For this week’s Expat Link Up Molly has asked us to talk about how we deal with homesickness. Time to get out the Kleenex, I’m in for a bumpy ride!
I’d go as far to say that homesickness is the only big draw back of the expat lifestyle.
The trouble is that it is a pretty big draw back and one that can consume you completely if left unattended.
My first real bout of homesickness was in September 2012, 14 months into our journey and the honeymoon period was well and truly over. During our first year Hubbie wasn’t working so when the boys were at school we were busy making the house our own and finding our way around and exploring our surroundings. But when September came around he found a job he was excited about and the boys went back to school after the long summer off and suddenly I discovered what our new life would be like with the men in the house out doing there thing and me left behind on my own. Homesickness hit me like a sledgehammer.
I can’t say truthfully that I missed England that much, I miss old buildings and the history and familiar food but that is all really. I love where I live Canada is an amazing, beautiful country and absolutely the right place for our boys to be but nothing can ever replace our family and friends and missing them is what makes me feel terribly homesick. I miss Sunday lunch with my Mum, Dad and Grandad, meeting up with my Sister in the school holidays, walking to school everyday with my friends our kids and their crazy dogs and those moments when the doorbell rings and it’s a friend popping in for a coffee. When I feel homesick it’s more of a longing to spend time with those people I left behind rather that a need to be back in England.
Homesickness was the reason I got into blogging in the first place, thanks to the advice of my lovely sister-in-law Mama Syder. It has given me an outlet for my emotions, allows me to share my new experiences with my Family and friends and through it I have discovered many fabulous people from all walks of life all over the world.
My top tips for overcoming homesickness:
No one really understands the expat life style like other expats so whether it’s in ‘real life’ via an expat group or online via social media communicate with people that have been through it and know where you are coming from. Use social media to keep in touch with your family and friends too, they don’t seem so far away when you can post a photo of where you are or what you are doing and get an immediate response.
Remind yourself why you moved in the first place.
For me, a stroll along the lake shore and taking 5 minutes to reflect on how little stress is in our lives now and how happy the boys are is usually enough to make me glad that I am here.
So what if you have to drive 10 miles for a pack of custard creams or a pay $6 for some oxo cubes, sometimes the heart wants what the heart wants (or stomach for that matter!) and a taste of the familiar can be a great morale boost.