Posted by: dsduffy | May 6, 2009

Things that brought tears to my eyes; home sick?

This song: Chariot 
Seeing a woman running playfully with her dog, the two of them seemed to be having the best time, enjoying the moment.
How brave Cameron was at the dentist today, realizing he will be 4 1/2 in 2 weeks.
Receiving an invitation in the mail today (I knew it was coming, and the guests of honors don’t expect us to attend.) Just knowing that it is impossible for us to go and see so many of our loved ones really makes me sad and even a little pissed off.

One question I am asked often is if I am homesick. I never really know what to say, and when I was asked today for what feels like the 600th time, it prompted me to analyze the word and what it really means. From, homesick means “longing for home and family while absent from them.” So yes, I do  miss them, but am I longing for them? Not so much.

Home Sick. Am I sick due to missing my actual house? The town I lived in? No. Am I “sick” at all? No. I know it is just a term, that it doesn’t mean I am literally running a fever and throwing up because I miss home so much. There is a physical symptom though: that feeling you get in your stomach. And mentally you may feel depressed, utterly sad, unhappy about your current location and the only thing that will “cure” you will be to return to your original location. So to answer this question, no. I am not homesick. I miss a lot of people, and there are some things I really miss, but I am not depressed or overly sad about not being “home.”

I have experienced homesickness before. I can clearly remember the feeling, that pulling in the pit of my stomach while laying on my bunkbed at overnight camp. I cried myself to sleep some nights, feeling lonely and so far away.  That sort of thing hasn’t happened at all since moving 10,000 miles away from home, compared to the 81 miles between my parents house and camp (may be due to the fact that I am  20+ years older?)  Yet I am finding some similarities to the 2 situations: I am in a strange place with all new people. The food isn’t the same as home. I only have some of my “stuff” with me.  Going home isn’t an easy option, it is possible, but it is expensive to just hop on a plane, and it takes a lot of planning. I could have made a big stink at camp, crying to the counselors, begging to go home, but I wasn’t that homesick. So I made the decision to make the best of my time here, as I did back then, to get to know the people around me, and try new things. I guess my time at Camp Ramblewood affected me in ways I didn’t realize, until now.



  1. Thanks for reading my blog! Where in MA did you live? I really enjoy how candid and heartfelt your posts are; in the months before moving here, reading your blog prepared me really well for the roller coaster of emotions that I’m of course now going through 🙂

  2. I am preparing myself for these emotions as best I can. I hope living in Hawaii for 12 years will help a little. Being far from family has been the norm for us. It is all the new food and driving that really worries me!

  3. I sort of know how you feel since having lived far from my family and friends (although TX is not as far as AU, the adjustment to accents, food, bugs, and “stuff” is similar) If it helps, you can take pride in the fact that you are providing humor, education, inspiration and a few tears in sharing your personal experience with all of us. I’ll start baking now for your trip back in December!
    Love, Pat

  4. Oh I completely understand how you feel. Music, has a way of moving me, sometimes to tears, videos only compound that feeling! I too get asked, “are you homesick”. I think you’ve put into words exactly what I feel about the homesickness thing. I still yearn for people, places and things back home and I’m sure I always will. It doesn’t mean I am permanently “homesick” or depressed. I think there are just times when that feeling is stronger and you just get a bit more down. But there are peaks and troughs on this journey, and I’m sure every expat can relate to you. I can. 🙂

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