homesick: adj : “longing for home and family while absent from them” (merriam-webster)

“Quand je te quitte un peu loin, ca ressemble au chagrin, ca fait un mal de chien.” M.Lavoine

I left my douce France in July 2010. Before leaving, I managed to see all the people I loved and cared for, and organized a Goodbye Party for myself. Yes, I did that. We celebrated with baguettes, wine, saucisson, fromage and everything oh-so-French ! I asked everyone to come dressed in either blue, white or red. Yes, I did that too. We listened to Edith Piaf and other classic French singers and we all had a great time.

I was sad to leave everyone but I was very excited to go to Canada, reunite with my now-husband. The future was promising, exciting, and foreign…Since then I have worked a couple jobs, I got married and had a baby. I couldn’t be happier with my life – I have the most wonderful husband and an amazing daughter. But something is still missing. Other than a career for myself, I miss home, terribly.

5 random signs of homesickness:

  1. I heard a French girl talking while I was waiting for my baby to get her immunization needles and I couldn’t help it. I had to talk to her. It felt so good to speak French with a French person. She said “ca suffit” to her daughter and I thought that was so French. I loved it.
  2. I have been listening to French music a lot – including music I didn’t use to like.
  3. “Midnight in Paris” made me cry. When we left the movie theater, I was surprised to hear people speaking English. This movie made me travel.
  4. I watched Amelie (Le fabuleux destin d’Amelie Poulain) three times and I am thinking of watching it again.
  5. I felt emotional when Jean Dujardin won the best actor award at the 84th annual academy awards. He’s French, we are family.

10 things I miss about home:

  1. My family and friends. I have three younger sisters and I haven’t seen them for so long it hurts.
  2. The food. I miss “boeuf bourguignon”, “tarte a l’oignon”, “raclette”, “fondue au fromage”, “creme brulee” and many other French delights.
  3. The streets of Paris; cafes and bars, bridges and museums, shops and tourists. Ses beaux quartiers, and bien sur, the Eiffel Tower.
  4. I miss the French language.
  5. The bakery downstairs.
  6. Watching the world go by sitting at a cafe terrace.
  7. The culture.
  8. London. (It is not home, but I have lived their long enough to miss it.)This city is very dear to me and so close to home.
  9. My hairdresser. She’s done my hair for over 10 years and I can’t believe I haven’t done anything to them since I arrived.
  10. Myself. I miss my old self.

Click here to listen to “Je ne veux pas travailler” (I don’t want to work) by Pink Martini. It is an American band but the song is in French. Sixtine and I have been listening to this song a lot lately.

I would love to hear how you cope with homesickness and what are the things you miss from home…Please share !

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Comments

  1. When my husband and I lived overseas I missed my family so much and was homesick for a while. We both missed mexican food so much and it was not available where we lived so I tried my best to find ingredients and make as close of a replication as I could. We also tried to talk to our family on the phone as often as possible.

    Finding an expat community where you are and setting up an ongoing lunch date or coffee time is a good idea too. That way you can speak your native language together and talk about your native culture. We had tons of expats where we were and connecting with them always helped me a great deal!

  2. Well, I love this post more than the others.
    I do understand so well what you’re feeling. Even if I’m not that far away from home there’s still something missing. I so love my new life here and have met great people. I really miss my home though. Watching movies with my mum, hugging my baby cat, laughing with my little sister… I miss my friends, I speak with them everyday but sometimes I’d love to have a café with them and talk gossip. And just like you, I listen to French songs I never listened before.
    Other things I miss : the food (I’d die for my grandma’s tarte aux pommes), the real pains au chocolat (because in London they don’t taste like French ones) and baguettes, French humour, driving,…
    And your last sentence is so meaningful. I’ve changed, everything around me has changed. And I do miss the old me sometimes.

    • I am glad you do Cirine.
      You miss driving and I miss the French public transit. I know they are always on strike but it is so convenient. There are no trains where I live. And the bus to town only runs three times a day. How would you like that?! The London public transit is even better (although very crowded) !
      When are you planning to go home for a visit?

  3. My beautiful French friend!!! You made me long for Paris from your description of your homesickness!! Now I have a craving for French food…

    I’m glad that you included London on your list. I miss London too!! One of my fondest memories of my time abroad was meeting you. And that was meeting the “old you” but I love this “new you” as well. A lovely mummy who still maintains all of the wonderful aspects of her Frenchness. I actually had a question…is Sixtine going to have French citizenship as well as Canadian? Much loveee

    • Thanks for popping by KayBlue. Yes, she should be getting both nationalities which I am very excited about.
      I remember the first time I met you – talking about French guys in the bathroom of that student union club ! Your thirst for Kings and Queens (I will never thank you enough for helping me get that bloody Henry the 8th), and my love story…
      I sincerely hope we will meet again.
      Love xo

  4. retrolovephotography says:

    Brandon and I were watching the Academy awards last night, and I was telling him how weird it was to see Jean Dujardin there after seeing him for so long on “un gars, une fille”. I showed a small clip to Brandon on youtube and now I feel like watching all of them again, lol.

    The last time I was in France was when I visited you in Paris. Time flies…
    I miss saucisson and rillettes though…

    • I have “known” him since the “Nous, c’est nous!” lol.
      I didn’t realize how long it had been for you…any plans of going back?

      • retrolovephotography says:

        We’re going to stay in Paris for 2 days in July. Just a quick stop before going on the Cook family cruise!
        Saucisson and rillettes, here I come! 🙂

      • “The Cook Family Cruise”…hehe Is it going to your first time? Can’t remember? What is the cruise like?

      • retrolovephotography says:

        Yep, first cruise! The boat is leaving from Stockholm and then it stops somewhere in Estonia I believe, St Petersburg, Kiel Germany, and finishes in Southampton or something like that…
        I’ll email you tomorrow (for realsies). I’m off work tomorrow so no excuses, haha.

  5. I just had to drop a quick word here.. parce que ton post m’a beaucoup touché. You are missed ma Débo. On va te faire ta fête en France 🙂 Love you xx

  6. Oh, wow….loads! (but not enough to move back…same for you??)
    I kinda agree with you on the last point too. I do miss the old me BUT the old me was without my daughter…my life was so different in the UK without a child and a partner. Life in the UK with these things isn’t the same. I’m going back tomorrow without my little monster and I will do everything I used to do….catch up with friends, drink coffee/wine, shop…and I will love it. I will however be desperate to get back to France to be with my family. My old life is nice to come in and out of but not good enough to want to stay. Love this post. Thank you.

    • I am glad you enjoyed it Louise. I feel exactly the same…I miss the old me but my new me has a husband and a baby girl I wouldn’t trade for. So definitely not enough to move back either…! I am looking forward to going back this summer though ! I am also going to go to London for a short visit (shopping, cafe, clubbing). I am pretty excited!

      What do you think of French fashion? I am asking because I want a British perspective ! Where about in the UK are you from?
      What are your favorite shops?

  7. Hi – Such an evocative post. I’m a British ex-pat living in the US BUT I’m also a Francophile having studied and lived in France for 4 years. In fact I left France for the US. I too feel pangs of homesickness for France, the language, the lifestyle, the visual landscape. I maintain strong friendships with my French friends, I listen to the music I loved back then (particularly Cabrel) and like you, I have watched Amelie frequently. I penned my own blog post about missing France just a few weeks ago – si tu veux le lire, tu le trouveras ici: https://samanthamcgarry.wordpress.com/2012/02/08/missing-france/

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