I’ve been getting homesick recently.
Just for a sunset on the west coast or an afternoon at the beach with my favorite Mexican take out on the way, or a farmers market night in my old neighborhood with all my favorite treats and kombucha and friends. I miss my old routine, my old work, my neighborhood bar where I used to get a drink and meet up with a friend… I miss friendly faces, familiarity… I miss the feelings my old home used to give me.
Sometimes it’s a tough feeling to have, homesickness, because it’s just one of those things that feels a little out of control, because truly, what am I going to do? It’s not like I want to move back “home”. It’s not like I’m unhappy in my new location, it’s not like I want to go somewhere new, or that I made the wrong choice with this city, or that I regret any of it. It’s just that sometimes it feels HEAVY to be missing the old while in the new. Because it’s ALL NEW. Homesickness is just a feeling that you must just keep SITTING with as it happens, and gently let it pass. And it does, in small and big ways sometimes, when you’re feeling good about the perks of your new home, and the new friends you connect with, and the bomb coffee shop you stumbled upon off the beaten path of your usual new commute.
Feeling homesick comes and goes, in waves, fast at first and then the waters settle for a bit. Then it feels as if a storm is brewing and the waves get more frequent for a time, jostling me around before calming down again.
During one of these bouts of homesickness, I wrote down some of the things that I felt in my journey both from Ohio to San Diego, and then 6 years later from San Diego to Tennessee.
This was fun for me to write because these are honest to goodness things I’ve really felt as I’ve adjusted to my new home…twice. It’s a light read where I had a little fun and reminded myself that it’s okay to have some feelings that might be dramatic, annoying, unwarranted or uncomfortable. It’s all in the journey 😊 Hope you enjoy.
15 Things that happen when you move somewhere new:
1. People you’ve never met start to look like people you know.
You’re at a mall, or at the grocery store, or in the doctor’s office, and you do a double take because you could have SWORN that was your cousin. Or your old neighbor. Or anyone you knew in your previous life, as your brain tries desperately to have some semblance of familiarity. But on the second glance, you remember you live so far away from your old life, and you know absolutely NO ONE HERE.
2. You get lost just about every day.
It’s a personal achievement when you finally make it to work and the grocery store without the GPS. Just don’t try to go from work TO the grocery store, because that’s an entirely different route that you don’t know yet. And even if you think you know your route in the daytime, nighttime is a completely different experience and you’re bound to get lost in the different terrain.
3. You can’t listen to certain music because it makes you too homesick.
It will be at least 8 months before you can even listen to a specific genre, and catching a single song on the radio can crumble you into a mess of “I JUST WANT TO BE BACK HOME” as you remember exactly what you used to do as you jammed to these specific tunes. Reggae on the beach around a bon fire? Yeah, reggae is off your playlist for the foreseeable future.
4. You are suddenly super proud of your previous home.
It doesn’t matter why you left, what you disliked about your old city or state or neighborhood… leaving it puts all that behind you (even if it’s just temporary) and you can’t help but have OLD HOME PRIDE. You become that annoying person who talks about their old city like it was the best thing ever and people snarkily begin to question why you even left in the first place.
5. You start rooting for your old sports teams.
Doesn’t matter if you’ve never been to a game when you lived there before, you suddenly bleed your home team’s colors now.
6. You dread getting sick for the first time in your new home because that would mean you actually have to find your new doctor.
And by the time you do actually get sick and decide to find someone, your health insurance either hasn’t kicked in yet from your new company, or you decide to go the URGENT CARE route for all your needs. Google reviews for doctors are all over the board and you feel overwhelmed picking someone who is supposed to have your back but you have no level of trust with.
7. You miss your old grocery store.
Not only do you have a whole new chain to get acquainted with, but now you have to find all new favorites and also, who organized this store?! Nothing is where you think it should go.
8. You have missed at least 1 meal because you can’t find any suitable alternative to satisfy a craving for your old favorite restaurant.
I once traveled to 3 different taco shops in the same afternoon in search of California style fish tacos… to no avail.
9. Everyone sounds different.
If you go to a new region, the accents are different. The pace of talking is different. The inflection is different. The WORDS for identical items are different. When did communication become so complicated?!
10. You miss people you never thought you’d miss.
At least a little. And you end up thinking about people you haven’t thought about in YEARS while you were there. That old neighbor from 3 houses ago? Suddenly you’re wondering how they’re doing.
11. You wonder if it’s appropriate to book a flight to your old city 3 months after you’ve arrived in your new city.
I don’t need to wait a whole YEAR before I make a visit back, right??
12. You suddenly CAN’T ESCAPE your old city.
It’s the people you meet in the elevator telling you where they’re from, the new dog food you find that you discover was made in your old home, TV shows suddenly keep popping up set in your old town or referencing your old coffee shop. It’s like you’re ATTRACTING these scenarios or something. Your ears are so perfectly tuned in to hear people talking about your old city that you question if you have a weird spidey sense for your old town now.
13. You question whether or not you fit in to your new city.
Why am I the only one who drinks Fiji water around here? Was this even the right choice? Am I even relatable to these people? Would it be easier to just move back and call it a day? No, obviously you aren’t going to move back (at least not yet LOL..amirite?) but you’re lying to yourself if you haven’t thought about it at least once.
14. You have to think about it when people ask you where you’re from.
Once your brain stops scrambling, you wonder should you tell them your current city, your most recent city, your hometown from when you were 7? And let’s not even get started with how many times you accidentally looked at the flight departures to your old city on the airport screens before you realized you’re actually flying home to an entirely different city now.
15. You have no idea what the good radio stations are, and you can’t for the life of you find an enjoyable morning talk show.
Where are my beloved platonic radio show cohosts and WHYYYY does everyone else lack the chemistry they had?
So maybe some of these are a bit dramatic. But if you’ve ever moved to a new home, you know what I’m saying. Have you moved somewhere new and felt the same way on any of these? Tell me in the comments and help me feel less alone in my antics >.< LOL