Unusual subject for an interior blog, I know!
It’s simple – it is emotional distress or anxiety from being pushed out of a comfort zone and/or being away from familiar faces.
As a Brazilian citizen living in Finland for 11 years now, this is an issue I deal with constantly. Currently, all I can think of is my home country and my family. Therefore, I also started wondering of how much homesickness has affected my overall attitude and obviously my work.
I also often think of how many fellow “homesickers” are out there from whom I would love to hear stories of coping and specially if working on a creative field, how does it affect your ability to stay creative and efficient.
Homesickness is an ancient phenomenon been mentioned already in the Old Testament and in the Greek poem, Odyssey. So I guess is fair to say it is a pretty common and very real mind set. Personally, I have adapted well living abroad, learnt the language, travelled plenty and can’t really complain about my life in general yet regardless, Homesickness seems to kick in whenever I don’t go back to Brazil in maximum 2 years period. The funniest thing, is the obliviousness in recognising it. It can go a long time until I realise the fact I am not feeling like myself isn’t really caused by depression, anxiety or what not. But simply because I want to sit down in cafes drinking expressos with my father, set an early breakfast table with my mother. Get annoyed with my little sister’s not leaving the house without foundation and deep my toes in sea water and sand.
I don’t even know would I really want to go back living in my home country right now but I miss my comfort zone. I even find it funny all the talk about the benefits of stepping out of your comfort zone, even for a little. I don’t think I even know what that is. I literally live outside mine.
After giving so much thought to the subject, I did a little tour around my home and try to spot details that bring my home country and life there well, home.
Earthy tones, bright flowers, plants, linens, Ratan and in my case, corals and crystals stones are my way of bringing my cultural background to my home. Those help me feel comfortable and I like the nostalgic feeling of thinking of my mother’s love for linen when I stare at my curtains, my childhood home when I stroll barefoot on our warm tinted oak floors and my grandma’s fancy soul when I glance at brass details. Even my inclination for renovating old furniture takes me back to times when I drag my little brother into my hobbies and activities just so he would give my parents some time to breath.
Photography books is something I like to buy when I visit South Brazil, specially like the selection available at the Eye museum shop.
Ps: If visiting South Brazil, The Eye museum is definitely a must see for modern art, design and outstanding architecture by Oscar Niemeyer.
Diary. I randomly write a diary ever since I moved away. Helps me specially in hard times.
Cats are a big part of my tools on dealing with Homesickness. Me and my sisters have always been cat fanatics and can’t remember life back home when there wasn’t a cat (or 6) climbing shelves, purring of the couch or taking a leak on my father’s work sack (Nope, he didn’t like it).
Lemonades and avocado smoothies is a habit my mother taught us at very early age. The difference is that nowadays I actually need to make it myself (awful I know… chopping fruits and pressing the blender button is a challenging task). But I will admit, I don’t mind the spoiling and yes, my mother still serve it at breakfast table, which is always set like we are having guests, EVERYDAY.
Done with my venting, I would be so curious to hear your thoughts and feelings on Homesickness. If you are a foreigner living in Finland or a Finn who has or does live abroad and would like to share. Let’s cope together!
Tips on my favourite places for buying decor that adds a tropical feel to your interior:
- Proloque for Corals
- Seraphine store in Helsinki for healing stones
- Laatikkokauppa for handmade rustic wooden stools