I’m still in shock that it is mid-November, when did that happen?? Suddenly the days are shorter, it is dark by five pm, and the weather is getting colder each day. It feels like it was only a few weeks ago I was complaining furiously about the heat and humidity, whilst secretly loving it and sneaking off to sunbathe as Ian worked.
If you are like me you have probably been browsing this seasons winter coats for the last month, wondering just how many roll neck jumpers would be considered too many, and spending a small fortune on pretty scented candles. If you have a boyfriend like mine, they are probably complaining about said candles, and repeatedly turning down the central heating behind your back.
I imagine you have also started filling your freezer with joints of meat, and making roast dinners. Yay.
Those are the only things I like about winter; fashion, fairy lights and candles, and stodgy food. I’m all about the summer, and I generally don’t handle the change of seasons well. I like to hibernate under four blankets and wait for June to roll around, but apparently that’s not very sociable.
This year though, I’m excited. Next week we are going round to a friends to celebrate our first ever Thanksgiving, and then soon after we are heading to New York. I don’t think I have mentioned that enough. New York. NEW YORK.
I know it’s a bit early to mention Christmas, but once we return from NYC it will soon be here, and we will be going home for two weeks(ish). It is officially less than five weeks until that delicious eight hour flight home, followed by a three hour train ride, smelling of aeroplane farts, and trying to hide my flat greasy hair and make-up free face from passengers going about their normal day. That aside, I can’t wait.
I can’t wait to see our family and friends, to catch up with everyone and all the goings on, to celebrate the holidays, and eat enough pigs in blankets that I have to undo my trousers and lay down for ten minutes. And then go in for round two. Obviously.
It goes without saying that our family and friends are what we miss the most about home. Although I am definitely a home bird at heart, I haven’t experienced homesickness as intensely as I expected. I think living in Leeds for the two years before we came to the US is the reason for this. Leeds is only an hour and a half drive away from Teesside, but this distance meant I became used to not being ‘up the road’ from my family and most of my friends, I wasn’t able to just call them and go out for a drink, or pop in to see them.
The thing I have found about missing home, is that even though I know I do, I only really notice it at certain times. Most noticeably, when I go back. When I land back at my parents house, where I am greeted with a hug and I walk into the warm cosy rooms, all nicely decorated with photos on the wall, thick soft carpets, and it smells like home. Being able to just sit and hang out with them, and catch up face to face, rather than over the phone. Seeing all our friends again, hearing about what’s been going on in their world, having a laugh, and enjoying ourselves. It’s just nice. It’s familiar and easy.
I also class Leeds as my home, mine and Ian’s home. Leeds is my favourite city and I want to continue to live there when we return. I know I miss it, but again, I only really noticed this when we returned for one night during a short trip home, not long after moving to America. Where during a taxi ride through the City Center I caught myself thinking WHY DID WE EVER LEAVE?!
Whilst in America, I miss home the most when we are not there to celebrate events or occasions. My cousin, also Ian’s good friend, recently got married and unfortunately we had to miss it. We were so happy for them, we were excited to see all the photo’s and hear all about it from our family and friends, but on the day we just wanted to be there with everyone else. So much so, by 3pm on the Saturday, I was curled up in a fetal position on the sofa wearing my joggers and Ian’s hoodie, sulking. Luckily Ian recognised my cry for help and forced me to go out. That night we celebrated the family nuptials American style, with country music, girls dancing on the bar in chaps, and a mechanical bull. It was a great night and just what we needed.
If you are moving abroad or a long way from home you have to remember that life carries on without you, things will change, event’s will take place, and children will grow up. It is strange being removed from it all and not being physically there to experience and see all these things, however your life will also change and carry on too.
Luckily it is a lot easier now to keep in touch with the internet and various apps, and I’m very thankful for that, however it can still be difficult. Everyone is busy, life gets in the way, and it does take effort to upkeep relationships, whether you are in the same country or not. Time difference doesn’t help with this and I am looking forward to being in the same time zone as everyone, if only for a few weeks.
It will be interesting to see if being back in England feels strange, if I will notice certain cultural differences I wasn’t aware of before, or if it will just feel like I never left. I’m going to predict the latter.