What does it feel like to be homesick?
When I was little, I used to miss home if I went on school camps. It’s hard to describe the feeling to people who haven’t felt it themselves. It’s somewhere between fear and loneliness, but not entirely either.
I stopped getting homesick after about the age of 10 and I had blissfully forgotten what it was like. But at the age of 29, I suddenly felt like that child again who was crying alone in a camp bed and missing her mum and dad.
I was homesick a lot last year after I moved to London. Sometimes I was having the time of my life, but sometimes things got a bit hard. I got an injury that meant I couldn’t see for nearly a month; Nanny was diagnosed with cancer; I lost a friend to suicide; and I watched my country burn. But every time life got hard, my friends and family would say to me “you can always come home”.
Life has been very hard for so many of us this year. Everyone is feeling this differently and we’re all facing our own personal challenges. Everyone still tells me “you can always come home”, but I can’t come home. I’ve never wanted to come home more, but the boarders are closed, fights are cancelled and I don’t know when I’ll see my family again.
Some days I wake up and wonder if Tasmania was just a beautiful dream. I always thought that home was only 24 hours away, but now it feels impossibly far.
When you’re homesick after moving to a new city or new country, there’s things you can do that help. Make new friends, start new hobbies, make new habits and find new favourite places. Eventually these things will start to feel familiar and feel comforting to you. It can take a while, but it works.
I’ll never call London home, even if I stay here for years. Tasmania is part of my heart and my soul.
Symptoms of homesickness
- Sleep disruption
- Panic attacks
- Difficulty concentrating