Missing home and unsure what to do about it? Maya Joseph from Barbados and a Culinary and Gastronomic Sciences student at GMIT has some top tips.
I am from Barbados, a place where the sun is always shining. I am currently studying in Ireland, a place where the sun rarely makes an appearance and it is pretty much always raining! With the recent addition of snow to my climate woes I have really been feeling the homesickness creep in. I have compiled a list of helpful tips that I hope will be as helpful for you as they have been for me whenever I am feeling the strain of being too far from home.
Bring a piece of home with you
I have crossed continents with packets of Bajan seasoning. My baked chicken would not be the same without it! If there is something that you absolutely cannot live without, bring it with you. It is just as important as packing the right clothes. It will satisfy your cravings for a taste of home — particularly in the early days.
Keep up to date with what’s going on at home
We all get that feeling of longing in our chests when we catch sight of a photo of the latest dish from our favourite restaurant on Instagram — Chefette and Mapps for me! You can’t exactly block every page that makes you homesick or refuse to talk about it, that won’t help at all. I have been in Ireland for just under a year now and the disconnect from home can grow as time passes. My favourite remedy for this is to listen to Barbadian radio stations or catch up with the latest Bajan memes and videos online.
One thing I have noticed is that people are always interested to know more about Barbados — they are just as eager to hear about my culture as I am about theirs. Share your stories about home or even let friends sample your food. Teaching others about your culture can really lift your mood.
This is one I am still struggling with myself. There is nothing worse than staying in bed all day, watching TV because you feel down. Get up, go outside and explore the places around you and get your blood pumping! Take a walk in the park or go for a bike ride by the sea. I promise you that your mood will improve. Ireland is the perfect place to get active!
There is plenty to do and see in Ireland. To get the most out of what this country has to offer be prepared to travel outside of the town or city you are studying in. Take a day trip to another county to see what sights they have to offer. Exploring a new place is the perfect cure for the homesick because it shows you that new possibilities lie ahead just waiting to be discovered.
I really hope these tips help you make the most of your time studying here in Ireland and lift your mood the next time the homesick bug hits!