Home is Where the Cats Are

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.

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10 Comments Add yours

  1. Kaitlyn says:

    This was a wonderful post. I just moved from California to Florida and while still a big move, not as big as yours. Already I am starting to feel these feelings and I know it’s only just started. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad you enjoyed it! Any big move is difficult especially when it’s far from friends and family. Good luck settling in!

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  2. andnaps says:

    I totally feel this. As a Canadian living in south-east England, it’s really hard to define what “home” is. I will always love Canada but it does feel different going back. The place hasn’t changed but I feel that I definitely have.

    Alanna | Adventures and Naps 

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly! I have mixed feelings about repatriating in a year as well, will I be homesick for England?

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  3. angharadeyre says:

    People often say that expats never feel ‘at home ‘ again, but I haven’t found that. For me moving back to the UK, despite how much both the country and I have changed, has definitely been a homecoming. It’s what you say – the cultural references, family and old friends in the same time zone – these are certainly the things that make me feel at home.
    Hope you continue to enjoy your life over here in the meantime though!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you’ve had a good time settling back in! I’m hoping to feel the same way next year when we’re headed back to America, but it’s still a long way off!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Lorraine says:

    Hi Amanda, I will be there in December as my husband comes to BAE as a consultant from NNSY here in Va. I enjoyed your posts and read almost all of them. You certainly have traveled a lot. I liked your story about suspenders! I appreciate your insights. I am in the empty nester and know I will miss my family ice I move. I am looking forward to moving to England. My parents immigrated from Scotland when I was five. So many of the things you mentioned about England reminded me of how much I miss them. I remember my mom saying my dad was a good dart player in Scotland. I grew up eating beans on toast! Looking forward to meeting you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Lorraine! I’m looking forward to meeting you as well! Glad you enjoyed reading the posts, it’s been a busy and interesting two years, so it’s been fun to keep a record of it. You’ll definitely find no shortage of beans on toast here! 🙂

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  5. I totally get this. It’s difficult to define home while living in another country, it’s very confusing. I thought it would be easier for “english speakers” moving to another English speaking country but apparently you experienced the same thing as me ! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m sure it’s easier than moving somewhere that I don’t know the language, but living anywhere different comes with a set of challenges.

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