This post is also available in: Deutsch (German)
Sometimes it comes to me in the late hours of the evening, the hours where the sun creates more shadow than actual light. Sometimes it comes to me after an argument, a side product of a hurtful word or a gloomy thought. And sometimes it comes completely unexpected, out of nowhere, during the most beautiful hours at the beach.
And yet, I don’t want to feel homesick. I want to be brave and adventurous, go out into the world, never looking back, eyes peeled with optimism towards the horizon. I want to live in the present moment, right here right now, enjoy it all blissfully, and never regret anything.
But it does catch up with me. Sometimes it arrives as a craving for a certain type of food. As a longing for a sensation on my skin. Or as sadness when a specific person is not around.
Recently, I was so sick that I had to spend multiple days in bed doing nothing. The homesickness hit me hard. I really wanted a bread roll with German “Matjes” fish. Take a walk in the forest. Pet the horse that was once mine. I wanted my mom to get me ice cream, which she used to lovingly garnish with chocolate candy. During those days of feeling so physically exhausted, I just wanted to go back home to North Germany.
Not that life here in Cyprus is so terrible. Quite the opposite. We’ve been enjoying 20 degree days and sunshine for a couple of weeks. There’s epic coffee, stunning beaches, beautiful people, and tons of fun activities. And yet, daily life here is obviously completely different.
The thing that gets me the most here is the lack of connection with nature. The Cypriots don’t care much about protecting the environment, the countryside often riddled with trash, and I don’t even want to start talking about how they treat their animals.
Admittedly, this is even more about my own lack of connection with nature and the outdoors. I go outside with Stormy for about an hour a day and we roam the fields nearby. The rest of the day I’m spending either inside our house or surrounded by concrete. And even if I spend hours by the pool in summer, that doesn’t really count as the outdoors.
Of course, the ocean is right around the corner. And I love the ocean. But to hang out by the beach doesn’t bring me the same kind of recharge that I get when I run through the forest. (Quite the opposite, I often get stressed out with sand and wind when I’m by the beach).
But no worries, it’s not like I’m about to pack my suitcase and leave as soon as the homesickness hits. I know that I’m overall happier here than I could be in Germany. (I’m a summer kinda girl. Where I’m from, we get about 1,600 hours of sunshine during the year. In Cyprus it’s about 3,200.)
Maybe my homesickness is just a nudge to visit my old home more often and to rethink how I live my daily life.
I also haven’t sat on a horse here in Cyprus yet. And that’s not because there are no horse farms around but more for the reason that I haven’t found one where I’ve deemed the way they treat their horses worth of supporting. But maybe I’ll be lucky and find one after all and hopefully, one day I get to go on a wonderful ride out in nature.
I also miss working with dogs and my old dog training facility. Unfortunately, you can’t find anything like it here in Cyprus, and the months between April and October would be too hot anyway. Due to Stormy only being able to walk for about an hour a day on cool days, we are also no longer getting in the long walks we used to. So the only remaining option is flying back to Germany to enjoy and embrace everything as much as we can while we’re there.
Homesickness isn’t really fair, eh? We especially miss things when we can’t have them anymore. Can we not swap out ‘acute homesickness’ for ‘acute joy over the present moment’? Just so we notice “This moment feels so incredibly good right now, and I’m fully taking in this feeling” and so we cherish more of the little things and the important people in our lives.
Maybe my homesickness was a sign for just that: more focus on friendships, regular quality time one on one, and more joy and bliss in the present moment. Sitting in the sun. Drinking a good cup of coffee. And one day showing the chef at my favorite seafood restaurant a photo of my favorite German bread roll with “Matjes” fish. Just as a little inspiration.