I am the world’s most spoiled person. Or, at least I was until I was somehow tricked into moving away from my hometown of Santa Cruz, Calif. Right on the beach of the central California coast, Santa Cruz has cool, temperate weather year round, beautiful scenery and delicious local food. And, even though my family no longer lives there, I want to go back right now. No one even told me how good I had it.
Unfortunately that’s not going to happen. We are never going to get stationed near Santa Cruz. And while home may be where your family is, the delicious burritos from that stand on the corner downtown are not. So periodically I have to fight off the homesick bug. Here’s how I do it:
1. Eat home inspired food. I know, I know – it’s not the same. But you can do your best to imitate the food from home quickly and easy. For me it’s delicious, fresh fruit (Santa Cruz is home to a large agricultural community) straight from the grocery store and tacos. Mmmmm. Tacos. Like these ones.
2. Breathe home air. Air in can from your city not available? (Yes, that is actually a thing), plot a visit to a closer-than-home place that has some of the same qualities. For me this was a visit to Gulf Shores this summer, just a car trip away from where we are stationed. It was definitely not the same. But if I closed my eyes and breathed in the salty air, it smelled like home. And that felt good.
3. Watch a home movie. I don’t mean a movie about where you’re from, or a video of you as a kid. I mean a movie that you watched all the time when at home. We all have them. For me it’s “You’ve Got Mail.” I have it almost entirely memorized, and watching it just brings over me this sense of calm and familiarity.
4. Wear home clothes. Santa Cruz is a really chill place. I mean that both in general temperature (often foggy and 60 degrees) and in attitude. The ideal Santa Cruz outfit consists of the ever fashionable hoodie and beanie. When I am feeling so, so homesick here in the land of heat and humidity I choose to splurge a little on the AC, crank it down and throw on my favorite hoodie. And it feels so, so good.
How do you fight off the homesick bug?