What to Do When You Feel Homesick

It’s bound to happen. One minute, you’re loving New York to death and couldn’t imagine living anywhere else. The next, a Facebook post of a faraway friend’s birthday dinner or a Crowded House song on a party playlist sends you into a spiral—suddenly all you want is sun, sand and a Bunnings’ sausage sizzle and you’re wondering what to do when you feel homesick.

As an expat, being homesick now and then is to be expected. We’re a long way from home, and missing Australian friends, family and culture is totally normal.

Here are some things you can do in New York when you feel homesick:

Grab a coffee at an Aussie coffee shop
The coffee you get from the bagel shop down the street is just… fine. But it’s worth it to treat yourself to a properly made latte from an Aussie who knows their way around an espresso machine. Firm favorites for a Melbourne-style caffeine hit include Little Collins (Midtown East), Sweatshop (Williamsburg), Two Hands (Little Italy/TriBeCa), and Bluestone Lane cafes (all over the place). For more recommendations, check out our AWNY guide to Australian coffee shops in NYC.

lonely woman sitting by window looking out

Listen to an Aussie podcast
Podcast fever has hit Down Under, and there are some stellar offerings that will keep you in the loop on what’s going on back home. Chats 10, Looks 3 from ABC journos Annabel Crabb and Leigh Sales is fantastic. And, of course, you can’t go past Hamish & Andy. Aussie women’s media network, Mamamia, has several podcasts, including The Quicky: to keep you up to date with current events in Oz, Outloud: to find out what Aussie women are talking about, and Lady Startup: to get inspired by Australian women taking the leap to launch their own business.

Find a beach
For those who grew up or lived on the coast, there’s something about being near the waves. While American beaches will always fall short of our sparkling white sand and aquamarine vistas, sometimes just a hit of fresh salty air and the sound of the ocean can help a lot.

Have a roast dinner
When was the last time you had a good old Sunday roast? You could make it yourself… or you could gather some friends and go out. There are some great British pubs and restaurants that cater to Commonwealth tastes (and you might just score a Yorkshire pudding). Try The Churchill, Tea & Sympathy, or The Shakespeare in The William Hotel.

Enjoy a drink and meal at an Aussie bar or restaurant
Whether it’s an Aussie burger with the lot that you’re hankering for or a Coopers Pale Ale, the familiarity of food and drink goes a lot way to making you feel at home. There are plenty of Australian and New Zealand restaurants and bars around NYC and Jersey City, that offer all types of cuisine and of course a friendly atmosphere.

Australian women wearing Statue of Liberty crowns on a New York rooftop at The Met by Central Park

Go to an AWNY or American Australian Association event
Know what’s better than being alone while you miss Australia? Being around other Australians! Having a good community around you goes a long way in helping to make a new city a home. It’s also great to be able to chat to people who understand your accent and your humour (with a u) and won’t snigger when you say the word “thongs”.

And finally – be thankful that we live in the age of FaceTime/Viber/WhatsApp and can call our loved ones back in Australia for free whenever we feel want!

What are you favorite pick-me-ups when you feel homesick in New York? Let us know in the comments below:

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