It’s hopefully apparent by now that we adore traveling and experiencing other cultures across the world. At some point though, that occasional bout of homesickness will sneak up on you – no matter how “good” of a traveler you are or how long you’ve been gone for. We came up with this list in our heads while we recently spent three months living in Prague. Although we were having the time of our lives, we sometimes found ourselves wistfully thinking about what we left behind.
1. The variety of food
We’re both from Texas, so Tex-Mex food runs through our veins. Even though we’ve found Tex-Mex in random places like Voss, Norway, it doesn’t even begin to compare to the real deal. In addition to that though, you can often find Chinese, Thai, Italian, Indian, South American and terrible fast food choices all in the same city. It becomes tiresome and boring eating a variation of meat and potatoes every day, simply because that’s the cultural norm (we’re looking at you Czech Republic!). That’s not to say other areas of the world don’t have variations in food, but the options seem much more limited than they do in the US.
2. The Imperial System
Yes, the Metric System makes more sense. I’ve heard that the U.S. has tried changing over to Metric in the past, but it’s never happened, probably because it would be one heck of an undertaking. Because of this, we’ve grown up knowing the Imperial System. The problem is, we are literally one of three countries in the world that still uses this system, along with (of all places) Myanmar and Liberia. So when visiting countries besides those two we basically have to relearn how to read the weather, cooking temperatures, road speeds and baking measurements. As if we needed more of an excuse to continue eating at restaurants instead of cooking…
3. Things being comfortable and familiar
Sometimes we just miss being able to go to Target to get all of our daily needs. Or being able to read and speak to other people easily. This one is also on our other list, “5 Things We DON’T Miss About America While Traveling.” I guess it’s kind of a grass-is-greener scenario. Humans are creatures of habit – we all know that. It can be comforting knowing where you’ll be laying your head at night, where you’ll be going to work all week, and having familiar foods available. Being at home, most of us (hopefully) get all of these things without too many obstacles.
4. Our church communities
It may be a bit taboo to discuss something so personal on a site such as this, but hey, it’s our site and we aren’t ashamed! We’re both Christians (don’t worry, we don’t like Westboro) and we both belong to very good church communities back home. There’s just something about the positive atmosphere and inspiring messages that reminds us what is important in life and helps to keep our heads on straight.
5. Free things
Free water, free ketchup packets, free soft-serve ice cream (thank God for Jason’s Deli)…all things we take for granted while home. We were disappointed in Europe when restaurants would charge for ketchup. Equally upsetting is when we’d ask for some refreshing H2O, expecting a free glass of ice water, and a bottle of sparkling water (not refreshing) more expensive than beer would be delivered. We’ve since learned that you can ask for free tap water in most places, but you definitely need to be specific!
And there you have it. That’s our list of what we miss the most about America when traveling or living abroad. While these things aren’t enough to keep us home for good, they are what we most look forward to when we come back to the US (besides our family and friends of course!) Tell us below in the comments section the things that you miss the most about your home country when you’re traveling or living elsewhere!
Jimmie & Shelly