A mild, utterly unserious, and completely non-contagious case of homesickness blues

I miss Target

And while we’re at it, I miss Walmart, Meijer, Sam’s Club, and Costco

I miss being able to buy a new-release paperback book off the shelf for less than $40.00 {thank goodness for my Kindle!}

I miss Trader Joe’s and Penzeys Spices

I miss my SUV

I miss cheap gasoline

I miss having the option of getting a diet fountain coke for 50 cents {even though I steer clear of caffeine}

I miss J.Crew, Banana Republic, Macy*s, Nordstrom, LL Bean, Lands’ End, Gap, Old Navy, and Cambria Cove

I miss Goodwill and Craigslist

I miss living in a place where just about every store will ship to you… for less than $100

I miss American prices on things like clothing, shoes, furniture, food, and entertainment

I miss cell phone and internet packages chock-full of freebies: phone vouchers, free minutes, free texting, free calling within network… sigh

I miss Tostitos Baked Scoops, Corona Light, reduced-fat microwave Kettle Corn, Firefly Sweet Tea vodka, marshmallows that aren’t covered in some weird, powdery stuff, Reese Cups, and good barbecue sauce

I miss convenience foods like Cool Whip and ready-made pie crust and frozen bread dough

I miss Netflix and Hulu

I miss family

I miss Bear

I miss Papa John’s Pizza, Olive Garden, Hacienda, Puerto Vallarta, and Panera

I miss living in a place where people don’t think that I have an accent

I miss summer

I miss the USA

It’s safe to say that I’ve come down with a mild case of homesickness blues.  I think it’s partly been spurred on by starting a new job {lots of differences between US and NZ healthcare!} and having our things arrive and seeing my stuffed bear that I’ve had since the first grade and realizing that he is in New Zealand… with me!  It’s also related to reading Facebook and Twitter posts written about people’s daily chores – Target runs, eating out at various American restaurants, cute shoes they just bought from a US store that doesn’t ship to New Zealand.  I will get over it, and I’m not turning into a melancholy, mopey, immovable mass who’s stuffing her face with milk and muffins and musing about moving {although I have apparently developed a love of alliteration}.

The earliest date that we might both go home for a visit would be November/December 2011.  Chris has summer break from November 14th – February 26th {Which, side bar: can you believe how long of a break that is?!  It’s 107 days!  Yes, I counted – it’s 15 weeks and 2 days}.  At this point in time, I am seriously considering phoning my parents and in-laws and saying, “Guess what?!  We’re coming home for the entire New Zealand summer and we’ll be living with you.  Hope that’s OK!”  Of course, this would mean being back in the US in Fall/Winter, which wouldn’t be all that wonderful, but I think I could deal with it.

There’s also the possibility that Chris might be making a “quick” one-week visit back to the States sometime in April 2011 for a family event.  One week is a quick turnaround, if you do the math:

  • Leave New Zealand on Monday
  • Fly for 24 hours {but gain a day}
  • Arrive in the US on Monday
  • Do family events Tuesday – Thursday
  • Board a plane back to NZ on Friday
  • Fly for 24 hours {and lose a day}
  • Arrive in NZ on Sunday

If he does make the trip, I may turn a bit devious.  I usually pack Chris’ suitcase, so I might just put in one change of clothes, fill the rest of the suitcase with crumpled paper and an extra bag, and then send him an email while he’s in the air informing him of the ruse and giving explicit instructions on which items he is to purchase and bring back.  Cue evil laugh somewhat similar to this…

I know, I know – that would be mean and being mean is bad.  But sometimes, being bad feels really good, don’t you think 😉

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  1. K.C. says:

    Homesickness is really tough, entirely normal but very tough. I’m glad you’re feeling a little better now!

  2. d.a.r. says:

    Oh honey, I can’t even imagine. I am deathly homesick right now (seriously, I wasn’t this homesick in college!) and I still have *most* American conveniences and live only three hours from home.

    Hang in there!

  3. Tami says:

    Oh, this post makes me really sad for you. I can’t even imagine being so far from home for so long! You truly had me at Banana Republic.

    On another note, I must know about your job! Do tell! Or, did you already post about it, and like a total loser, I missed it?

  4. Sarah (Chez Lee) says:

    Oh I really feel for you. I’ve lived in NZ since 1997 and the pangs of home-sickness for England rise up for me from time to time. They used to be a lot worse and would often strike in the winter time here.

    I’ve learned there’s nothing wrong with a bit of nostalgic reflection and it’s all okay – I’d be devoid of all emotion if I didn’t feel pangs of home-sickness from time to time. Usually, my melancholy passes like the changes in the weather and I’m reminded to live in the moment and focus on the positive.

    All the best from another expat feeling your pain x

  5. Erin says:

    Oh thank you. You spoke for me too, although I’m sorry to hear you’re feeling homesick. It stinks.

    I think your devious idea of sending Chris on a shopping holiday is a great idea! How can we get Keith there, too? 🙂

  6. Elle says:

    Oh darling…. homesickness is the worst…. but luckily for you, you have fantastic friends in america who would be happy to have any store ship fabulous things to them and then ship them on to you… certainly all mail to new zealand can’t be that expensive? I’m curious do you have regular American pickles? I have a girlfriend in Canada and she says American pickles are the things she misses most… supposedly canadian pickles are weird…

    Also, what things are better there than here? The same girlfriend in Canada says Canadian ketchup is way better…

    don’t dwell in your homesickness, but relish in it… it means that you aren’t at home… you’re on a big grand journey in a fantastic new place, and everything is different… we’re creatures of habit and so different sometimes makes us squirmy… but imagine how richer and fuller your lives will be for this great journey… hang in there lovely… sending hugs and kisses and wishes for you to find fab Australian stores that are far better than old navy with far better prices! and I think the idea of leaving Chris one change of clothes for his American journey is tres fabulous!

    And seriously lets look into things I might be able to ship to you! XOXOXO Elle

  7. Molly says:

    Oh, I know the feeling! Intense homesickness is awful – hang in there, it definitely gets better… In the meantime, I wonder if you’ve come across this Meet Up group? It’s made up of American expats in Auckland – sometimes being around others in similar situations helps – you can mull over all the pros and cons of it all. I haven’t checked it out myself – just found it online when looking for something similar in Dunedin. http://www.meetup.com/americanz/

  8. Kate E. says:

    I’m sorry you’re homesick, friend. I’ve been there and its tough. Although its hard to believe now, soon you will grow to love NZ and all of its peculiarities and idiosyncrasies. Until then, I really wish I could ship you some nice marshmallows and a good pizza without it bankrupting me. 🙂

  9. Kate (s-b-s) says:

    sorry you’re feeling homesick…..i would be happy to send you a big ol’ box of reese’s cups if you want!

    and @ens…where are you moving? we have dunkin’ donuts in my part of the south

  10. Amanda says:

    Oh Jenny I wish I could send you PV or Papa Johns. I think I have been so entranced in all your newness with the move and country, I had forgotten how hard it can be to move that far away. But how did you forget Pizza King? But I think they might ship overseas, not sure though. Hope you have a much better week and think about all the new cool vacations you get to go on!

  11. AmyB says:

    Homesickness is tough. I remember when I moved to England back in 2005 – I had a serious case of homesickness! I hope it gets better for you!!!

  12. ens says:

    it is perfectly fine to feel homesick. I’m moving from MA – the south soon and i have a feeling i’m giong to have a list quite similar 😉 (ok, not THAT drastic but no dunkin’ donuts down there… COME ON!)

  13. garden state prep says:

    I don’t think taking an extra suitcase would be bad, especially if you sent an email ahead of time so all of the stuff was waiting for him when he arrived in the US. That summer break is so long!

    I wish I knew a homesickness cure because I’d send it your way!

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