Since moving abroad, I’ve struggled with a bit of homesickness and the concept of home, particularly as the holidays approach. I’m not sure where our long term home will be, but we know this won’t be it. Going ‘home’ to America after nearly A YEAR of being away was an awesome and strange experience. I’ve changed, the climate and attitudes (especially politically, but don’t get me started on that) in the country have changed, and peoples’ lives have gone on without us. It was strange coming home to see friends who’d recently had a baby who hadn’t even been pregnant when were last in the states. Friends and family have bought and sold houses, gotten married, broken up and had kids, and it seems like we can’t possibly have been gone long enough for all of this to have happened. Time flies when you’re living abroad.
It’s also been an interesting experience planning a wedding while living thousands of miles and an ocean away from the venue, church and all of our vendors. My family and wedding party threw me an amazing shower/bachelorette weekend, which was a great way to kick off the trip home and see everyone at the same time. We spent a night out in Providence and chased it up with a day at Watch Hill, my favourite beach. (Didn’t see T Swift though) It was a blur of ice cream, hugs, shots and chocolate pops shaped like…well you can probably guess. Such a fun whirlwind of a reunion. Only slightly bittersweet, because I felt so loved, but it’s so hard saying goodbye and knowing that you won’t see them next week at happy hour or even at homecoming.
When we boarded the red eye to Manchester, it was mixed emotions. Sad to be leaving family and friends, but ready to get back to our lives, see the cats and catch up on Bake Off. That’s one thing I won’t miss when we eventually move back-the distance, timing FaceTime calls across three timezones and only seeing loved ones on holiday. While we have a great network of friends in the UK, I still feel adrift sometimes, often the only American in a sea of Brits, not understanding cultural references and jokes, and everyone knows I’m an outsider as soon as I start to speak. We have a strong expat community as well, but expatriates, by nature, come and go. I think that’s why although this is ‘home’, and there are many things I love about where we live (walking to pubs, loads of random festivals, public transit), someday we will pack our bags (and the cats) and take a final trip home across the Atlantic.