I don’t normally think of myself as a person who tends to get homesick. It’s not that I don’t miss my family and friends back home. In fact, I more often than not find myself thinking that my parents, siblings, or a particular friend would absolutely love sharing in something that I am experiencing. Or more to point, that I would love sharing the experience with them, certain of their enjoyment. However, I seldom feel that melancholic yearning down in my gut that I define as homesickness. Of course, such modern marvels as Facebook, email and Skype really help a lot – the internet is such a great way to keep connected and involved in the lives of the people who matter most when you can’t have them always at your side. Via such lines of communication, you can exchange not only spoken and written words of love, support, encouragement, advice, etc, but also pictures and videos giving a visual idea of where your separate lives are leading. On top of that, you get to actually see their faces, to feel as though you are practically by their side. But….there is no possibility of sharing the sweet closeness of a hug with them. When I truly miss my family and friends, those moments when I feel that yearning deep inside, that’s when all I really want is to wrap them tight in my arms and feel theirs squeezing me back. But that’s a little difficult when they’re halfway across the world. That’s part of the reason that I’m so excited for tomorrow morning, when my life-long friend Katie steps through the arrivals gate at the Madrid airport. I won’t just be getting her hugs when I greet her either, because I know that just a couple days ago she saw my parents, and that they gave her hugs for me. Maybe it seems a little silly to think of sending hugs, but I know that when I hug Katie tomorrow, that will be one more precious link to my parents and my home that I simply cannot have over even the most sophisticated of modern modes of communication.