It is exactly 3 months and 3 days since I arrived in New Zealand and started on my Kiwi journey. It feels so much longer though and I’ve seen a lot in a short space of time.
Now I’m settled in Dunedin, Otago just a few hours away from unbelievable scenery, crazy hikes and stunning lakes. New Zealand really is as beautiful as everyone says but there’s just one problem…
I am desperate to go home.
Managing the sudden onset of homesickness
I started to feel homesick not long after I finished travelling. I was staying in a small hostel in Dunedin, quickly running out of funds and desperate for a job. I was already in a space of panic that I was going to run out of money or be forced to go back home.
That’s when the homesickness kicked in and it stuck around even after I landed a job and an awesome place to live. I thought it was just the last little dregs of stress and anxiety making me feel homesick, but even after the initial wave subsided, there’s still this uneasy feeling.
Of course it is only natural to be missing home, especially when home is nearly 12,000 miles away, on the other side of the world. The thing nobody tells you about homesickness though, is that it doesn’t just ease off and go away. It’s a bit like grief, it just lingers lying dormant until something triggers it.
Learning to live with it
The strange thing is, as much as I’d happily jump on a plane tomorrow, I’m still enjoying the experience and this is something I have to keep reminding myself every day.
It’s not like I hate it here, I like my job, I like the people I work with, I live in a nice house that is super cheap with people that don’t drive me to murderous thoughts. Yet, I feel like I’m constantly making plans for the future, whether it is when I should book my flight home, what I’m going to do when I finally get home etc.
I’ve been trying to fill my free time as much as possible so I always have something to do. Whether it is building a new business, blogging, going to the gym or meditating and doing a bit of self-care, I always make sure I have something to focus on.
Choosing between an emotional response and a rational one
You may be wondering
“If you’re that miserable why don’t you just go home?”
Simple, money. I don’t have enough in my savings account to allow me to go home and not have to get a job as soon as I land. I knew when I decided to come to New Zealand, that the normal 9 to 5 was not something I wanted to do for the rest of my life. Not because I didn’t enjoy it, because I’ve worked in some amazing office jobs, but because my mental health always ends up making things a little tricky at some point.
I can function better as a human being when I have flexibility and control over my working hours. When I can choose to work from home instead of getting on an anxiety riddled and over-packed commuter train.
Being here, in the current situation I am in, will allow me to save enough to be able to build my own business, so that when I go home I can devote all of my time on making that work.
I have to keep reminding myself that I like how I’m living at the moment, there is nothing wrong with it and I’m the most chilled I’ve ever been. I make good money which allows me to save and also enjoy myself. So, no matter how much I want to go home, I’m going to stick it out as best I can.
It will all be worth it when I do finally get to hop on that incredibly long flight from Auckland to Manchester in a few months time.