Last week I hit the six month mark since I officially moved to London. More then enough time I would’ve thought to reconcile myself with British sensibilites and weather, learn my way around the tube, find some local haunts and meet and English gentlemen. I think I’ve got everything down pat, except the English gentlemen, so how come for the last few weeks I’ve been suffering from that debilitating disease called homesickness?
Homesickness seems to be a taboo subject amoung expats, it’s not something they like to admit too. On top of missing your family, friends, weather, humour and homely creature comforts you are also filled with an overwhelming feeling of failure. When you do manage to work out time-differences and daylight savings, and get the Skype connection to work for longer then two minutes, friends and family are always want to hear exciting stories and what amazing adventures you’ve been up to. To admit that actually this week has been, shall we say, shit, would be like admitting defeat. But let’s be honest, you weren’t constantly have an amazing time at home, and relocating yourself to half way across the world is going to be one of the hardest things you ever do and doesn’t come with a 100% satisfaction guarantee.
I think that my homesickness is actually a sense of homlessness . Although I long for a long lunch with my Mum, nights out with my best friends and am desperately craving a road trip to the beach (sand not stones) I can’t see myself moving back to little old Brisbane…ever. I don’t seem to have anything to move back for. Brisbane is no longer my home, but neither is London quite home yet either. Being caught in this limbo leaves me disorientated, lonely and indescribably sad. I feel like I’m mourning my old life.
This overwhelming sense of disembodiment kind of makes me want to crawl up into a ball in my bed and have a cry. If you too are suffering from homesickness, I would definitely advise you NOT to do this (or at least not for very long). Thing’s I found that have helped –
1. Skyping my Mum and literally having a good old cry about nothing
2. Seeing one of my good Aussie friends who is also living in London and drowning our homesickness in a bottle of red wine
3. Going for a run/walk and listening to my favourite music
4. Eating Vegemite on toast (cheese is optional)
5. Looking up Australian news and see what’s happening with Gillard and the carbon tax (really nothing has changed)
6. Emailing/Vibering my friends back home (it can be hard to keep contact but a small message is better then no message!)
7. Soaking up the sunshine that has recently hit London and reminding myself why I moved here by going to see as much theatre as possible!
8. Stopped putting pressure on myself to try to be happy with everything in England
So crack open a bottle of wine, chocolate, a good book, a cd, a plate…whatever your mood tells you and remind yourself that home will always be there – that’s the best thing about it! Give your new home a chance to woo you, if you’re open to it’s advances, you just might fall in love and let it heal your broken heart.
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