The road is filled with hotels, apartments, trains, planes, and suitcases. Our lives are richer because of all our experiences; swimming off the coast of Colombia, hiking in Bali, and snowboarding in Japan are all once-in-a-lifetime experiences, but time away from home will inevitably cause you to be homesick at some point.  Whenever we’re homesick there are some conveniences that we miss most. One question we get all the time is:

“What do you miss most while on the road?”

Before we left we thought we would miss an endless list of items; our cars, our clothes, our kitchen.  It’s common to think you’ll need your lucky jeans, comfy pajamas, and 50″ plasma to stay “comfortable while on the road.” In reality, once you land in a foreign country, your expectations change drastically. The need for fancy clothes, comfort food, and other western “things” is eliminated. Almost completely – no one is immune to homesickness and there are a few things that the need and urge for while on the road only grows stronger. 

Netflix and Ice Cream

While hotels can be welcoming and AirBnB’s can feel comfortable, there’s nothing like you’re own couch and a warm blanket.  At home we had one of the biggest and most comfortable couches available on the market.  It was so big we actually had to wedge it in between the walls of our family room.  This couch was what I missed most; that along with some Ben and Jerry’s ice cream and some great American TV.  My Favorite Ben and Jerry’s ice cream is Tonight Dough Ice Cream.  If you are a fan of chocolate, cookies, sugar, and peanut butter, you’ll LOVE Tonight Dough from Ben and Jerry’s.  Nothing says “Americuh” more than a insulin induced coma atop cotton filled pillows while watching overly dramatic Kevin Spacey in “House of Cards.”

Ben and Jerry

My favorite ice cream – Tonight Dough!

 Netflix and Ice Cream when homesick

Sweet baby jesus, that is one comfy couch!

Coffee in Bed

Eight months before we left on our trip we bought a new house (crazy I know!) we also purchased a new mattress, a magical king size mattress.  This fantastic mattress is what Collette, the sleeping queen, misses most.  One of the most annoying things while on the road is getting to our apartment only to find the mattress is harder than asphalt.  One apartment in Turkey had a mattress that was so firm, both Collette and I slept on a couch for a week.  

The other items Collette misses most is Bulletproof Coffee and healthy food, specifically Whole Foods Market.  It’s wonderful to try local food like turkish coffee or pad thai from a street vendor, but after a few months of noodles for every meal, the only thing we craved was a good western meal with plenty of vegetables.   

Bagels and Chocolate at the Gym

homesick for chocolate peanut butter cups

mmmm Big Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup

homesick for bagels

Brian dreaming of bagels

Bryan and Andrea from Bryan craves fresh bagels and Andrea miss peanut butter cups. “It’s impossible to find either of those while on the road.” – claims Andrea.  Brian’s family brought a care package to them while in Italy filled with bagels (frozen) and peanut butter cups.  Additionally, Andrea’s mom brought more to them in Paris. “Amazing how great peanut butter cups taste while looking at the Eiffel Tower.” What better way to say “I love you,” than flying frozen bagels across the Atlantic.

Macabee Dorman who spend nearly a year traversing the world said” I missed chicken and waffles, a nice burger, and sometimes my couch.” He also said at times he wished he had a closet, living out of a backpack can get old after a while. While he missed his comfort foods he also missed the gym. (We met Macabee in a Cambodian gym that cost $1/day.This old school metal lifting fest was filled with sweat and old school weight machines that would make Schwarzenegger blush. Three of us laughed at how most westerners pay $50 for a class and this place was a fraction of that cost.)

Homesick: Cures and Tips

While on the road, it’s inevitable that you’ll miss home. You’ll miss your family, your home, and your friends. Most cravings you’ll get over very quickly while others will linger. To get over this, you can look for replacements while on the road or just think about all the great memories you’re making.

  1. Take a look at the photos you’ve taken and posted on your Instagram or Facebook feed, those will remind you why you’re living out of a backpack.
  2. Find a local expat bar or hostel.  Most of these will have western food, tv, and westerners to talk to.
  3. Facetime with friends and family – Nothing brings a smile to your face than seeing your loved ones smiling back
  4. Practice acts of gratitude – Give thanks for all the great things in your life; living in an over water bungalow, just learned how to scuba dive, or the sun is shining,  write it down or say it out loud.   Practicing this 3 times a day for week will change your attitude for the better.
  5. Watch a comedy movie on your computer with a friend. A nice laugh out loud will help the homesickness blues pass.
Homesick cures and Bali Breakfest