I moved to Austin from Ellicott City, MD about a year ago for graduate school. The only people I knew in Austin were the other students I had met when I visited during the prospective student weekend. Although the homesickness wasn't too bad during the first few weeks, it got progressively worse as the stress of grad school started to build and as I got more and more frustrated with the stark differences between the two places.
I am very connected to my surroundings. In Maryland, I love the trees, the birds, the rolling hills and winding roads, the farm land, and the Chesapeake. In Austin, the trees aren't tall like they are on the east coast. The sky seems so much larger here in Austin and that isn't necessarily a good thing. There are no farms nearby, the birds are different, the closest thing to water is the Colorado River. Also, the people drive differently in Austin, and do so in an aggravating way.
The homesickness started to become rather severe right when I was in the airport on my way back to Austin from my winter break at home. I was about to pass through security and I just started crying. I didn't want to go back. I wanted to stay in Maryland, my Maryland. A TSA agent gave me a hug and a tissue. That helped me at least get to my seat on the plane before I started crying again as we flew over the Appalachians. During the semester in Austin, I actually had to see a counselor from my university because the homesickness and stress was affecting my work.
I moved to Austin in August of 2012. It took me until the middle of March 2013, during my spring break, before I finally started being okay with living in Texas. I only feel that way because I took a simple walk downtown. One day, during the South by Southwest festival, I walked through downtown Austin, over to a convention center on the other side of the Colorado. I think being able to see the scenery of city and really take it in helped me overcome my homesickness. For me, skyscrapers may now be the new tall east coast tree. It is now June and I just got back in Austin after being away for a month. This time, no tears were shed at the airport or on the plane, although I can't say that there weren't any as I write this.
I still love Maryland and I will always be a Marylander at heart, but I think even though I am still homesick for the east coast, it is not enough for me to not like the city of Austin, Texas.