The 6 Signs You’ve Been Away From Home Too Long

The 6 Signs You’ve Been Away From Home Too Long


I’m currently sat typing this article at a long wooden kitchen table with a bunch of sunflowers next to me.

In front is a set of large glass doors that open out onto a delicious green lawn adorned with more pot plants and colourful flowers than you can imagine.

And beyond that, the trees of a fruit orchard, just starting its summer fruit-bearing season, sway slowly in the slight breeze.

Yes there’s only one place in the world I could be sat with these surrounds and that’s right back at my parent’s house, in Jersey – a small island off the south coast of the UK.

It’s over 2 years since I last come back here from Australia – a result of many things including visa shenanigans, financial considerations and other travel commitments.

Unlike many people, I don’t really get homesick. So, when I’m away, the thought of home never bothers me.

When I do come home however and enjoy the good company of old friends and family, it always prompts me into thinking I should make the trip often.

Somehow it seems I miss home more when I’m actually here!

Like being in this place reminds me directly of all the things I love about it – stuff that somehow slips to the back of my mind when I’m trotting around the globe.

After all, this is only the 2nd time in 4 years I’ve made it home!

So if, like me, the thoughts of home sit fondly, but sometimes distantly in your mind, perhaps it’s time to have a read of this … the 6 signs you’ve been away from home too long!

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#1 Your Friends Have Babies You’ve Never Met

Georgia, Kazbegi, Wildflowers

This is a classic for many people in my age bracket (32!) and last time I came home there were 2 babies I hadn’t met.

This time there were 3 more, plus the 2 I’d met last time who have of course since turned from helpless tiny things in blankets into real live talking, walking, hilarious human beings!

Missing your friends is one thing when you’re away, but missing those massive milestones in their lives like weddings and children being born, can be really hard.

It’s those sort of big things that can create distance between friends, even those you’ve had for a long time.

So if some of your friends have had babies you’ve never met and they are now a couple of years old (as in my case) it could definitely be a sign to head home soon!


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#2 People Have No Idea Where You’ve Arrived From

Samoa, Upulo Beach, Me

This is a classic! A scary classic, but nevertheless a classic!

This time I came home it wasn’t so bad, because everyone knows I’ve been in Australia – it’s a country most have heard of it, it’s easy to remember and I’ve pretty much been based there for 4 years.

That being said, Australia is a big country and I’ve been moving around a lot. As such, a lot of people at home really have no idea whereabouts in Australia I’ve arrived from!

If I say Fremantle to them, it means nothing. If I say Perth to them, it still means nothing!

I could just as easily say I’ve arriven from Brisbane or Sydney or Melbourne – even though all those places are at least a 4 hour flight away from Fremantle or Perth!

This is a bit like flying in from Europe and people not recognising the difference between you having arrived from Russia or the UK!

Essentially Western Australia – where Fremantle and Perth are located – is like another country to the east coast, but nobody who hasn’t been there gets that!

But at least people know I’ve come over from Australia.

When I flew back home after 2 years in Latin America people had literally no idea where I’d been.

Saying the words Nicaragua and Guatemala to them only drew further puzzled looks, so I gave up!

If people have no idea where you are or where you’ve been, it may well be a sign that it’s time to touch base again!


#3 No One Knows If You’re Coming or Going

The beautiful question I’ve been asked time and time again since I got home a week ago is, “how long are you here for?”

This is lovely because it suggests people want to know how much longer they are going to see me for.

But it’s also kind of funny, because it suggests people at home really have no idea whether I’m coming or going.

In their defence this really has been the pattern over the last 10 years, whereby most people at home are working and living fairly settled lives, while I just randomly turn up only to duck in and out of their lives often disappearing for years at a time.

As such, people at home rarely know whether I’m coming, going and how long for!

If people are failing to keep track of your life and whether you’re sticking around or heading off again, this could definitely be a sign you’ve been away from home too long.


#4 Everyone is Clueless About Your Life

This one kind of links to the above point, but rather than just not knowing whether you’re coming or going, you may have been away from home too long if people also have no broader idea about what the heck you’re doing, in life, at all!

For me, this has definitely rung true recently, with many people at home totally unclear about what I’m doing for work, whether I’ve got a job in Australia, whether I’m settling down in Australia, whether I have some sort of house in Australia, what my visa situation is and where my boyfriend is!

And I can hardly blame them!

It’s complicated enough for me to remember all these things, let alone someone else too!

But perhaps if people don’t even know the basics about your life and where you’re heading with it, it might be time to head home and touch base a bit!


#5 You’ve Forgotten the Basics

This can be a hard one to explain to people who haven’t been away from home from a long time, but getting back to the place you grew up and forgetting some of the basic information about how life functions there can be highly disconcerting.

It can also be a clear sign you’ve been away too long!

Basics include driving on the correct side of the road, where you put the toilet paper (bin or bowl), what the coin denominations are and how much a loaf of bread roughly costs.

Just being back home for a week has already illuminated some pretty hilarious basic blanks in my memory.

For example, I’ve forgotten what some Jersey road signs mean!

I’ve been amazed you can buy alcohol in supermarkets (in Australia it’s only for sale within designated bottle shops).

I drew a blank when someone started talking about a PDQ machine (they are called Eftpos machines in Oz).

I was surprised and confused when someone said the total cost for a bag of items was 6.48 (in Australia everything is rounded up or down to the nearest 5 cents i.e. 1 and 2 cent pieces don’t exist).

I was distraught to learn the Guardian newspaper had gone out of print.

I was truly saddened to find that almond/coconut milk coffees are definitely not a regular sighting on a coffee shop menu!

I genuinely have no idea whether the things I’m buying are expensive or a good deal aka I have literally no clue what a pound is really worth these days!


#6 People Think Your Accent Has Changed

Yup definitely been away too long when people say you have an Australian accent!

Enough said!

Trust me!

So those are my 6 signs I’ve been away from home too long!

Anyone else hearing me?

Love a show of virtual hands here people!


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