Tuesday, September 15, 2015

When coming home isn't the same as going home.

This morning at 7:40 am, I arrived back in Melbourne after a four week visit with my family in the US. To say that I did some crying on the flight, and in the airport, and very nearly when going through customs is an understatement.

So yes, I'm jetlagged, I'm tired, I go back to work tomorrow, and although Monday didn't exist for me, it appears that while Inspector Climate and I flew over the pacific ocean Australia got a new Prime Minister! Big day, ya'll.

I have so many exciting adventures to share of our trip and also coming the upcoming weeks and months – Big News (I'm not pregnant) – in fact. But at the moment, I'm feeling... sad.

You'd think that after doing something for nearly a decade that one would become better at it – but every goodbye at the airport feels more permanent, more acute, and more painful then the ones before.

I don't handle jet lag well, and for the first time I think I'm putting the pieces together on why that is: I'm not just dealing with jet lag, but a cocktail of grief and exhaustion (most definitely on the rocks – I'm sorry for that, I couldn't help myself). And just maybe it is the grief that I'm the slowest at getting over. It isn't surprising that the symptoms of grief are similar to those of jet lag: tired well before any normal adult should be going to bed, lethargy, waking up in the middle of the night and being unable to sleep.

When I'm living my life here in Australia, I feel so – and I'm sorry for using this word, but it's true – blessed that I am able to do it. That I live in a place that for whatever reason inspires me to be the best version of myself (most days). That I have a job I love, and am married to truly saintly human being – who I never would have met if I had not been here. I can't really imagine not living here.

But when I go home, and I am surrounded by truly green things I feel so refreshed, rejuvenated, and whole.

I'm not sure if other expats feel this way as well, but homesickness is the hardest to bear the two weeks prior, during, and the two weeks post going back home.

I'll leave you with a picture of me fighting (and losing) jet lag once I'd gotten to the US – but it was much more bearable because I had my parents cat to keep me company in the wee hours of the morning.


  1. I feel you so deeply right now. We just moved to California last week - and even though it is most certainly the best change we could ever make in our lives, it has been so, so hard. Both places are so important and so special, that the loss of either is equally devastating. Hang in there...

    1. I'm so out of the loop! Congrats on the move - but yes, i feel you. You've said it so well. The loss of either place is equally devastating.

  2. Poor thing, I do understand. Sometimes your heart aches for that comfort and there's nothing else quite like it

  3. I know just what you mean. I've been home to the U.S. twice since moving here, and it's never any easier. I also feel lucky to be able to live here, but there's nothing quite like home. Getting a taste of it then having to leave again really stings. xo

  4. Well, I'm obviously late to the party. Hopefully, you're back into the swing of things--but I just want to say I'm sorry. Goodbyes suck. After three weeks in Sweden with my family, I tried to hold it together--I figured there was no sense losing my s*it in front of my wee niece and nephew. But I may have cried the ugly cry when I boarded the plane.