Living far from home 背井離鄉

更新時間 2013年 10月 7日, 星期一 - 格林尼治標準時間11:46
Woman alone

Homesickness can be compared to depression

Vocabulary: homesickness 詞匯: 思鄉

I feel a bit sad today because I'm homesick. I miss the delicious plates of pasta with a special sauce my mother used to make. She was a great cook! But I work abroad and I have to cope with the occasional feeling of nostalgia.

The footballer Jesus Navas suffers badly. He is moving from Seville to Manchester City, but for years he could hardly leave his hometown. Anxiety attacks forced the player out of training camps. They say he has overcome his homesickness through counselling.

These days people often relocate to another country to study or to work. Many find it difficult to adapt, though. According to research by the University of Warwick Counselling Service, up to 70% of adults experience homesickness at some point in their lives. It can have similar symptoms to depression, says psychologist Dr Caroline Schuster.

Almost anything can trigger homesickness - a smell, a taste, even a colour reminds them of home. Mohammed Barakat sent us a message on Facebook about his longing for "the smell of rain and green" during the Sudanese rainy season. Mari Damian misses "the smell of Christmas cakes".

Homesickness is not something new. The ancient Greek poem Homer's Odyssey talked about it. But the modern term was created in the 17th Century to describe the feelings of Swiss mercenaries, who longed for their homeland while fighting elsewhere in Europe.

According to Dr Susan Matt, who wrote a book about the subject, people used to see it as a dangerous disease.

Modern technology can limit the feeling of isolation, allowing people to keep in touch with loved ones. Social psychologist Dr Gary Wood says Skype is a lifeline because it can allow grandparents a world away to watch their grandchildren grow up.

But people should not allow homesickness to stop them living in the present. I follow advice given by Dr Wood: I write down three new things that I've been grateful for every night, as well as three things I'm looking forward to every morning.

What about you: what do you miss when you are away from home and family?

Quiz 測驗

1. What helped Jesus Navas to overcome homesickness?


2. Psychologist Dr Caroline Schuster compares homesickness symptoms to what?

To symptoms of depression.

3. Is the statement true or false? Homesickness is a problem of our times.

False. It was talked about in Homer's Odyssey.

4. What does Dr Wood advise us to do every morning?

Write three things we are looking forward to doing during the day.

5. Which are the two senses mentioned in the article?

Smell and taste.

Glossary 词汇表 (点击单词收听发音)

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