For me the first bout of homesickness was truly debilitating. I couldn’t eat or sleep and I didn’t even want to leave the house. When I did leave the house, usually just to go to the shops, I found I didn’t want to or couldn’t even talk to staff at the shops. I froze with a fear that they would realise I was from another country when all I wanted to do was blend in and become a ‘local’.
I must have looked so miserable standing at the checkout just nodding to the endless chitchat! Australian service workers are amongst the friendliest I have ever come across but, “how’s your day?” and “how’s it goin’?” were the last things I wanted to hear!!
I just wanted to shout, “actually it’s **** I feel like I am about to burst into tears so please leave me alone!”
That first bout of homesickness hit me after three months. The holiday feeling had worn off, those damn first falls of snow back ‘home’ were plastered all over Facebook, it had rained solidly for two months and on top of all that it was Christmas! Do you ever want to crawl under a stone?
I spent Boxing Day that year pricing flights back home!
Luckily we had a few get togethers arranged over the holidays with fellow expats and this was my saving grace! It gave me time to reassess my situation and chatting to others in similar situations helped enormously.
Then in the new year January 2011, Brisbane was swamped by catastrophic floods. Many homes, possessions and sadly lives were lost to cruelty of Mother Nature. After the floods came the enormous clean up operation. When the call for volunteers was put out we didn’t have to think twice about volunteering, no question about it, we as a family were going to get involved! These people were our ‘neighbours’ we could not have sat back and done nothing.
The story of that day is a blog in itself so I will come back to that another time and will get straight to the point!
And the point is, that clean up operation for me was a turning point! As we stood in a queue waiting for buses to take us to the devastated areas I was surrounded by local people, chatting amongst themselves, to my son, my other half and me! And that’s when it hit me, they didn’t care about my ‘ foreign’ accent
to them I was just another volunteer and that was all I wanted to be……to just blend in! and since that day things became easier. The homesickness still rears its ugly head occasionally but each time it becomes a little easier to bear.
mummi g x