Why It’s Normal To Long For Places You Didn’t Live For Long

We've all lived somewhere for a short period of time that made a huge impact on us. It's normal to miss somewhere you didn't live for long and here's why.

We’ve all lived somewhere for a short period of time, whether it’s a few months or just a year or two, and sometimes that place stays with us for a long time after we’ve left. For me, that place is Australia. Despite the fact we were only there for a year, it holds a special place in my heart and I still partially think of it as home. I spend some days heartbroken that I’m not still living there, even though we’ve been away now for eight months, and somedays all I want is to just go back and I feel like a part of me is missing not being there anymore.

At first, I kept thinking I was crazy. How could I miss somewhere I’d only lived one year? Sure, the place felt like home, but I’ve lived in lots of places over the years from where I group up to where I went to university to the subsequent three countries I’ve lived since. I’ve never missed anywhere as much as I missed Australia.

It’s a weird feeling to miss somewhere that you didn’t live for long, and it can be hard too because people don’t understand. I’ve received a lot of confusion, and sometimes judgement, from some people because to them a year is nothing and I couldn’t possibly have become attached in such a short period of time. But this couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s normal to long for and feel attached to places you didn’t live long. Why? Because it meant something to you.

You know how they say age is only a number? The same is true for somewhere you’ve lived. It doesn’t matter if it was only for a few months, the time you were there is irrelevant. It’s how you spent your time there. The relationships you made, the venues you frequented, the way you learned and experienced your host city or temporary home.

P1000070

Melbourne was my home. I lived there, I worked there, I made friends there, I had my “regulars” there, I had a routine there. And that’s why it’s normal to long for places you didn’t live for long. It doesn’t matter the number of years you live somewhere, because it can still make an impact on you. Anywhere you have the opportunity to put down roots and make friends and build a life is somewhere you’re going to miss like crazy when you leave. That’s just a fact of life, and there’s nothing wrong with it.

What makes things harder when you leave somewhere you didn’t live for long, is you cling to those positive memories and its very easy to look at your life there through rose-tinted glasses. I’ve done it countless of times since leaving Melbourne. When we first arrived things were rough. I wasn’t finding a job, I didn’t have any friends, Michael was working and to be honest, I felt pretty miserable. But then I found a job, I made friends, I started volunteering with people I loved and suddenly things started to fall into place. It’s these moments and feelings I remember, not the roughness of arriving with no jobs and nowhere to live and then feeling lonely and miserable. So I know part of when I look back is glorifying how I felt, but that doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t feel that way.

IMG_8041

I’m always going to love Melbourne. It’s a beautiful city and was the first place I ever truly felt was “home” other than where I grew up. I grew as a person there, I experienced different things than I ever would have in the US there, and that’s what makes it so special. The same goes for any city or country you’re living in; it will always be a different experience and you’ll never be able to replicate those feelings or experiences.

This isn’t meant to be a depressing post that leaves you crying and sad for the places you’ve left behind. Instead, know that you’re not alone and you are justified in missing a place that was your home, that you loved. And if you need to look through photos and drink wine and have a cry, that’s totally ok. No shame, no judgement, it happens. The world is becoming increasingly connected; it’s not saying goodbye, it’s just a see you later.

IMG_9358

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestEmail this to someoneShare on StumbleUponShare on Google+Share on RedditShare on LinkedInShare on Tumblr

You may also like

  • Lindsay Katherine

    I’m so glad you have those sweet sentiments of Australia being your home. My friend set out to live there for a year but came back in 6 months; I think even with her short time she holds these same feelings.

    • That’s great, Lindsay! It was such a great place and it’s easy to make it feel like home 🙂

  • Theresa

    I totally agree, I lived abroad for a short while and it made a huge impact!

    • Same here, Theresa! I think it both depends on the experiences you had there, but also the point of your life you’re there– that can make a huge difference too.

  • YES! I finished my college degree in 2 1/2 years and I always long for Boston and to move back there!

    • I totally get that, Katie!! After I left my college town I missed it so much!

  • I have a lot of friends from Melbourne, such a beautiful area!

    • It really is, Leah! It will always have a special place in my heart!

  • I’ve only lived in one town my entire life and I find myself longing for my childhood home a lot. Even though i’ve never lived anywhere for a short amount of time I can see your view. It’s definitely about the memories you made there. Maybe you can plan a vacation back!

    • Absolutely, Leslie! And I actually have a trip planned there in November and I’m SO excited.

  • It’s very true! There are always special little ties to places even if we only had a brief encounter with it. I’m homesick for places I only had short trips too… I so much want to go back.

    • Same here, Angie! There are tons of places I go visit and think, “This place is AWESOME, I have to come back.” Some places just hit us like that.

  • This is so relatable! I feel the same way about living in Dallas!

    • I’m so glad it was, Rachel! I think a lot of people feel that way about places.

  • It’s a little different, but I love the tiny town my college was in. I lived there for about 5 years, yes, but most of the time was spent in a dorm so it didn’t feel like I lived there…if that makes sense. haha.

    • Oh that makes total sense, Kristin!! I lived in a dorm for two of the four years I was in college and until I moved off campus I didn’t really feel like I lived there either!

  • I lived in a small town for a few months after my husband and I married. I moved there for him but shortly after our wedding we moved back to my hometown. I still kind of miss that place but I think it has more to do with not feeling like I really got to know the area more than anything else.

  • I actually haven’t really had this experience since I never lived anywhere for a short period of time but I am sure I will experience this in the future.
    xoxo, Jenny

  • Kate

    I miss the place my husband and I lived for a year when we were first married. It was just us with out kids and we had so much fun every weekend. Not that I don’t love having kids, we just had so much fun there.

  • This is such a relatable read! Thanks for sharing this. It’s totally resonating with me!

  • Hey Hannah! I traveled through Australia for just 1 month. I saw Sydney, the rainforest, the Outback, the Great Barrier Reef, the Barossa Valley, the Blue Mountains and Kangaroo Island. Since this trip I´m in Love with Australia and I really miss it. Next time I want to see Western Australia and of course Melbourne. Greetings from Germany! Sabine

  • Pingback: How To Wear Your Travels: Olive Yew Jewelry - Universal Jetsetters()

  • Pingback: 20 Things To Know Before Visiting Australia - Universal Jetsetters()