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How Missing Home Is Changing Me

Mikee overlooking Bennachie Hills in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. Mikee Mutuc

Two months of study abroad down, two to go.

Today marks the first full day of stillness in my routine. It's a sharp contrast with the binge of activities that have dictated the last two weeks; from exploring different parts of Scotland every day, to meeting new people every night. 

A quiet Sunday might sound like a relief, but considering the distance away from my family, I’m not sure how I feel about it yet. In all the excitement, I forgot to miss home. Now, as I sit next to the windowsill in my empty flat, the silence echoes in and out of every room.

My life in Scotland is very different from my life in Toronto. Back home, I live in the same apartment building as my cousins. Their spare key is basically mine hidden away, and on a lucky week, I would see them every other day at whatever time I wanted. My best friends live 10 minutes away, which meant that it only took an “I’m hungry, what are you doing?” message to get them out of their house and into mine. Like every overjoyed dog, my year-old Maltese licks me down into the ground until we both curl into each other and surrender for a quick nap. I would spend the whole day with her while waiting for my mom to come home from whichever one of three jobs she works. By then, a typical night would have all three of us spread out on our couch eating leftover pizza from the restaurant next door (with digestive-friendly treats for the little one) and watching a Gilmore Girls episode. These were my lazy days.

My travels have left me feeling lonely before, but I would have never expected to feel homesickness so soon.

Currently, I live with two Scottish girls whose families are only an hour or two away, so it's hard to avoid a tinge of jealousy. Since my arrival, they've had the luxury of home-cooked meals every weekend and the ability to speak to family in the same time zone.

I keep my mother up-to-date with my latest news almost every day—much more than I did back home actually—and she does the same by sending me videos of Luna playing with her favourite green ball. I have used FaceTime once or twice to catch up with my cousins, and I will respond in group chats with my friends as I’ve always done. Though these acts of communication help to keep us all on the same page, it's still not the same. My travels have left me feeling lonely before, but I would have never expected to feel homesickness so soon.

A deep sigh is released with a few heavy tears as I think of how much my support system means to me. My definition of a healthy relationship is evolving today more than any other day—so much so that it is hard to believe I have only been settled for less than a month.

With two more months to go, I can only imagine what other values of mine will strengthen or change. Though it feels difficult now, my positivity is pushing me into a light that is reassuring. I am learning how to be alone, and that is okay.

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Published in Study Abroad Blogs
Mikee Mutuc

Mikee Mutuc is a journalism student from Toronto, Canada currently continuing her studies for the fall semester of 2016 at Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen, Scotland, UK.

Website: instagram.com/mkaev

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