By: Blonde Two
This post was written before Friday’s earthquake – I certainly wanted to be at home during that!
Homesickness is a bit like jet lag, after a while you can recognise the pattern it takes. I always get it at some point during my New Zealand trips. I had a little 24 hour blip last week and spent some time considering the homesick phenomenon whilst sitting in my bathroom garden at Norm’s place (those Kiwis will put a garden anywhere). This tiny space has become the place where I go when I need to take a few minutes out from stuff. I try to add a little bit of decoration or comfort to it each year. Mr Blonde Two rather cheekily dubbed it my “Lady Garden” last year – make of that what you will.
I have come to the conclusion that homesickness is an illogical affair. I know that I am always welcome at the farm and see it as my second home. I know where the hoover, the loo roll and the shot gun are all kept (I have no idea what to do with the shot gun but am quite experienced with the others). I can drive the car, operate the burglar alarm (some of the time) and turn the electric fences on and off. I know the people who live there and nearby and Tasman the dog comes to say hello to me each morning. I have been happy there, sad there and had much fun there.
All of this would suggest that homesickness would not be an issue. It can be though and my Blonde wisdom suggests that there are two key factors involved;
1. People – no matter how much you love the people you are visiting, your nearest and dearest at home, because they spend so much time with you, are ultimately the ones who understand you best. They will have seen all of your moods and foibles a million times before. They are the people whose responses are the most predictable to you and who will be best placed to deal with your moods and idiosyncrasies.
2. Familiarity – when you live somewhere, you know important things like which way to drive home, how to put the rubbish out and how to make hot water come out of the taps (I genuinely struggle with this). When you have to think about these things and others before you do them, life becomes just that tiny bit more stressful. This is fine, of course, and part of the adventure but just occasionally it can all get a bit much.
I asked Norm what the homesickness thing was like when they first moved their young family to New Zealand. He said that the thing he found hardest was the inability to share all of their exciting new experiences with the folks back home.
I am fine now, by the way and enjoying myself down in
Windy Shaky Wellington with more cousins. The trick with homesickness is to remember that it does pass and that going home is usually an effective cure.