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Well, I finally did it. I booked a ticket home. I fly from London to New York City on May 11, and I will take the bus to Boston a few days after that.
After nearly six months on the road, I’ve fallen in love with my new vagabonding life — a life rich in time and possibilities, a life lived in a place that makes me happy.
The big confession?
I still don’t miss home.
I feel horrible, but I don’t even miss it a little bit. As my homecoming date approaches, I find myself looking forward to seeing my family and friends — but that’s about it. I’d much prefer they come here.
Is there anything I’m supposed to be missing? Sure, I occasionally desire attentive restaurant service or deodorant that doesn’t bleach your armpits, but beyond that?
I turned, as I often do, to my fellow travel bloggers to find the answers. Here’s what a few of them had to say:
Poi from No Place to Be misses lots of British condiments. Brown sauce and the like. I will restrain myself from making a joke about British food, and say that while I’d love to eat yellow mustard with a spoon, I actually spent one late night in Sihanoukville doing exactly that. (My Dutch friend was impressed. “THIS GIRL WATCHES FOOTBALL AND EATS PLAIN MUSTARD OUT OF A CAN!“)
Stephanie from Twenty-Something Travel misses the seasons. Considering that Boston had one of its worst winters this year, and has been frozen for the past six months, I don’t miss the seasons of home whatsoever!! I’ve always been a summer girl, and it’s been heaven having it year-round, save a chilly ten days in northern Vietnam.
The Globetrotter Girls miss doing their own laundry. I’m actually pleased with the work the laundry ladies do around here, and for so cheap! I usually spend around a dollar, whereas it cost me $3.50 per load in my apartment in Boston. Plus detergent. Plus dryer sheets. And I had to do it myself. If the machine were functioning that day.
Nomadic Matt misses Taco Bell. Actually, I can get behind that one. I know it’s made of rat intestines and God knows what else, but TACO BELL IS SO DAMN GOOD.
Actually, yes. I do miss food. Not enough to make me wish I was home in America, but I do get the occasional hunger pang for the following items:
Mexican food more than anything else. I’m crazy about Mexican food, and you can’t find anything good outside North America.
Italian food. Though I’ve been to a few good Italian places here (Cosmo’s in Koh Phi Phi, Da Fernando in Nha Trang, La Taverna in Mui Ne), I miss my mom’s Italian food in particular.
CHEESE. Fresh mozzarella with tomatoes and basil, extra sharp cheddar infused with horseradish, crumbly chunks of feta eaten with a spoon, an offensively stinky slice of roquefort…
And my favorite foods from Boston. The hot lobster roll with butter and Katama Bay oysters from Neptune Oyster, pizza from Santarpio’s, giant steak burritos from the Herrera’s street cart in Downtown Crossing, cheesecake and cannolis from Modern Pastry, clam chowdah from Legal Sea Foods, my favorite grilled cheese and avocado on multi-grain bread from The Otherside Cafe…
I don’t want this post to make me sound like a snob who thinks that America is so passe and the rest of the world does it so much better. That’s not true at all.
Come to think of it, there are a lot of things I miss about home — fast WiFi, watching SNL on Hulu, good makeup and skincare products, 24-hour stores, cheap and palatable red wine, not having to carry around toilet paper everywhere…
But I can live easily without any of those things.
I guess I know what this means. In so many respects, life in Southeast Asia is preferable to life in Massachusetts — far more so than I expected. In terms of weather, lifestyle, and cost of living, Southeast Asia, frankly, destroys Massachusetts.
But that’s another post for another time.
For now, know this: Happiness does not come from everyday conveniences. Happiness comes from living the life of your dreams.