Homesickness is a feeling that has become common to me as I’ve traveled to new places and been apart from family and friends. It’s not fun to feel, but feeling it just means that you are lucky enough to have things that make you happy.

To me, home isn’t just one place or person. I’ve come to realize that anywhere can feel like home, regardless of your history there. In a traditional sense, home is the place where one lives. But, I think of home as a feeling. It can come at anytime, with anyone, in any place. Home should make you feel comfortable and relaxed.

I feel homesick when wishing my mom could see something I’ve accomplished at college, or when I see pictures of England and wish I was laying in the grass at Hyde Park or when I eat tacos and wish I was in Costa Rica. I can be in my hometown, Clayton, and feel homesick for San Diego. I can be with my best friends from school and feel homesick for my best friends at home. Homesickness is missing the happiness you’ve felt in certain places or with certain people.

It can be triggered by almosst anything. I used to associate little kids with it, like when I was little and would have a sleepover at my friend’s house and end up calling my mom because I was homesick. Now as I’ve grown up, I’ve come to realize that adults are more prone to homesickness, but most of them don’t express it. It’s okay to feel homesick. It’s okay to miss someone, or miss being somewhere. It doesn’t always mean that you’re unhappy where you are or who you’re with. Plenty of people experience being homesick, but we all feel it for different reasons. We shouldn’t be ashamed of that. We need to embrace our feelings and express them. So often people feel the need to say that moving away from home or going to college doesn’t make them miss the feeling of home. Change can be great but it doesn’t mean it isn’t hard. Without the feeling of nostalgia, we’d never realize how happy home makes us.

A house does not have to be home nor does our family have to be home. If something doesn’t make you feel 100 percent comfortable or happy, then it isn't home. Thinking of home as a feeling allows me to be optimistic and excited. In a big, diverse and beautiful world, I refuse to believe that I can only have one home. I hope that wherever, or whoever, you call home makes you happy. And if you feel homesick, say it. It won’t fix the feeling, but it could bring you closer to happiness and home.