2019 Spring Taylor Berkoski Temple Exchange United Kingdom

Home Sickness: It Comes, but It Also Goes

I am having the time of my life while abroad in England. It is a dream, really, and every morning I wake up thoroughly excited for life and what it will bring me next. I have built the most amazing friendships, I enjoy all of my coursework, and I get the opportunity to travel and experience so many new ways of life and culture. Although all of these aspects enrich my life so much and make my experience absolutely incredible, I cannot help but think at times where I came from before this.

Me and my friend, Sarah, at a picnic in my hometown on Long Island, NY.

It is sort of odd, staying somewhere different for so long. I moved into Norwich about two months ago, but I feel like I’ve been here for years. I’m comfortable and adjusted (for as much as an exchange student can be), and it feels like home. However, I’ve had my flatmates bring up multiple times, “Taylor, I don’t want you to leave!” And this brings me to the suddenly realization that, no, I haven’t been here for years. I’ve been here for two months and I only have two left. I will be leaving soon to go back home. This then makes me think of home. Home. What is that to me?

This overwhelming sense of ‘what even is home?‘ has been clouding my head and I really began to think deeply of this question. And, thankfully, It brought me to this amazingly beautiful conclusion: A home is where you build relationships and share new experiences that you wish to remember forever. Home to me was just that. Because when I think of home, I catch myself of thinking of multiple places: Home is Philadelphia, Home is Temple University, Home is Long Island, Home is New York.

Trying to catch a quick nap on the subway to a Temple Football game with my friend, Sal.

Home doesn’t have to be one place, it doesn’t have to be one location–in fact, the location doesn’t even factor into what I define as home. Home is a feeling, it isn’t a place. When I find myself missing home, I’m actually missing the people: the times I share with them, the jokes I laugh about with them, our experiences together. Home is love.

When I lie back and think to myself: ‘I miss being home’, what it really boils down to is just missing my family and friends back home who just happen to be on Long Island and my friends and professors that happen to be at Temple University. But as soon as this thought comes about, I also think of how much of an amazing time I’ve been having creating this new home in Norwich, and how when I come back to the U.S… Man am I going to be missing this home. Because Home is Home for a reason. It is somewhere you love and are loved and will always want to come back to to experience and share that love.

And no matter what, no matter where I am, I will always be missing one home while building or embellishing a different one. So when I have a feeling of longing to be with others who are far away from me, I pull myself back and think: Enjoy this. Enjoy this home you’re in now. Because this will soon be over, and this home will be the one you long for. Because Home is also now University of East Anglia, Home is now, Norwich.

A picnic on UEA’s scenic campus with all of my flatmates who I’ve become the closest of friends with. What a bunch!

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