Torn Between Two: Wimbledon & Putney Commons

When I was a student I loved the fall, it was my favourite time of the year. It was like F. Scott Fitzgerald said,

Life starts all over again in the fall

And it did. A new school year would start, which meant fresh books, highlighters and a new planner which I would happily write in a semesters worth of tests, essays and holidays. It was the time of year when Kendall would happily sit outside with me on our balcony in South Carolina. Moments and memories I cherish.

I first travelled to London in the fall, it’s when Rich and I met and our story began. It’s when I fell in love with the city and with him. Life truly did begin again in the fall.

So why then have these last few weeks been so difficult?

I thought it was just adjusting back to “real life” after the entire month of August away but it’s more than that. For the first time, I am completely and utterly homesick and it’s extremely off putting. Of course that’s not to say each day is bad, actually quite the opposite – things have been good. But at the end of the day there’s still a tingle, that underlying feeling that somethings missing.

A month back home made me realise all the things I had forgotten I missed. But I’ve been on the other side of that as well, missing London and my life when I returned to the States to sort out my visa. It’s a never ending cycle really. My heart will always be torn between two places. I have to find a way to live with that. Even when it’s hard and I want to shut down, I have to keep moving forward.

When I lived in South Carolina and I had these thoughts I used to take Kendall on an extra long work around campus. It used to drive my roommate crazy because sometimes the feelings would stir at night and nevertheless I’d tie up my running shoes and Kendall and I would be off.

Nowadays I can’t exactly take off with Kendall into the night without warning. For starters a city is a bit different than a university campus, and London is a bit different than my college town. But what I can do is take off with Kendall (and Rich) during the day to one of our favourite parks to brighten my mood.

I initially wasn’t going to share these thoughts and feelings, it feels weird. It’s still all very new. But when I edited the photos after our walk, something I thought would just be for me, I knew I had to share – because well, how darn cute and happy. And sharing it reminds me of why I love being in London.

The feeling of homesickness is a weird one because I don’t know how to explain it, I feel like the only true way for someone to understand is to have felt it. Have you ever experienced homesickness? How did you cope with it? And did you feel reverse culture shock and homesickness when you returned?

About the author
Staci West is an obsessive compulsive traveller who is currently dealing with a chronic case of coffee addicition. Symptoms include blackouts from online shopping sessions, a ferocious passion for everything colourful and energy levels that exceed a normal human capacity. On the advice of her carer and companion, Kendall her yellow labrador, she created L&L, a down to Earth lifestyle blog, as a distraction for her pathological need for shoes.

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