Ever since I first planned to move to London, even before I arrived, people told me I would miss home. I usually went along with it, saying that of course I would, but it would take me a few months to really feel it.
3 Months In:
Most blogs or people who’ve experienced moving overseas will tell you there’s a break at three months where everything that seemed so rosy and ‘grass is greener in a more polluted & cramped yet beautiful city’ will start to wear off. Three months came and went and I was still on a high. It was Christmas, I was in Eastern Europe, I had just got a new job – how could I ever miss home? Everything was still exactly as I had imagined and more. There were a million opportunities at my finger tips and I had over a year and a half left of my visa to fill to the brim with London and travelling experiences. There’s no way I could feel homesick.
5 Months In:
The next incremental phase that you might hear about from expats is the 5 month mark. Supposedly, you realise all the things you miss from home, you’ve gone through an entire Winter and you realise that it’s Spring and you still have 3 layers on. You might not have made as many friends as you expected to, your money might be depleting and moving into the tiny box flat wasn’t as ‘Harry Potter’ as you expected. I went through my 5 month mark in March and although there were many changes (and I ALWAYS miss my family back home) there was never any moment or life-changing epiphany that I wasn’t exactly where I wanted to be.
8 Months In:
I think no matter where you are, whether you’ve never lived out of home, live down the street from your family or live on the other side of the world, the time that you miss them most is when everything seems to go wrong at exactly the same time. I realised I had hit that (what I’m now calling) ‘8 Month Itch’ when I called my mum crying at 9am on a Friday morning in a vacant room at work and could only splutter ‘it’s all gone wrong, I don’t even know why I’m calling you’. It was that moment when I had just come back from several days off work after being comatose from sickness from my trip to Lisbon (apparently Me + Portuguese tap water don’t mix) and work was packing on the pressure, a close family member had passed away and I couldn’t be there and money was diminishing as payday was a week away and the only thing that could make it all better was a hug from Mum who was 16, 500 km away.
I have definitely had a better or ‘easier’ ride when it comes to homesickness than a lot of others I have read about. I think having a family member (my sister) in London and having parents that decided to book a trip halfway through my two years to visit helps a lot. However, on those days when I do miss home, I’ll call my mum, message my brother, go for a walk around Regents Park or force my housemates to a night in with a bottle of wine and Take Me Out. At the end of the day those bought’s of homesickness are worth it to live in London for a measly two years, and the next 16 months will speed by far too fast and I’ll be cursing UK Immigration for kicking me out in no time.