Lately, I have been feeling a bit homesick. Persian holidays have been happening back to back in honor of Persian New Year and I have never celebrated this time of the year without my family. Needless to say, it has been a struggle, but I have also made my own family here in Switzerland too.

Specifically, my host family has been very accepting and open to exploring my Iranian culture. Before my study abroad, I never understood how much gatherings and food can connect people and truly create an atmosphere of warmth. I was able to further grasp this this month as I have celebrated Persian holidays with my host family, when I initially assumed I would celebrate them alone. I cooked numerous Persian dishes and made a few mistakes, but they did not care. What mattered to them the most was the fact that I tried to make them happy and share my culture with them.

I even made an elaborate baklava with the help of my host mom, and it was such a heartwarming experience.

I feel much better now, and I am glad to have created a home here. To me, it has become clear that home is truly where the heart belongs.