Surviving A Move: Going Home Again

One of the strangest phenomenon¬†about moving happens when we go “back home”.

First of all, we get all confused and emotional about the word “home”. We don’t know how to use it anymore. We refer to the place we used to live as “home” and tell people, we’re going “back home.” But then you catch yourself calling a whole new place, “home”.

It feels like all kinds of contradictory things at the same time.Feeling at home in a new place is the whole point. It feels good and comfortable. It’s also sad because you can’t fully embrace a new place without letting go, at least a bit, of your former home. There is no way to be fully invested in more than one home.

I love Tennessee. This is home for us, but it still feels bittersweet sometimes. I feel like it’s a betrayal to all the good things we had in Minnesota. There were and are dear friends and family and so many wonderful milestones there. I don’t foresee us moving back to Minnesota because we love it here. Why does that make me sad?

Can you go home again?

Sure, you can go home again, but life didn’t stop while you were gone. It can be so good to be back in a familiar place. It can also be disappointing if you’re not careful. You’re not the same person. The people you love in your former hometown have changed too. That’s the nature of life. It’s healthy and natural. It can also be really difficult if you aren’t expecting it.

Give yourself time to fall in love/like with your new home before comparing it to what you loved about your previous one.

You aren’t asking for my advice, but if you were, I would advise against going “back home” for every weekend and holiday break. The whole idea of successfully navigating a move is that you plant roots in your new community. If your weekends are filled with trips “back home” or guests from “back home” more than not, you don’t give yourself a chance for the roots to grow. Your new home doesn’t stand a chance of stacking up to your old one¬†if you don’t give it a fair shake.

Invest it in like a fragile relationship.


Expect it to be weird.

You know how it feels when you see someone you used to be close to, but drifted apart from? It’s awkward. That’s a little of what it’s like to go back. If you have small kids, soon going “back home” will be less and less meaningful to them.

We love to make our trek to Minnesota every year. We enjoy our time there. It just feels different.

Coming back to your new home is nice.

I still remember the first time we left Tennessee and came back. Crossing the border from Kentucky to Tennessee was a milestone. We cheered. It was one of the first clues that this was becoming “home” for us.

Your turn. If you’ve moved, what was it like to go “back home”? and did it help you realize your new place was “home”?

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