Some of us feel an irresistible pull to go out and discover the world. There are truly no words to describe how incredible it is to be fully immersed in an entirely foreign culture. But home is where the heart is, and sooner or later, no matter how much fun and growth we experience, we begin to miss the place(s) we know best.
Here are 6 things all travelers miss when traveling abroad.
I’m a big time advocate of learning as much of a country’s language before arrogantly sauntering into it. I think it shows respect and appreciation for a culture and people that are not your own. That being said, being understood on the first try every time you speak is refreshing after a long time on the road. The ability to understand and laugh at jokes immediately without asking for a translation makes my heart skip a beat.
The funny and weird situations that happen when things get lost in translation are priceless, but then again, so is understanding what’s being said to you at all times.
2. Hometown Beauty
I rant and rave about how beautiful the rest of the world is on this blog all the time. That sentiment has not changed in the least. But seeing what the world has to offer inevitably causes people to compare wherever they are to wherever they’re from. When they do, they think about all of the sites they may have undervalued right in their own backyard.
The upside to this is, when they return, they have a newfound appreciation for the place they call home. I rediscovered Montreal (and Quebec) in a major way when I went back home after more than a year of continuous travel.
3. Loved Ones
This may not apply to everyone for a wide variety of reasons. But if you aren’t running away from your friends and family, if you have loved ones who care for you with whom you’ve formed strong bonds and lasting memories, if you aren’t a sociopath who lacks the ability to experience real emotion, sooner or later, you’ll miss your loved ones dearly.
The heart wants what the heart wants, and sometimes it’s the people it’s always known. Sure, you’ll make new friends and maybe even add to your family. But nothing replaces the ones who have been there for you from the start.
4. Seasonal Change
This applies to some travelers more than others. If you come from a country with distinct differences in the seasons (like me, oh Canada), you know how exciting (or depressing) it can be when the seasons shift. In countries that don’t have much temperature variation year round, the promise of cooler, longer, hotter or colder days to come is lost. Personally, I love the thought of switching up my wardrobe every now and then, especially in the fall. People tend to appreciate certain seasons a bit more because they know they won’t last long!
5. Space, The Personal Frontier
As extroverted, full of life and social as I am, I’m an introvert at heart. I’m big on space. I love public spaces like parks and beaches. I think the concept of space as it relates to other planets holds the secret to the continuation of the human race. Hell, I even enjoy the sound of tapping the space bar on my MacBook Pro. But do you want to know what my favourite kind of space is? It’s personal space!
A seasoned traveler will tell you, personal space flat out doesn’t exist in some cultures. If you find yourself in a densely populated region of the world, you’ll sometimes find yourself remembering the good old days when you could walk down the street without having people sneezing, yawning, spitting, smelling or whatever else all around you.
6. Stability And Routine
Most people travel to combat the humdrum of an overly predictable life, a monotonous job and a boring routine. And there’s nothing quite like waking up every day and literally not being sure of where you are on the globe. But a sense of normalcy is often lacking for those who are always on the go. Would I take a boring life over a life of travel? Absolutely not. Yet, every now and then, it feels good to know exactly what to expect out of life.