21 Apr

I don’t like to use the word homesick when I miss my family and friends, home homesick is more like it.

Home is here, where I live, love, eat and sleep, my husband, my friends and potentially my future. I’m not sick for home as I’m already there, I have more than enough to be happy here but sometimes there is a nagging ache that I can’t quite put my finger on. A physical pain in my heart and a heaviness that I carry through my day, until I can either shake it off, or wallow in its glorious miserableness. I’m sick for home home.

You never know you have a home home until it disappears, in my case I moved away from it. My ‘it’ is my family, yours might be a job, a dog, a house, a garden, every expat has an ‘it’ that sometimes distracts them from their everyday normal life. It’s the most natural thing in the world to miss your ‘it’, to get irrationally angry or upset at random times of the day or night because of the unfairness of it all whilst also feeling stupid and ungrateful for all you actually have within your reach.

The hardest times come when you least expect it, the first time you miss out on gossip because no one thought to tell you or the first time you were intentionally left out of the loop because they ‘didn’t want to spoil your holiday’ (And a note to non expats, I’m not on one long holiday, I go to work, cook and clean the same as you, I’d be bloody well enjoying myself more on holiday believe me) can be like a slap in the face. Learn to let it go.

Exercise is important, endorphins really do make you happy and fresh air is free, grab your trainers and camera and go out an explore your new home. Expat friends will also be a lifesaver, they know what you’re going through, make use of them and reach out to others, your new friends will become your family and your home away from home.

Of course you can do all the relaxation and exercise in the world and still want to cry half way round Kaufland because you can’t find the cheddar cheese. Embrace it, get your arse home, put on pyjamas, get out the gin, and your stash of ‘things from home’.You don’t have a ‘things from home’ stash? You need one in your life.

All it takes in an empty shoebox, some treats, your choice, cadburys chocolate, fruit pastilles, polos, crisps, Irn Bru, whatever takes your fancy as long as it’s a special something that you can’t find easily here and a trashy English magazine, it doesn’t matter how old it is purely that its in the English language. Set yourself up with some English TV or a soppy film, a box of tissues and have a good old mope. Keep this box out of sight and only use it when you really need it, it’s your personal life-vest.

Hang in there expats, however you are feeling.


9 Responses to “Homesick?”

  1. foodessen April 21, 2014 at 10:39 am #

    I understand how you feel. Some days just get to me, yesterday I had one of those days. Today is a little better. I always try to think of all the things I have to be thankful for. Honestly that doesn’t always help. But I always seem to pull myself back up out of my slump somehow and it sounds like you do too. 🙂 You hang in there too!

    • theerlangenexpat April 21, 2014 at 9:53 pm #

      The Pollyanna way of ‘greeting the unknown with cheer’ is so true!

  2. britteli April 22, 2014 at 5:04 am #

    I need to save this post for the future. I have a feeling I’ll need to reference it at least once.

    • theerlangenexpat April 22, 2014 at 10:55 am #

      I hope that it will help in future, just knowing thats its normal and everyone feels that way (one time or another) really helps me.

  3. Maggie June 25, 2014 at 11:58 am #

    I am glad to have found you! Xoxo Maggie

  4. Gerlinde May 5, 2015 at 8:34 pm #

    I know that feeling and just blogged about it on my cooking blog. I moved to the U.S. from Germany many moons ago. We are happy in our new home but miss our roots . Hang in there and enjoy what you have and remember everybody that moves to a different country feels that way. You are not alone!

    • Alie C May 6, 2015 at 3:14 pm #

      Its great to know there are people out there who understand. Time isn’t a healer but acceptance is a useful tool.


  1. Expat Life: Dealing With Homesickness | Young Germany - May 5, 2015

    […] post was originally published on The Erlangen Expat and was used here with permission of the […]

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