How It Felt to Go Back Home For The First Time
After 7 months, I went back to the States for the first time since I moved full-time to Denmark. My almost three-week trip was filled with activities from the moment my plane landed until we were wheels up back to Copenhagen. My trip was split into two phases, one week that would be solo & the rest of the trip with the Dane and his mom.
I landed and was greeted by that wall of humidity I truly missed. No matter what time of year or season it is, South Florida is warm & humid. While miserable April-October, the rest of the year it is great, especially when you are in the process of defrosting in November from the impending winter of Copenhagen.
Within the first 48 hours, I had gotten my “American food fix” (Chickfila & Moe’s), had my nails done & got waxed…I was “me” again. These are small “luxuries” I took for granted in America. Just like walking into a Target and having everything I could ever need or want at my fingertips. They are the things that on the roughest days in Denmark make me wish I was home the most (other than my family & dog obviously.) Just walking into Target for the first time again, I swear I heard angels singing & birds chirping. We do not have stores like that in Denmark & honestly it is something I miss at least weekly.
The first week I was home, I was there by myself as in sans Dane & had the time to do the one-on-one family things & friend time which was really nice. I haven’t seen everyone for the longest time. In fact, it was longer than any other time I have been away so getting that quality time it was important to me.
Although we have been married for almost a year now, we are having a “traditional” wedding in March back in the States. Since our marriage came as a surprise to most due to eloping, my friends & I agreed to go through the motions of an engagement so they threw me a bachelorette party. Something you may not know about me, I am not a partier anymore. I haven’t been for a long time so when you hear “bachelorette party” think tamer than what you have in mind. It was the PERFECT weekend for me. Just spending time with the 5 girls who have been my best friends for decades & haven’t seen in months or in some cases years was everything I could have wanted. More on our South Beach bachelorette party to come!
That week also gave me time to hang out with my mom alone before my uncle came in, time to hang out with my uncle before my brother got in & time to hang out with my brother before my husband came in. I got to spend quality time with the people who are most important to me before we blended my new family into the mix. I think that week alone really made a huge impact on the trip since I did get to spend time with everyone individually.
Even with all the sunshine, good food, family & friends something was off. That week alone was a weird feeling. I was going back to a life that I haven’t had in months & one I lived for so long, a relationship through a phone. Although it was only a week, it felt like the past months were not real & I was back to having my relationship via FaceTime waiting for the next time we would see each other again.
The best way I can explain the feeling of being home was like I never left but also that everything was different. It is the same feeling I had coming back to Denmark.
The days were colder and darker than when I left to head to Florida but again like nothing happened. There will come a time when I will stop living a split life, but it’s a way I have lived my life for over two years now, back & forth between my American life & my budding Danish one. Maybe not the next trip or the one after that but one day, the feeling of going home or coming back will have changed.
Living abroad is hard. No one told me it would be easy but no one can truly prepare you for the torn feeling you have on a regular basis. So much has happened in my life since before this trip, more on that later, and I have so much happening for me in the new year but again, I am split with getting in a routine but knowing we are going to America in two months. It is a hard concept to explain, and I might be the only one who feels this way but going home for the first time definitely does something to an expat’s mind.
Have you been away from home for a long time? How did you feel your first time back?
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