m no longer getting settled. I’m no longer fascinated by everything I see. I’m not sure what that means. I’m somewhere between a routine and a rut. In a way, it is nice. I’m finally able to concentrate on school, on making friends. Still, losing those distractions makes me focus internally. There are a few things that are starting to wear on me here. It’s hard to make friends across a language barrier. I miss fall weather. I’m realizing I’m actually rather homesick.

I used to walk down the street and photograph everything I saw. Take little mental notes of things. Stare at people, shops, apartments with wide eyes. I’d go out with friends, if you could call people you’ve known for less than a month friends, and share everything on Snapchat. Add a geo-filter to remind people, yeah, I’m living in Taipei. Save it so I can look at it later.  Everything was new and exciting.


Now, instead of being completely absorbed in what’s around me, I’ve been looking at old pictures a lot. Snapshots from parties, photo shoots I never finished.  Replaying Snapchats of my friends smoking on the roof, hoping to catch a glimpse of campus in the background. Reading Philly news like I still live there. When I put my phone down though, I remember doing the exact opposite when I was living in Philly. Taipei was all I could think about.

Even though SEPTA isn’t as nice as Taipei MRT, it has a special place in my heart



Before I left, I had all these expectations of what Taipei was going to be like. The weather will be great. The metro system will be so convenient. The city will be so exciting. For the most part, those expectations were met. I’m making new friends and seeing a lot of really cool art. Really, I’m grateful I’m here. But, I guess there’s just a level of restlessness that comes with settling in somewhere. Once the newness wears away, the once exciting changes are now tiring.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m having a good time here. I remember hearing that moving to a new city is like starting a new relationship. First is the honeymoon stage, where everything is exciting and fun. After that is difficulty and change, which I am definitely feeling right now. Still, I’m here for 8 more months, and according to http://www.aha-now.com, the next stage of a relationship is discovery and understanding. Sounds much more promising.

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