• 6 months and still it’s there

    When I first moved here and experienced my first wave of homesickness, I was told by other Americans who moved here that it would take about 6 months for the homesickness to go away. So I set my mental clock to await my 6 month anniversary when I thought I would have the switch turned off of my homesickness.

    Well it’s been 6 months since I’ve moved here and I still feel homesick. Not as much as I used to. I’m not experiencing the weeping bouts of sadness like I did when we started the move. I don’t have the intense ache of wanting to be back home. So it has indeed gotten easier to go about my day in Australia and to not find fault in everything Australian but I still have that homesick feeling. It’s not on the surface but it’s there and it does come in waves in which there are days that I just want to pack up and go back home and other days when I don’t even think of it.

    But every so often I do have that dull ache in my heart and belly of wanting to be on familiar turf. I’ve never been out of the US for more than a month so I don’t know if this is normal.

    So did my fellow American turned Australian buddies mean that living in Australia would be easier after 6 months (and homesickness would come and go) or did they really mean that I won’t miss home (at all) after the 6 months? Either way, it’s been 6 months and, at the moment, I would love to be home in NJ – for at least a day…

    Categories: Homesick

    10 thoughts on “6 months and still it’s there

    • I’ve been here a year and still can’t wait to move back to the U.S.– though I do feel better than I did at only 6 mos. here.

      Are you here permanently?

    • Y says:

      Yea, it seems we’re here indefinitely…unless we win millions of dollars in the lottery and we can split our time between Australia and the US. That could cool…6 months here, 6 months there. I think I can live with that. Too bad we don’t have the money for that! Hmm, maybe I should go out and buy a couple of hundred dollars worth of tickets.

    • aus2007 says:

      We’ve been here just a bit longer than you (7 months), and the homesickness hasn’t gotten better for me. Worse, actually. In the beginning, it wasn’t too awful, and I thought it was just normal and would go away. But that hasn’t been the case. So much so, in fact, that we’ll be returning home at the end of next year. I’d literally count the days if it didn’t make me so crazy, LOL.

      What I’ve heard from others, though, is that it’s really more like a year before many people turn the corner. Just from reading through some of your blog, I think that will be true for you. You are willing to see the positives, and you seem to be envisioning yourself here long-term. I just can’t do that. My hope is that I’ll look back on our time here and think of it as a positive thing we did, for ourselves and our kids. Right now, though, it’s hard not to wish we’d never done it in the first place.

      I know there are some people who pass the homesickness phase, and come to think of Australia as their real home. I hope that will be true for you! :o)

    • Y says:

      So sorry to hear that the homesickness has gotten worse. Ugh, don’t scare me like that! I guess I’m kinda sad that you’re going back home but also happy too if that makes sense. Sad that it didn’t work out for your and happy that you’re going back home. Can I go too???

      I try not to think of home too much otherwise I would be like you and wanting to go home asap. What keeps me going is that my son loves being here. I can’t imagine taking this away from him. He loves his grandparents and while he has grandparents back in NJ, it’s not the same. He doesn’t seem them as often as he sees his Aussie ones.

      Good luck! What are you doing with all the stuff you brought and bought here???

    • aus2007 says:

      Sorry, didn’t mean to scare you! Truly, I think our situations are just different. Your son has grandparents here in Oz, while DH and I are both American, and left all the grandparents back home. We were of the “wouldn’t it be cool to experience life in another country?” mindset, and while I know in my head that it IS a gift to give our children, broadening their horizons, etc., my heart tells me that we belong back home, where our family is (not even necessarily in the same state, but at least on the same continent).

      I think I just really underestimated how hard it would be, living so far away. I thought that annual trips home would be enough (which, as it turns out, wouldn’t even be possible, given how crazy expensive it is), and phone calls and email would do in between. SO not the case, at least for us. Thank goodness for frequent flier miles, which have at least gotten us our trip home in December.

      As for our stuff, I’m not sure. We tried not to take too much, and sold and gave away a lot back in NJ. I imagine we’ll ship back the stuff we love, and try to sell or give away things that we don’t want, or that won’t work, like some electronics.

      Anyway, as I said, I think we just have different circumstances, and I really do think you’ll get to a good place on the homesickness front. Just might take a bit more time. Hope you find some good pizza soon!

    • Y says:

      Awww, I understand what you mean. If my in-laws weren’t here, the decision to go back home would have been made already. Trust me because every so often I envision telling my hubby that we should go back to NJ but in all honesty I don’t have any real reasons why to go back (well not a lot of them) compared to staying here.

      Yes I understand flights are expensive. I try to look every week for flights but they aren’t changing. We used our frequent flyer miles to get here. We should have saved them for visiting.

      If you do decide to sell anything, you should post it if you can on yanks down under, just in case your fellow Americans might want to get something. If you can’t post stuff there you’re more than welcome to post it here because I think a few of the regular posters on yanks down under check out this blog. And depending on what it is and if you’re willing to ship, I might be interested 😉

      Anyway I wish you lots of luck, patience, and sanity while you wait for December 🙂 You’re so lucky!

    • aus2007 says:

      Thanks so much for the good wishes! And, yes, I will definitely put the word out to Yanks Down Under when the time comes (and thanks for the offer to post here, too!).

      Be well!

    • Tors says:

      That “6 months” figure is only an average. For some people, it’s shorter; for other people, it’s longer… much longer… or even indefinitely. 🙁

      Everyone is different. Don’t worry if you’re just not feelin’ it right now. Think about it – you just moved yourself and your family to THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WORLD… that is a HUGE thing! Don’t be too hard on yourself. *hugs*

    • Y says:

      Thanks Tors! I understand that homesickness is normal considering the circumstances (i.e. the other side of the world, city to more suburban, Spanish ethnicity to being one of the few here, and so forth). So I do understand and I try not to be hard on everything and try to have a more postive outlook. Hubby, on the other hand, doesn’t understand why I still feel homesick even though he was was homesick for a very long time when he first moved to the US. Go figure!

    • hannyb says:

      As an Aussie trying to make it in Amsterdam, I’ve been doing a lot of reading in the online expat community (particularly the community of expats in the Netherlands) and one thing that rings out loud and clear is that adapting to a new culture and a new country is hard. Really hard. Even if you don’t have to overcome a language barrier (although maybe some Aussie slang has proven a language barrier, hehe). Reading through other people’s experiences settling into a new place, I think I’ve found that strangely comforting — that it’s allowed to be hard and that you’re allowed to miss home and familiar things.

      There’s an interesting before and after meme started by an American expat blogger @ ‘A Touch of Dutch’…I read it and related to some of her explanation of culture shock. 🙂 Maybe you will too!
      http://atouchofdutch.blogspot.com/2009/05/before-and-after-meme-for-expats.html

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