Take a walk and listen to some Macklemore (a.k.a curing homesickness)

This past weekend I experienced something I didn’t think I was possible of feeling, ever: homesickness.

In all of my traveling and moving away from home in the past 3 years, I’ve rarely experienced homesickness to the point where it’s effected my mood. Sure, I miss my family and friends all the time.

But homesickness? No way.

That was, I didn’t, until this weekend, when two things happened simultaneously that have absolutely nothing to do with one another: My family moved out of my last childhood home and my sorority went through their formal Recruitment process for the year, adding about 30 or so new members and rekindling everyone’s love for Greek Life and Alpha Chi Omega (my organization) in general.

Missing out on such large events at home, somehow, had me missing what I thought I had come to terms with before I left: life was going on without me.

As strange as it sounds (obviously life is going on without me), missing out on the move and all of the excitement that comes with Recruitment really, really made me miss home.

So, what, you may be wondering, did I do?

As you can guess from my post’s title, I did a few things:

(1) I went for a walk in the Kensington Gardens (technically part of London’s Hyde Park). 

A path in Hyde Park's Kensington Gardens leads to the football pitches.
A path in Hyde Park’s Kensington Gardens leads to the football pitches.

Maybe it’s residual from the Labyrinth seminar I took sophomore year. Maybe it’s got something to do with where I lived in Ohio the past 10 years (the middle of nowhere). Maybe it’s my inner Wordsworthian or Edward Thomas.

Regardless of the reason, somehow I’m really comforted by walking around parks. Whether I need to clear my head, think about an essay I need to write, or just miss home, a walk always does me some good.

I was fortunate enough to be graced with a sunny day Sunday, and meandered among the dogs and toddlers on scooters in Kensington Gardens.

Not only did this reinforce my love for London, but it also improved my mood to watch small dogs and children chase one another around.

(2) I listened to a lot of Macklemore and Ryan Lewis.

Considering I just started liking the duo about a week ago, this one doesn’t really make much sense. But, somehow the mix of Macklemore’s lyrics with Ryan Lewis’ backbeats and production remind me of my own quirky, dysfunctional and amazing group of friends in Milwaukee.

(Blatant and unabashed S/O to those at Marquette I’m missing!)

Music, like walking, can be therapeutic for some. Homesickness needs therapy just like anything else. Others may not want to turn up Macklemore when they need a fix of the U S of A, but any music that reminds them of home should have the same effect.

(3) I splurged on Starbucks so I could sit in the cafe by my campus and pretend I was at Marquette. 

I’d like to preface by explaining that Starbucks here is really, really expensive. It’s expensive at home, but because of the dollar-to-pound conversion rate and “boutique” quality of the Starbucks shops in London, it is extra expensive. Therefore, I have (until yesterday) carefully avoided any Starbucks stores at all costs. However, thanks to my little bout of homesickness, I caved. I went to Starbucks and spend £5.50 on a Grande Americano and Roast Chicken Salad Sandwich, and I am proud of it.

(It also helped that I managed to snag a table to read my coursework at without people glaring like they do on campus when you take up a whole table with just a coffee and a book.)

and finally, thanks to a suggestion from my flatmate,

(4) I found an American Foods Store in Notting Hill.

For some hefty quid, I can get an industrial-sized box of Kraft Mac’n’Cheese, a box of Fruit Roll-Ups, Lucky Charms or Pop Tarts. There’s nothing like splurging a little on processed American food when you really miss home.

Because really, when you’re used to all that High Fructose Corn Syrup, “food that doesn’t kill you” just isn’t that good.



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