I mentioned last week that I’d joined a lovely Facebook group for American wives living in London. Most of the ladies are relatively new to the city and are dealing with those oh-so-familiar feelings of homesickness, guilt and general longing for familiarity. The blog Midwest Meets Middlesex encompassed this feeling perfectly in a recent post.
Unfortunately those feelings never really go away but bouts do get fewer and further between with time and you learn how to cope like a champ. Here are a few ways that I’ve managed to cope over the last five (five?? That’s half a decade!) years that I’ve been living in London. This list does not include wine, but I have no shame in saying that it definitely helps. In moderation, of course.
I don’t normally ‘eat my feelings’ but when I do, it tends to be food from home. Whether it’s a 5th Avenue bar scored from Partridge’s, a box of Zataran’s Cajun rice or a recipe given to me by my grandmother, having the comfort of familiar food always helps. My grandmother’s mac-n-cheese recipe is like a big warm hug, lemme tell ya. There’s no substitute.
I’ve only recently gained an appreciation for the music of my roots—bluegrass and country western. I swear whenever I hear a banjo it’s like they’re plucking at my own heartstrings. I absolutely love the Pickin’ On albums which are bluegrass cover songs! I also love the soundtrack to the movie Elizabethtown (see below) and it’s always on my iPod rotation.
I’ve always looked to books as an escape and homesickness is no exception. Books set in America, particularly the South, are a favourite but I often find that when I’m really, really feeling bad about missing home, reading about home is the last thing I want to do. At that point, I’ll pick up something ridiculously epic, like Game of Thrones, to take my mind off of it.
This movie. I don’t know whether it’s the shots of my hometown (Louisville, KY), the music, the Kentucky accents or whatever else, but this movie is my go-to comfort item when I’m having a tough time. I mean, Orlando Bloom as eye candy helps too, but there really is just something about it. That moment when OB steps out of the car and he’s overwhelmed by the muggy Kentucky heat and the sound of the summer cicadas—I’ve lived that.
I’ve seen this movie so many times I know all the words… and still it never gets old. I’ll be the first to admit that it’s not the best movie out there, nor is it my favourite, but when I’m down and out there’s nothing else that gets me feeling better quicker than this movie. Even N knows how I feel about this movie and in the past, when he knows I’ve had issues with missing home, he’s put the movie on for me without even bothering to ask. I love that he knows me that well.
Meeting new people
This is exactly why I was so happy to be invited to join the aforementioned Facebook group! Being around other people who feel the same way I do, who miss the same things really does help. I really do miss American accents and phrases! And even though I’ve yet to meet any of the lovely ladies in the group, I do feel that I almost know a few of them just by chatting with them on Facebook.
So tell me, fellow transplants, how do you cope with your homesick days?