“What is the point in sulking when I am in the best place ever?”
Home (Ireland) for me isn’t the best place in the world, and I have never been one to miss it that much. Yes of course I miss my family and my friends at home but the area in general isn’t one I tend to miss. I left home when I was 18 to go to uni in Liverpool, and ever since I have often called it my home, as I very rarely went back to Ireland unless it was a special occasion such as Christmas. Of course when I was at uni there were times when I missed home but a quick trip was just enough for the cure. When I spoke to my host family about homesickness before coming here I would tell them that I didn’t experience it much and moving to France wouldn’t be much different than the move I did for uni. I am very independent and have always found it easy enough to be away from home.
However, I am now a victim of homesickness. For me I miss Liverpool the most, or England in general. Being able to get a train to visit my step mum or my family in Leicester or even having the occasional visit from my dad when he could was always something that I could do easily on my days off. My friends are a big one (shout out to five elements, Jurys crew and ‘Hilton’ girls), not having my friends by my side everyday has been hard for me to adjust to. Of course messaging works for the short term as I can easily stay in contact with them, but I miss having them around. I would give anything to have my best friend pop around to mine for a cup of tea just for 5 minutes!
I never really thought about how moving to France to au pair would affect me, and it is only until you are here that you realise, wow! I guess it is a little bit harder than a move to uni, with a different language, different culture and the different surroundings it can all get a bit overwhelming.
Truth is it is a big change and it can be very easy to get stuck in a sulk missing home, and secluding yourself because the adjustment becomes a little too much. In these times, I found that the best thing to do is hang out with the friends you have met here (so far I have met a limited number as I have only just started school, but the ones I have met have been lovely and really helped me to keep busy).
When my friends aren’t around, I go out rather than sitting in the house and explore Paris. These times have been the moments when I have really been able to pick myself up. I fell in love with Paris 5 years ago, and when I explore I remind myself why I am here and how lucky I am to be able to see Paris and all of its beauty. For example, last week I went to the edge of Saint-Germain-En-Laye and just looked at the view. The feeling I got from that is indescribable, and I just thought “what is the point in sulking when I am in the best place ever?”.
Homesickness will always crop up and it happens even to people like me who don’t normally experience it. The way you handle it will make your overall experience in Paris so much better! So if you are feeling the bug, get out and enjoy!