One Friday afternoon, a few weeks after I got here, all our guests left and we closed the resort for three weeks of cleaning and renovating. Due to a religious holiday, many of the staff went home for the weekend too, so all of a sudden, the resort was almost empty and very quiet.
At dinner time, when everybody usually gathers at the restaurant for the meal at our long wooden table, I was sitting on the sunset terrace all by myself – watching yet another gorgeous sunset! - and suddenly felt a little homesick for the first time since I got here. I imagined our guests flying back to their families and friends and started to miss my people in Switzerland. As much as I often wanted to get away, at home everybody and everything feels familiar and gives me a sense of cosiness and security. I don’t have to worry about customs or language barriers and I am able to see or call my loved ones almost whenever I want.
The feeling passed when our intern showed up, the only other Swiss girl on the island at that moment, and we had dinner together. But I know, I will feel homesick again – on and off. And I hope I will, because it shows me that I have a place that I belong to and people that hopefully remember me even though I’m thousands of kilometers away. Just as I am busy working and getting to know everything here, I know that people at home are busy with their lives too and don’t have the time to constantly wonder how I am doing over here (even though I do get a lot of text messages asking me to write how I am settling in – thank you guys!). And the longer I stay away, the less I will be on top of their mind and vice versa.
Would I feel less homesick if I didn’t live on a remote island, but in a city or a country closer to Switzerland? I would be more distracted for sure, as there isn’t much to do here in the evenings except chat with our guests at the bar or read a book in my room (which is great, by the way, I haven’t read this much for a long time!). But I would still feel homesick once in a while. I think, there is no relation between the intensity of a feeling and the size of the place you live in or the distance from home. It’s just not home, that’s all.
But I’ll manage, I know! So far, I really like it here and hope I will continue to do so for quite a while…
I never even dreamt of working on a remote island in Indonesia, but life has a way of taking care of itself…