After returning from my March trip to Australia, I was prepared for the steely-wrath clutch of homesickness. I had attended my brother’s wedding, and with his new bride already knocked up, the whole thing had me weepy and emotional even before I got to Oz!
But wait… where is he? Is he hiding? Is he laying in wait, ready to pounce when I least expect him?
The weekend we returned home, Thomas presented me with an epic hunk of lamb he’d managed to find so we could have a traditional Sunday roast. Cue that and the opening of the second bottle of wine, and I was sure homesickness was going to hit. Yet, he didn’t. Even though Thomas spent the afternoon watching Netflix on the couch and I spent my time listening to music and creating monkey memes, (yes, monkey memes) in a different room, I had an absolute blast of a day.
And when the jet lag monster took his pleasure tentacles and pulled me into sleep that evening, still vaguely drunk, homesickness stayed firmly away.
And now, over three months later, I think it’s safe to claim he’s not going to try and destroy me this time. To be fair, there was a period over Easter when I was feeling a bit down, but any celebration/holiday always elicits a bit of sadness, so it was to be expected. What didn’t hit me was the sickening blow as I realised I was leaving all my friends behind (again) and heading into foreignness.
The funny thing was that in a way I was actually looking forward to coming home – in the way that you do sometimes when you’re on holidays: looking forward to events in the upcoming months, looking forward to the weather warming up… hell just looking forward to getting back into a routine and sleeping in my own bed!
And that’s when I realised – it’s happening. I’m becoming more (gulp) comfortable here. And it feels great – and it feels a bit traitorous at the same time.
Yet I think that homesickness, much like my insomnia, is not something that is ever really going to go away. There’s always going to be moments where I suddenly feel like bursting into tears, or feel unjustly angry about the quality of the black tea in Austria. But hopefully now perhaps the worst is over. Perhaps I can manage this too.
Australia will always be my homeland. My friends and family in Australia will always be the ones I long for in times of extreme sadness or happiness. But there’s a special place in my heart for the land and the people I’ve met here in Austria.
So I’m in a pretty good headspace right now. To shake it up a bit my brother’s wife is going to have a baby in a month… let’s wait and see if that emotionally flattens me!