An expat’s note about homesickness

It’s a weird thing, this living abroad lark.

My life in Australia happened pretty much by accident and it was never really my intention to be here for so long. When I first left the UK there were many tears shed at my leaving party, along with plans made for my intended return 18 months later.

It genuinely never occurred to me that I might never return ‘home’; that the very notion of where my home was would change, again.


^^^And since being away I’ve found lots more new people to miss!

Homesickness seems like a word for a temporary thing, but what if it isn’t? I’ve made a life for myself in so many little corners of this big planet that it seems as though I’ll always have that constant pang of missing in my tummy. Whether I’m feeling gooey over my little island home, missing my days as a proper beach bum, or romanticising snuggling up against the cold during a British winter, there is always going to be somewhere my heart longs for.

The same goes for people too. I love my friends here in Cairns, and the ones that I’ve met who are now scattered around the globe. When I think about how many couches in how many countries there are for me to crash on I feel incredibly lucky. But that still doesn’t stop me from feeling gut wrenchingly awful about the fact that I’ll be missing the weddings of two incredibly close friends this year simply because time and money won’t allow it. The internet makes the world feel smaller, but Skype can never replace holding the new born baby of a person you’ve known for half of your life and the guilt you feel from constantly missing those moments doesn’t make you feel great.

Silver falls

^^^I really wanted to put an old photo of me and my high school friends here to show how long we’ve been mates etc, but honestly they were all too awful to share. Can someone tell past me not to ever get a fringe? Thanks.

While I don’t think I could ever live in my hometown for an extended period of time (and stay sane) quite often I’m envious of the fact that my sister can pop around to my dad’s house for dinner or get the train to Devon and see my mum. I’d love to be able to arrange monthly lunches with friends, not monthly facetimes, and make all of the baby showers and big events. Even just popping over on a Sunday for a roast. None of it is possible and that breaks my heart, no matter how strongly the sun shines here.


^^^Terrible quality and saved from Facebook, but 3 of the 6 people I’m with in this photo have been to see me in Australia!

But there is a silver lining to this little grey cloud of woe. Surely it would be worse if I didn’t have anyone to miss? The little pang in my stomach that’s always there in some way just shows me how lucky I am to love and be loved by so many people in so many places. So yes, I’ll put up with homesickness and how it often makes me feel. Instead I’ll try and focus my energy towards feeling grateful for the relationships I have and how strong they are, even after almost half a decade after I first left.

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