We’re at the end of a great 10-day holiday in Portugal, but I have to admit, I’m ready to get back. We booked this trip before the prospect of the relocation came about. And ever since it did, that’s all we’ve focused on; the package, the conditions of the move, the US education and healthcare systems…big things that take thought, consideration and planning.

When the holiday finally came around, we were relieved to have something a little less scary to think about.  Since we’ve been here, the most detailed planning has gone into which water park to go to. And the most tactical decision we’ve made has been choosing which one of the daily toddler tantrums to play the ice cream card. We’ve only got this right on a couple of days.

But now we’ve had this break, we can’t wait to take our finger off the pause button and hit play again. Chase up the visa process, get our house on the rental market, shortlist schools, etc.

Earlier today Alex asked me if I think I’ll get homesick when we’re in the US. Instinctively I said no. Of course I’m going to miss the people I love and care most about, and home happens to be where they are. But I’m not patriotic, proud of or fiercely loyal to London, or the UK.

I’ve always figured that for many people, being homesick goes beyond missing the people they’ve left behind – it’s the familiar sights, sounds and smells, that make it unmistakably their home. I can’t ever remember being away for so long that I longed to get back. I lived in France for a year when I was at University but I was too pissed on cheap wine most of the time to reflect on my innermost feelings.

So I reckon that I’ll miss people but not home. That would make me peoplesick, not homesick. Are the two mutually exclusive? I doubt it, but it makes me feel better to think I may suffer from a mutated strand of homesickness that only affects a small minority. And I just made it up, so my rules apply.

I’d love to hear from anyone who has made a big move and experienced peoplesickness, or the more common strand of homesickness. It would be good to have some of your recommended rescue remedies at hand, as and when the symptoms creep in.


7 thoughts on “Peoplesick. ”

  1. I’ve found it’s a short hop from peoplesick to homesick: one moment I’m thinking of friends back home, the next, I’m remembering the last place we went to together/a song we used to laugh at/a meal at a favourite cafe… and then I’m missing all of those! As for remedies, I tend to plant ‘sensory cues’; surrounding myself with the sights, sounds and smells ‘from home’, whether it’s old CDs, a box of spices, or some typical plants.

    Of course, some days that just makes it worse. 🙂


    1. Thanks, Nama. Your suggested remedies are interesting. All along we’ve planned to take things from home for the kids that they recognise and love, to help them to settle in. It hadn’t occurred to me that we might benefit from the same treatment. Time to revisit my list of things to leave behind, I think!


  2. Homesickness can be a humbling experience. When all the the things we know and love are home with us they keep us moving like grease on a wheel. At times without us having to think very much. Once we don’t have that anymore it requires a lot of thought and and soul searching, which one can grow from. Homesickness like all times of personal reflection can lead to growth and can be seen as positive, even considering how sad you may feel in the moment. A recommendation is to look at it as a time of growth and reflection.


  3. I relocated to the US 20 years ago and have never looked back. Your nomenclature is right on the money. I don’t miss the things or the places at all. I miss my family. More accurately I miss the convenience of being able to pop round and say hi. Or being included in family gatherings and vice-versa. However the phone, Skype, WhatsApp and the like make this much easier than it was back in 1995. One thing is for sure. Take my word for it. You will never go back. Life here is immeasurably better, in every sense. If you can find yourself a community and people you connect with. Best of luck.


    1. Thanks for taking the time to comment, Marc. I can imagine the world feeling a lot bigger without all that tech. It’s reassuring to know that your life out there is worth hanging around for, despite how much you miss your family. Hopefully we’ll find the same to be true for us. Keep in touch – your insight is greatly appreciated!


Any thoughts on this?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s