Written by Taryn Silver
Living in New York is exciting. It’s full of ups and downs. And there’s nothing quite like it. You can’t image that someday you’ll be wondering, “when will it be time to go home?”.
I always tell friends that living in New York is like opening a Pandora’s box of excitement and adventure. Once you open it, you can’t close it. Living in America made me appreciate that despite the wonders of technology, Australia is still quite isolated.
Over the Summer I had a coffee with a friend, and she said that she felt she was ready to come home. Then Melbourne was named the most livable city in the world yet again. Americans are always asking me, “Why would you come here? I’d love to live in Australia, it’s so beautiful.” So I asked myself, would I ever be ready to come home? Should I go home? Here are three things to consider when you’re asking yourself, “when will it be time to go home?”.
#1 Missing out on major life events
Living overseas means missing out on the big life events of your friends. A couple of years ago I Skyped into my cousin’s wedding, we’re the same age and had grown up together. While it felt like I was there, it wasn’t quite the same. I wasn’t in any of the pictures and the weeks leading up to the wedding. I kept on dreaming that I would arrive last minute and surprise everyone. One of my best friend’s is engaged, and I know there’s a good chance I’ll miss her wedding too.
#2 It’s a myth that “Nothing changes”
One of my favorite haunts on the Upper West Side is Earth Cafe, they serve Toby’s Estate coffee, and more often than not I bump into Aussies looking for decent coffee. One expat, I bumped into had just returned from a visit home. I asked about her experience and she said, “nothing changes.” But things do change back home, and sometimes in a sad way. The question is, do you want to be 22 hours away? My grandparents have aged rapidly this year, and it’s been hard not being able to lend a hand when I can. I worry that one day my parents could need me to be there.
#3 When it’s no longer fun anymore
Moving to America with very little family means giving up my well-established support systems and networks. That was abundantly clear when, as an exchange student, I found myself alone in the hospital. But right now New York is still fun. I’m meeting new people all the time and seeing more theatre than I ever did in Melbourne. Plus, I’ve just been home for Christmas! But it’s also hard, and I’ve always told myself that if it isn’t fun any more than maybe its time to come home.
I’m always flexible to reassessing my situation as it changes. Right now I just try to live every day, one day at a time. It’s very easy to get caught up in the what if‘s. And when that happens I remember that none of us really know where we’ll be in a year – I certainly never dreamed of coming to and living in New York City, and yet here I am…
About the author
Taryn Silver lived in New York for three and a half years. During her time in New York, Taryn graduated from Columbia University with an M.S in Strategic Communication and worked in PR. In 2018, Taryn returned to Melbourne and now works as an Account Manager in investor relations at WE Buchan. Taryn is also a classically trained Soprano with a Bachelor of Music from the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music and still loves sharing her passion for music with anyone and everyone. Connect with Taryn on Twitter @vegemitecheese or on her website www.vegemitecheeseburger.com a place where Aussie and American culture come together.
Dear Tarley – what a great post by Taryn Silver and one which I guess has surfaced in many on and off!
The idea of considering this decision of “going home” is one that is often fraught with lots of uncertainty – and how do we live with this?!
“Missing out on major events” – this never goes away and doesn’t matter how long you’re here. “Nothing changes” – most of all, in being away, gaining different life experiences and maturing in this, we change. And our friends and family back in our home country change also in our absence. I imagine that when the “nothing changes” statement comes, feelings of homesickness and being unsettled, that a yearning for all things familiar, emerge. And when being away “is no longer fun” perhaps this could be one of the driving forces in returning home. Whatever happens, deep within you and in going through your decision-making process, you will know when it’s right for you to go.
In returning home, “Re-Entry Shock” may surface when landing on our fair shores. How do we re-fit into our “home” culture that was once well known to us? How do we re-establish a “new” and regular life, knowing that you have changed so much as others will have? And what about grieving for the friends and life you’ve left behind in NYC? Mm – another Emotional Transition! Who would’ve thought – having an Emotional Transition on your arrival to New York AND on your re-entry into Australia!!!
It has provoked lots of thoughts and musings in me as I go about my “regular” life in NYC. And I’m here to stay! And I recognize the unsettling nature of your statement – “When will it be time to go home?”
Thanks Taryn for your thoughts and Tarley for posting.
Susie Lang Phone: (917) 494 3922 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.susielangphoto.com http://www.susielangcounseling.com
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