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Homesickness!

Homesickness!

Old Oct 5th 2004, 6:18 pm
  #1  
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Default Homesickness!

My wife, daughter and I moved to the US about a week ago, and you will not be surprised to hear that we are intensely homesick. We have moved over so that I could take up employment, but I cannot start until my SSN arrives. Until then, we are sitting around the apartment wondering if we have made a really big mistake! How did you stop yourself from taking the first flight back home to Blighty?

tas
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Old Oct 5th 2004, 6:29 pm
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Default Re: Homesickness!

Originally Posted by sanj2010
My wife, daughter and I moved to the US about a week ago, and you will not be surprised to hear that we are intensely homesick. We have moved over so that I could take up employment, but I cannot start until my SSN arrives. Until then, we are sitting around the apartment wondering if we have made a really big mistake! How did you stop yourself from taking the first flight back home to Blighty?

tas
If you've not been in the US for even a month and you're not able to start work, why not take the opportunity to get to know your surroundings. I don't know where you are (is it CA?) but if you haven't got a license and a car, try using public transport to investigate your area.

If you have access to a computer, look for places that would appeal to the whole family. Not just shopping malls but maybe a local farmers market and other local attractions. If the local library is near other places of interest, check that out. My local libraries have community noticeboards containing adverts of all sorts.

I didn't have a full driving license, a car or a job for over six months. I managed to get out of the apartment and do things, even if it took an inordinate time to get from A to B but it sure was better than staying indoors. As a result, I know the local area far better than my spouse.

Just my 5c.
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Old Oct 5th 2004, 6:35 pm
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Default Re: Homesickness!

I was homesick too when I first moved here. Luckily I had my hubby and a few friends around to help me, so I do sympathise.

Are you in an area that is serviced by public transport? Maybe you can get out and about to some parks or a library?

Good luck!
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Old Oct 5th 2004, 8:43 pm
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Default Re: Homesickness!

Hey Sanj
If you have a look about you will see lots of homesickness posts, we all feel it but it gets better. Do try and get out and about and remind yourself of the reasons you tried this new life and experience. Where are you?
Give it at least 6 months to a year. I can honestly say, I wanted to go home within the first week but we have been here nearly a year now and it does get better although the goodbye's to friends and relatives at the airport are not any easier yet. Chin up!
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Old Oct 5th 2004, 9:11 pm
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Default Re: Homesickness!

Know the feeling, I've been here for 3 weeks now and have had a few teary moments. I think the hardest thing for me is that I've always been a very independent and it's very hard to know what you're doing out here and who to turn to sometimes - ranging from where to live, where to buy a car from, what bank to use etc etc. It's also really hard not being close to family and friends and trying to schedule calls (taking in the 8 hour difference) rather than just speaking whenever you want.

Sure it's just a case of time! So hang in there!
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Old Oct 5th 2004, 9:25 pm
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Default Re: Homesickness!

Homesick after less than 1 week if its that bad, why come over in the first place?

Was it the old "the grass looks greener" excuse!
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Old Oct 5th 2004, 10:45 pm
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Default Re: Homesickness!

In answer to your question Yosser, I was offered a job that paid me more than I was on in the UK, so I have taken the opportunity to try and improve our quality of life. I am simply wondering if I have made the correct choice, that is all.

sanj
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Old Oct 5th 2004, 10:56 pm
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Default Re: Homesickness!

Originally Posted by sanj2010
How did you stop yourself from taking the first flight back home to Blighty?
tas
Well it's pissed down all day in Yorkshire.
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Old Oct 5th 2004, 11:22 pm
  #9  
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Default Re: Homesickness!

Originally Posted by sanj2010
In answer to your question Yosser, I was offered a job that paid me more than I was on in the UK, so I have taken the opportunity to try and improve our quality of life. I am simply wondering if I have made the correct choice, that is all.

sanj

You probably need to give it some more time. then you need to ask yourself, what does 'quality of life' mean to me? 'quality' life to me is going home to UK, of course I've been here long enough to have thought it out very thouroughly.
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Old Oct 6th 2004, 12:32 am
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Default Re: Homesickness!

Originally Posted by sanj2010
My wife, daughter and I moved to the US about a week ago, and you will not be surprised to hear that we are intensely homesick. We have moved over so that I could take up employment, but I cannot start until my SSN arrives. Until then, we are sitting around the apartment wondering if we have made a really big mistake! How did you stop yourself from taking the first flight back home to Blighty?

tas
I must say I am surprised... but that's probably not what you want to hear! Our first weeks here were so hectic, so full of new stuff to do and work out and find out about and explore, that we didn't really have time to feel homesick until we'd been here about 6 months... by which time the feeling was pretty muted.

I don't know about your financial situation, but we made a decision before we left the UK that we would spend what it took to make our first 6 months in the US as comfortable, luxurious and stress-free as possible. Whatever your finances are like, try not to stint on the good things in life while you're settling in. If you're anything like us, you'll need constant reminders that your life is better over here if you're to get through the first year without heartache about having done the wrong thing.

Find stuff to do to take your mind(s) off homesickness. As other people have suggested, find ways to get out of the apartment. Explore. Go sightseeing (hell, there won't be time for that once they've got you working!). Take the kids for walks in the park. Join something like a zoo, botanic gardens (our favourite for walks) or some other place that you'd like to visit regularly. Have fun!

I will add though that although I started my H1-B job only days after arriving, I had a period where there wasn't anything I could do at work, and I had to sit alone in an office. During that time I wasn't exactly homesick, but I certainly wondered if I'd made a dreadful mistake. My only advice on that is that you've done it now, so make the most of it
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Old Oct 6th 2004, 1:41 am
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Default Re: Homesickness!

Hi

I say stick it out for at least 6 months. I was like you and was ready to leave after a week. Homesickness is hell, I never realised just how much it can affect you, however culture shock is worse. Everyone gets it to some degree and for me it nearly broke me mentally...so I took a trip home and saw that everything I missed and loved was still there and hadn't changed and probably won't change too much in the near future. The key is not to compare your old life with your new one as you will always fall victim to the grass is greener syndrome, accept that things are different, some better...mamy are worse but don't mull on it just accept or ignore it and focus on the positives. Maybe you'll be here a month, maybe a year, maybe even the rest of your life but if you go home now how will you ever know?

Get out and explore, try going to carmax (www.carmax.com) and asking to buy a car on their new immigrant scheme (usually $15,000 max) or find out about public transport around you. Where are you exactly anyway?

I've only been here 15 months so I'm no expert and I still get homesick, but your old life is not gone and you can go back to it any time you want....why not just try something new for a while...?

regards

Paul
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Old Oct 6th 2004, 3:15 pm
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Default Re: Homesickness!

Homesickness sucks! I was fine for the first 6 months but now I've been here for 10 months it's starting to get worse. I can only describe it as being like a panic attack. I'm usually fine until I see something on TV. There's nothing worse than seeing a clip of someone walking down an ordinary English street, with English number plates and street signs. It makes me start to panic and it's hard to know how to deal with it. I still don't feel settled but that's because I moved from one side of the US to the other and that's enough culture shock all on its own!

What's really funny is that last time I went home, I couldn't wait to get back to the US, because the crowding and the traffic was driving me nuts, not to mention the lack of AC! It's almost like I don't belong anywhere anymore, like I'm stuck in the middle. It's a very unsettling feeling. You just have to think that this is your one and only life, and you are doing something that many people dream of but very few actually get the opportunity to do. England will always be there...that's our security.

I think the thing I miss most (apart from the food and my family), is the British sense of "cool". All the stores, TV adverts, magazines etc are very modern and stylized, and sometimes in the US things can feel so old fashioned and backward it makes me cringe. It's so intangible you can't really describe it, but I suppose we all have our own perceptions. You have to take the good things and hang on to those, and go home as often as you can.

I'm going back in a couple of weeks, as I was having a homesick moment not long ago. I'm sure by the end of the trip I'll be glad to come back! Hope you feel better soon. It gets better once you start to build a life.
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Old Oct 6th 2004, 3:37 pm
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Default Re: Homesickness!

Originally Posted by Rockgurl
I think the thing I miss most (apart from the food and my family), is the British sense of "cool". All the stores, TV adverts, magazines etc are very modern and stylized, and sometimes in the US things can feel so old fashioned and backward it makes me cringe.

I completely agree - America is as cool as a fanny pack (or bumbag!)

Things are pretty archaic over here, and I've been over most of the country...

Grocery stores for the most part are behind sainsburys circa 1996 standards, clothing is dull, cars are crap (leaf spring suspension and push-rod V8 on the new corvette?!)

What made me laugh yesterday was when a friend complained about his girlfriends dog chewing the antenna on his phone - the chewing was funny enough (especialy as the mutt had dug up my garden the weekend before) the fact that his (brand new) phone had an aerial just made things funnier!!! - 1999 Ericsson anybody?
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Old Oct 6th 2004, 4:08 pm
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Default Re: Homesickness!

I found the homesickness thing did not kick in for years, and then only a slight occasional pining for pint at the pub sort of thing. Never seriously considered returning for good. Once you build a life here, it will probably rapidly fade to a sort of pleasant nostalgia.
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Old Oct 6th 2004, 4:20 pm
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Default Re: Homesickness!

Originally Posted by sanj2010
In answer to your question Yosser, I was offered a job that paid me more than I was on in the UK, so I have taken the opportunity to try and improve our quality of life. I am simply wondering if I have made the correct choice, that is all.

sanj
If money was the main motivation to move to the US for work, I hope you also researched other factors like education, taxes, cost of living.

Even without a car, you and your family can still get out. As I mentioned previously, it might take effort but this is not just for yourself but for your family too so you owe it to them (since it was you who was offered the job overseas) to help them acclimatize.

If you truly want to improve yours and your family's quality of life, you have to put in a lot of effort, time and moneywise.

You can't do that in a week or even a couple of months.
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