I can honestly say that in the six years I've lived in America, I've never once felt homesick.
Don't get me wrong, I've missed family and friends occasionally and I've certainly missed certain aspects of life in England…but I can honestly say I've never sat down and thought "I want to go home." You may wonder what the difference between what I've just described and 'homesickness'…and the best way I can think to describe it is this:
What I've felt up to now is like eating Papa John's pizza while wishing you were eating Dominos. It's like wanting Coke but the store only having Pepsi. Homesickness (which I've certainly experienced as a kid) is having no pizza or drink at all while you're absolutely starving and dying of thirst.
The weird thing is that it's finally sunk in that I'm moving back to England… and even though I felt barely a twinge when I moved here, I'm already getting homesick for America and we won't be moving for ages yet.
To be completely honest, though, I think a lot of it is just that I'm associating America with Sunny and my first real sense of 'freedom'. Before moving to America, I was still living with my parents and I think most of my attachment to this country isn't really because of 'America' per se, but more that moving here was the first time I was out on my own.
It's like your first bachelor pad. It might have been a crappy, tiny apartment with bad plumbing, but the freedom of having your own place where you set the rules for the first time made it feel like an absolute palace.
It's just a really odd feeling. This morning, I was thinking about my next blog post, and even though I'll still be able to write this blog in England…and even be writing it on the same laptop…I started thinking about the very first post I ever wrote, on Sunny's old desktop with its crappy 56k modem that never connected at more than 26k. Suddenly, remembering what it was like when I first moved here felt like I was getting punched in the gut. It was a real sense of loss that I'm still not sure where it came from.
I think it's not so much that I'm going to miss this place…it's just that I have so many memories wrapped up in it.
It's like your parents selling your childhood home. You may not have lived there in decades, you might live less than a mile away from it right now…but you're still going to get choked up when you walk out the door for the last time.
A few weeks ago, if you'd asked me what I thought about this house, I'd have told you what it really needed to set it right was a couple gallons of gasoline and a match. My mother-in-law said that once we eventually moved out, she was going to have the place bulldozed…and to be completely honest, watching this place get torn down was something I was actually looking forward to.
When it was just in the abstract, I was really looking forward to moving out of this place…now, when it comes down to it….I'm really going to miss this place.
It might not be a palace, but it's the first place I lived with Sunny. A lot has happened under its roof…and if only for that, I'm gonna miss it.