My First Bout of Homesickness

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Everything here in England has been going quite well. Though people would constantly ask me “aren’t you homesick?” “Not at all,” I’d grin, “I love it here.” I was amazed that, other than a day of craving dill pickles and the occasional missing of family and friends, I really wasn’t feeling homesick at all.

That was right up until the two month mark. It was cookies that set me off. Ever since I was a little girl my mom and I have baked these amazing oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. I still remember specific days as a child when mom would tell me she was going to make our cookies; they were some of the best days.

I absolutely love baking on rainy days although so far my attempts at baking in the UK have all gone awry (my buttertarts were a disaster as was my peach pie; last fall I made about 10 lovely peach pies in Canada). But, I thought, I have all the ingredients (bar large flake oats) to make mine and mom’s famous melt-in-your-mouth cookies. What could go wrong?

The answer: everything. Instead of the sweet, buttery, brown-sugary, cinnamon and vanilla flavour of home they tasted bland; like nothing. Then there was the texture; normally they’d spread out into lovely circles but they stayed stacked up and took on a muffin-like texture. This is the second failed attempt at these cookies in the UK.

I started sobbing and my S.O. really didn’t know what to do other than to quickly gobble some up and assure me he liked them. He also pawned some off on his poor grandparents yesterday. He wondered why I was being so silly crying over cookies.

But they aren’t just cookies; they’re a lifelong tradition of mine, they’re a little bit of home. I knew when I moved here that there was a list of things I’d have to go without: family and friends, air conditioning, unlimited hot water, plugs in the bathroom, my car, my job, all my favourite restaurants and many of my favourite foods.

I came to terms with those things; but it’s the things I wasn’t aware of that really get to me. Everytime I go to the store for something and learn there is a new thing I have to go without. Everytime I try to do something the way I did back home and I can’t. Sometimes I just want something to be exactly like it was, like my cookies.

I don’t regret moving to England at all. My sweetheart makes it worth it a million times over and it truly is a beautiful country with so much to offer. I know how lucky I am.

But today is another rainy day, and I’d give almost anything just to have a little taste of home.

10 thoughts on “My First Bout of Homesickness

  1. I know how you feel! Most of the time when I’m in England I’m completely fine, but then there are certain days where everything goes wrong, or it’s someones birthday at home or something and I find myself wanting to be nowhere but back home. I hope you find a way to make the cookies in the UK at some point. Lovely post xxx

    1. I’m glad someone knows how I feel🙂 It’s definitely hard to explain to someone whose never moved really far from home before. Thanks for your kind words I really appreciate it! I also hope I can fix my cookie dilemma, if not I will ask my dad to pack all the ingredients in his suitcase when he comes to visit :p

  2. I just found your blog and I can say that I 100% identify with what you’re feeling. The good news is that it definitely does get better and the homesick days happen less often as you get more adjusted. Eventually you will start thinking of England as ‘home’ just like you think of Canada as ‘home,’ and the little things will get to you less because you’ll have your own favorite restaurant here or your own favorite snack that you can’t get in Canada. Hang in there!

    Also, I would totally keep trying with the cookies! It took me awhile to find the right ingredients for some things I was used to (and a lot of ingredients I was used to ARE here, they’re just called something different or stored in a different place in the store I didn’t think to look), and it might just take some experimenting with your oven and things to get them how you remember.🙂

    1. It is seriously great to hear from someone who can relate. I know how ridiculous my food cravings probably seem to most people here.

      At the moment I feel like I have two incomplete homes; my one in Canada and my one here. I’m in an odd in-between phase.

      I just checked out your blog and I see you’re in a very similar situation as I am. Your post on American Food Cravings made me laugh out loud; I’m so happy someone has the same “irrationally emotional” food cravings I do.

      I look forward to reading more of your blog posts. Thanks for your kind words, and I will keep trying with my cookies🙂

  3. I totally understand! It’s always the little things that set me off…a missing ingredient for a dish from home. I’ve been here for three years and still go through this sometimes. But then I go home for a visit and there are English foods I’m dying for! It’s a strange phenomenon of double culture shock. Good luck!

    1. I’m so happy that I’m not as crazy as I thought… I almost feel bad that it’s not the big things that set me off the most (like not seeing family and friends) but the littlest things. I feel better already just having others be able to relate. I think I may need to start-up a Canada shop here one day :p

      Thanks for stopping by and for your kind words🙂

  4. I know the small things can trigger homesickness. And It’s completely understandable to be happy and grateful and also have those moments of…I guess I’d call it grief.

    I’m glad you’re finding people who are going and have gone through the same thing! It always feels comforting to find people who know first-hand what you’re going through!

    When baking doesn’t turn out, especially the things you KNOW you’ve made beautifully in the past, it’s so frustrating!! I hope you hang in there!

    1. I’m glad I’m not the only one who finds this frustrating, and that perhaps I am not crazy after all (at least not completely). I always look forward to your posts and your kind comments🙂 I’ll hang in there, thanks Jane!

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