Homesick (but good)

I’m actually warm right now. Score!

Since I moved into my new room, I’ve definitely felt better about things in general. The three guys I’m currently living with are really cool, although two of them just finished their program and are leaving tomorrow. There’s also an Australian girl living here, but she’s on holiday right now, so I haven’t met her yet. I think we’ll be getting two new flatmates soon, and I’m looking forward to seeing who I’ll be living with for the next five months!

Last night (the same day I moved), a bunch of students took a bus to Fremantle (one of the cities closest to Murdoch; the other is Perth) to go to Newport hotel/club/bar. Beforehand, I hung out with some other students and saw a portable oven for the first time (not a toaster oven). It was an intriguing device, and I wish my flat had one, because the rooms in north village unfortunately don’t have ovens.

Newport was fun. I’d never really been to a club before, so it was a bit of a new experience for me, but it sounds like lots of students go pretty much every Wednesday. I can’t see myself going that often, but it was enjoyable enough that I’d definitely go back! All in all, it was a good day, and I felt pretty content when I went to bed last night.

This morning we had to attend an orientation session and then a campus tour, and that’s when the homesickness hit. I had figured I would get homesick at some point on my trip, but since I never felt homesick in the least while I was in Sydney, I was beginning to think I would avoid the worst of it. I was definitely wrong.

As soon as we started the campus tour, I immediately thought back to my first tour of UNC, and how enthusiastic and wonderful all of the UNC student tour guides are. And as beautiful and Australian as Murdoch’s campus is, every building and lecture hall we passed just made me miss UNC more and more, and wish that I could hear the bustle of the Pit and see students everywhere wearing Carolina blue. I missed knowing my way around campus, and feeling completely at home there.

After lunch, a friend and I walked to the K-mart and Coles shopping center to get groceries, pillows, and other essentials, and the homesickness intensified. I did okay in K-mart, although it took me a bajillion years to find everything I needed. But then at Coles, which is one of the main two grocery stores here (the other is Woolworth’s), my sanity began to deteriorate rapidly.

First, let me point out that I had already shopped at Coles twice and Woolworth’s twice since being here, so this was not a new experience. I don’t know why my brain chose today to conjure up every fond thought I’ve ever had towards my grocery stores at home, but all of a sudden, not being in the same state as a Whole Foods seemed like the worst circumstance I could possibly find myself in.

The thing is, Coles is probably about the same caliber as Kroger or Food Lion, and the one near the university doesn’t seem particularly nice. I couldn’t find any meats that said ‘grass-fed’ or ‘pastured,’ coconut oil was $10 for a tiny jar, I didn’t recognize any of the food brands I’m used to seeing, and it definitely didn’t have that lively, organic, crunchy health food store vibe that Whole Foods has and that I’ve grown accustomed to when I go grocery shopping. (Aren’t I spoiled?)

I realized that I wouldn’t see the fish counter guys at the Cary Whole Foods for six months (yes, they know me there). Then I realized that Coles doesn’t even have a fish counter. Or a meat counter, for that matter. And certainly no hot bar where I can buy quality food when I don’t feel like cooking. Also, all the rotisserie chickens in Australia seem to come with stuffing. What’s up with that?

I found myself spending $7 on a bag (yes, a bag) of beef bone broth because it looked like something Whole Foods would carry. Plus, I miss my real food, and sometimes a girl just needs some bone broth. Then I saw some Celestial Seasonings Sleepytime tea sitting alone on a shelf and started tearing up, just because I recognized the brand and it reminded me of home. I don’t even particularly like Sleepytime tea, so I knew things were getting dire.

The rest of the day was more of me being moody and overly emotional about things that reminded me of home. One minute I’d be fine, and the next I’d be freaking out because I hadn’t seen a squirrel in a week, as if the UNC campus squirrels had suddenly become a vital part of my everyday existence.

Just to be clear: yes, I’m homesick. Yes, I’ve been more sad and overwhelmed than happy and excited today. But that doesn’t mean I’m not doing okay, and to my family reading this, it doesn’t mean you need to worry about me! This is the first time I’ve ever lived away from the Triangle; of course it’s going to be a shock. But I know I’ll get over it before long, and I’ll start to appreciate all the new things this area has to offer. And right now, I can at least use this experience to appreciate how good I have it at home!

4 Thoughts on “Homesick (but good)

  1. Tell us more about those three men you are living with?? 🙂
    Bob C with Joan and Buddy

  2. Hi.Alyssa, as usual it is wonderful reading your.bogs, so glad you arrived in Perth safe and sound. That was great getting into the Indian Ocean. You are doing just great.on such a big adventure. Different countries do things in different ways. You will catch on to their new.ways and things will get much easier. When in Rome do as the Romans do. Enjoy and see as much as you can. Love, Grandpa


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