After 357 days apart, flipped time zones and wifi connections that were infuriating at times, my parents came to Australia for a month. We did so many wonderful things, caught up on everything from the past year and made the most wonderful memories, but yesterday it was time for them to leave.
It was heartbreaking.
I started crying well before their taxi arrived. I kept asking, only half jokingly, if they felt like staying a little longer. I never wanted the hugs to end. I spent all evening under a blanket, crying randomly with the worst pain in my heart. Even typing this, there are tears in my eyes. I knew goodbye would be hard, but this hurt.
The truth of the matter is that living away from home is incomprehensibly hard.
I’ve written about some of the difficulties of living abroad before here, but after a goodbye with my parents I realised all over again how hard it is to be so far from all you know and love.
Before I left England, I was naive to the fact that it wouldn’t always be sun, sea and smiles. I thought maybe I’d have the odd homesick moment every now and then but that the sunny weather, different opportunities and exciting, new life would mean I was so busy that I’d be okay. I thought that nothing about being so far away would phase me.
I can hand on heart say that this move has been tougher than I could ever have imagined. Brilliant, but tough? You’ve no idea.
No matter how many smiling selfies we post or spontaneous beach days we have or mini breaks to amazing spots we go on, we still miss home. We miss the people. We miss making memories with them. Our life here is brilliant, there is no question about that, but it is always, always tinged with a hint of sadness, a hint of missing out, a hint of wishing you could share it with the people you miss the most.
There are times that the feeling of missing home hits extra hard. Take, for example, my birthday. I had a brilliant time with Jack and went out with the amazing friends I have made here, but a part of me still pined to go to my parent’s house, to see my friends from home for a meal, to be in a warm coat and scarf rather than a sundress and sandals.
When it was my birthday, my mum sent me this:
I keep it on me everyday. It’s the closest thing I have to a hug from her. I don’t know when I will next see her. I don’t know when I will next get that hug. That’s a strange, difficult feeling.
We have another 18 months left on our visa and we plan to enjoy every second of it. Australia is phenomenal country. I have met some of the most amazing people I know here. We have so many exciting things coming up soon. I love this place, we love this place.
We also miss home.
We don’t know what our future holds, where we will end up, what our life will look like, but one thing I do know is that, despite my tears, I am happy. I am proud of the life we have built here. I am in awe of us for throwing ourselves into this new life, especially on the days where homesickness seems all consuming. This Aussie journey, however long it may be for, is ours and, despite the sadness, I couldn’t love it more.