When You Move Away, Far Away

It was all innocent enough.

I had just finished my DVRd episode of Downton Abbey when a commercial came on for Antiques Roadshow, the host standing in a green valley, mountains rising up behind him.

eugene oregon

It hit me like a punch in the gut: he’s in Oregon.

I can’t help it, the unexpected sight of home still brings tears to my eyes every. time.

The first time I saw Ndamukong Suh’s Chrysler commercial featuring his hometown of Portland, I totally broke down.

And a couple of weeks ago, I finally succumbed to my curiosity and watched a few episodes of the comedy sketch show Portlandia. (verdict: hilariously on point) Even then, the tears flowed.

We moved away from Oregon in November 2007, and I wonder to myself all the time: will I ever not miss it desperately? Will it ever not feel like an open wound when I see unexpected images from there, or see an Oregon license plate amid a see of Texans? Or what about when I meet someone else here who lived there? Will it ever not feel like reaching an oasis in a desert?

As grown ups we have to make grown up decisions, and sometimes those decisions take us far away from home. I’m just hoping that some day the ache will ease up a little and that I won’t be living so often with my heart in two places.

What about you: have you ever felt this homesick? How did you (or do you?) handle it?


  • The hubs & I moved to Tucson, Arizona from Michigan after we got married. Talk about a 180. Instead of lakes, there were mountains. The only fix we could get was driving into the wooded mountains to see the cacti turn into pine trees, like Northern Michigan — which looks a bit like the picture you posted! We only lived in AZ for 3 years, and moved back to MI before we had kids. But get this — we miss AZ quite a bit now. The mountains & surprisingly, the people. I’m not familiar with TX at all, but my advice to you would be to find a place that feels like home — whether it’s a restaurant, a park, whatever… and go there on a regular basis. I know it can’t be easy to meet people with children attached to you, but I would get very homesick if I was stuck in our apartment all day. Drive around and explore as much as you can — that helped us get over the home-sickness as well. Exploring a new place can be fun! Good luck, and know you are *not* alone. 

    • Kelli, I *really* appreciate your comment here. It definitely helped me today. Thank you for the encouragement and advice!

  • I so needed this and the comment from Kelli MW. I’m having a rough day myself of missing old friends and feeling like I don’t quite have any to run to here. Here’s my story: I grew up in Southern California. At the age of 21, moved to Illinois. Lived in three separate cities of Illinois. Got married and had both my boys there. At age 31 moved to Pennsylvania. At age 33, moved to Colorado. And I just turned 34. There are a lot of things I don’t miss about CA, but I know that I miss the people. Especially my mom. That’s the same problem with IL and PA. I just really miss the people that made me happy there. Hopefully this is the last move because I’m finally starting to make friends again and I’m tired of missing people.
    If I watch “The Big Bang Theory” my heart skips a beat when I hear the word Pasadena. Glad to know I’m not the only one who gets sentimental and a little jealous while watching TV. 😉 We just watched “Abduction” set in Pittsburgh and I just really wanted to be there again. But I know it’s not the town itself, it’s all the awesome people that I never thought I’d meet later in life, and now I just can’t stand to be away from them.
    I have faith that I will again meet people that I’d miss terribly if I had to leave this place. Kelli above sparked so much thought for me. I’ve been huddled up in this house day in and day out. I really need to get out and explore. Thanks for this. 🙂

    • I totally agree about the comment from Kelli – I’m glad she left it, since it helped both you *and* me! I’m sorry you’re struggling, too, with feeling “out of place.” I hope that both of us can find a happy medium and really learn to love wherever it is that we live!

  • Jennelsonlane

    That’s how I feel about NYC.  For a while after we moved, I couldn’t watch Law and Order, lest I end up a weepy mess, sitting too close to the tv, searching for some landmark I recognized.  I miss it so, so much. It’s funny–in college and even grad school, I was one of the few theatre people who had no desire to ever live in NYC. Then I went there once and couldn’t stay away. It will always be home. I still get very teary-eyed when I stumble across certain tv shows, pictures in magazines or even “Big Apple” pins on Pinterest.  I’m long overdue for a trip.

    • I honestly thought maybe I was the only person who teared up when seeing images of “home” on tv or in movies! Not that I’m glad you do, too, but it feels nice to know I’m not alone. 🙂 My brother-in-law is a true blue NYC-er but now they’re living in a suburb of San Francisco. He’s having a tough time. They travel back to NYC often because he has to get his “fix,” I think (they both do, really). I know he would totally identify with your pain. 😉