Gilder and Katie teach overseas. They talk about what they miss from their home countries of Venezuela and England.
Aimee: So Gilder, we're both teachers, and we both live and work abroad, right, from our home countries.
Aimee: I'm from Scotland and you're from Venezuela. So, I'm sure we both have to deal with homesickness because we're so far from our home. How do you deal with home sickness?
Gilder: It's very difficult because as you said I'm so far from my country.
Gilder: And like special seasons like Christmas or during the Holy Week – it is something that we celebrate a lot, I feel really homesick especially because of the food we have.
Gilder: Yeah, a particular food and also meeting with your friends, hanging out with them, going to the beach. So all those things that I don't have here is, – yeah, it really makes feel homesick. But one thing I do is I always try to go for things in the country where I'm living. So what do the locals do? Is there any interesting – and it's a sort of like an adventure because you're doing something new so you're kind of replacing something that you used to do by something new. So in a way, it's nice dealing with homesickness.
Gilder: What about you?
Aimee: Well, that's kind of what I was going to say. You said replacing, I was going to say just distract yourself with other activities. Obviously, we've met new people living here and, you know, I've made some new and wonderful friends. And it's not the same as your life back home but it's a good distraction, I think. You mentioned activities, so yeah, just exploring the new culture that we're in.
And if feeling homesickness in regards to food, you know, there's a lot of delicious foods here in Japan. Delicious foods, so we can distract our needs, I guess.
Gilder: Yeah. That's one of the good things of being in Japan is the fact that you get to know people from all over the world and try so many different things. So yeah, it's a distraction. It's a good distraction. Yeah.
Aimee: One, I guess, one strategy I have as well for homesickness is whenever someone comes to visit, which is very rare but it does happen, I send them a list of things that they can fill their suitcase with to bring over for me. Foods from home and just tea bags from the local supermarket and, you know, some cosmetics or toiletries that I cannot buy here, particular brands that I like. And it's little things like that that help me, I think, deal with not having them. Basically, having them helps me deal with not having them.
Gilder: I also do that sometimes like my family try to visit me once a year so their suitcase packed of stuff Venezuela, which is very important to me. And also I try to find those supermarkets from South America like Brazilian supermarkets…
Aimee: Right. Yeah.
Gilder: Or sometimes the Filipino supermarkets, they have stuff that we have in Venezuela, so yeah, it's very nice.
Aimee: I actually used to live out in a different part of Japan where there was quite a large Brazilian population, and there were many like Brazilian convenient store. Wonderful breads, the meat was good, too. Yeah, lots of really good products. So I guess a shop like that would help you in particular.
Gilder: Yes, I guess Brazilians, they don't have the same issue that we have with homesickness because they can get a lot of stuff from Brazil here in Japan.
Aimee: That's true. Yeah. Well, of course, you know, there are international stores around. I'm lucky enough to – even in a small city like this, I have an international store that's reasonably close. So there are a few products that you can – I feel happy about, I guess. Maybe I wouldn't even buy them at home but when I see them in the shop here, I feel like, oh I can't get other things so I'm going to buy these biscuits.
Gilder: Likewise, something that you can read.
Aimee: Yeah. Well, yeah, that too. Just peel the language stick off the top and read the English below.
Aimee: Yeah. There are different ways to cope with it, I think.
We must deal with homesickness because we're so far from our home.
Homesickness is the feeling of being homesick, or missing things from your home area. Notice the following:
- In college, homesickness was a problem for me.
- I usually get homesick when I hear music from my country.
Just distract yourself with other activities.
When you are distracted, you keep yourself from concentrating on something else. Notice the following:
- The students were distracted by the laughter outside.
- At work it is easy to get distracted. ,
Some cosmetics or toiletries I cannot buy here.
Toiletries are items used to wash one's body like soap, shampoo and toothpaste. Notice the following:
- We bought toiletries at the drugstore.
- Nice hotels usually provide toiletries.
Likewise, something that you can read.
Here, likewise is close in meaning to also or similarly. Notice the following:
- You need to drive carefully in the rain.
- Likewise, you need to do the same in the snow.
Just peel the language stick off the top
When you peel something, you remove the outer layer of something by pulling on it. Notice the following:
- Can you peel this orange for me?
- He peeled off his wet clothes.
There are different ways to cope with it.
When you cope with something, you deal with a difficult situation. Notice the following:
- We are having to cope with really bad weather.
- I can't cope anymore. I need a break.
cope • peel • likewise
What makes you homesick?
About the Teacher / Creator
Hello, and welcome to elllo. My name is Todd Beuckens. I've been an ESL teacher for 25 years. I created elllo to provide teachers and students free audio lessons and learning materials not usually found in commercial textbooks.
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