Going "Home"?

Now that we've been back in Sydney for a couple of weeks, it almost feels like our holiday to the States never even happened.  The build-up to the trip was intense - creating packing lists, buying souvenirs and generally worrying too much about what it would be like being back.  I've heard a lot of ex-pats talk about their first trip back and there seems to be an almost unanimous agreement that it is a very big deal.  There are a lot of emotional issues inside of that first visit - do you still fit in, are you homesick for your original home, are you homesick for your ex-pat home etc....

I can't lie - I was so nervous...  I was excited to see my family again; but I was mostly afraid of going back, realising that I missed it too much and then coming back to Australia completely miserable and homesick.  I have been lucky up to this point on the homesickness front - not that it hasn't happened; but that it seems to happen infrequently and be very low-grade when it does.

Anyway, the visit was great... There was lots that felt weird and lots that we seemed to just fall right back in to.  Being back in the States did make me realise how much I had been missing; but hadn't admitted to myself.  I really miss driving...  I love that we use public transport here; but I miss the ease of getting places easily, quickly and on my own timetable.  I also miss the ease of driving - I've driven here; but it has not been a fun experience...  Being on the wrong side of the car throws off what little spatial understanding I have and both of my driving experiences here have left me shaken and teary as I narrowly avoid being side swiped the whole time. So, while we were back on our holiday, I was finding any excuse possible to drive - it just was so effortless and enjoyable.

I also missed the prices and the ease of shopping - it's easier to drive to stores, they are bigger, it's cheaper and the customer service is unparalleled.  So yeah, I miss those things a lot...

I was really looking forward to eating certain types of food that I missed and that part was very disappointing to me.  Nothing tasted quite like I remembered and nothing tasted as good as the food here in Sydney.  Except burgers....  They were amazing and promptly reminded me why I don't order burgers here in Australia - they just can't quite seem to get them right.

Anyway, the last two nights before we left to come back to Australia, I got really really homesick.  Crying myself to sleep homesick - which is exactly what happened to me when we originally moved here.  It passed, and by the time we left for the airport on our last day, I was only looking forward to coming back here to Sydney.  Isn't that interesting?  Crying for one home and yet looking forward to returning to your other home...

I guess if I learned anything from this trip, it's that you can have two homes and you can love them both so much that you can miss each one when you are gone from it.  I learned that Sydney has become my home over this past year and that, regardless of my "ishews", I don't want to leave it.

Coming out of customs and into the Sydney airport proper are these banners.  One says, "Welcome to Sydney" and that's the one I was excited to see when we moved here.  Look more closely though, and you will see that they next one says "Gday, Welcome Home".  That's the one that I was most excited to see on this trip because I felt like it had finally come true for me.

If you look more closely, you will see a Christmas tree as well, which is a dead give-away to the fact that this is actually not my picture.  I stole it from the interwebs because I never have enough hands free to actually snap a picture at any time during a trip - let along a 26 hour, 4 layover trip.

The upshot of all this is:  I love my family, I love the US and I miss all of them all the time. I also love Sydney, I love my husband and I love our life here - so parting from one to go back to the other isn't as hard as I thought it would be.
5 Responses
  1. Samantha Says:

    Haha. I wouldn't have noticed the Xmas tree if you hadn't pointed it out.

  2. Mimi and Joe Says:

    Well, you know me - I am such an honest blogger ;)

  3. Anonymous Says:

    I love this post. Thanks for it.


  4. Anonymous Says:

    That's nice to hear/read, Meems.


    julie z.

  5. Brooke, WhyGo Australia Says:

    Loved your story of returning home and returning back. I just got back from a visit back to the USA and it was full of so many emotions and questions, but I really do love Sydney so I was glad to come back. I just wanted to let you know that I can relate to your post... and thanks for sharing :)

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