13 things you didn’t realize you’d miss from home when you travel
Mom’s cooking. Your own bed. Friends and family. These are the obvious things that everyone misses when they squeeze their life into a backpack and venture halfway across the globe. But what about the little pieces of home you didn’t expect to crave? These are the things you didn’t realize you’d miss when you travel.
1. Your supermarket
Milk and bread don’t sound too exciting compared to your globetrotting adventure, but when you’re stumbling around the aisles of a Bulgarian corner store and the only snacks on offer are paprika crisps and some weird liqueur-flavoured nougat, you’d be happy to swim back to Canada to pick up a Coffee Crisp and a bag of All-Dressed chips from your local supermarket.
2. Healthy skin
If any backpacker has ever managed to maintain a healthy skincare routine on the road, then Nivea should sign them to a lifetime contract. Mosquito bites. Sunburn. Skin constantly caked in sweat, sunscreen and a thin layer of grime. That’s hardly a recipe for a glowing complexion.
3. Your bathroom
A cabinet full of skincare products isn’t the only thing you miss from your bathroom. There’s your shower, with its reliable source of hot water and a showerhead you’re used to. There’s your bathtub to relax in. And then there’s your toilet, of course—a throne fit for royalty.
4. Your sense of direction
Nearest ATM? Around the corner. Bus stop? Across the park. Closest liquor store? Two blocks away, mercifully. At home, you’ve got an intimate knowledge of your surroundings that Google Maps can only dream of. Abroad, you find your way around as easily as someone who’s blindfolded.
5. Reliable internet
There’s nothing like getting lost in a foreign country to make you realize how much you miss your smartphone’s 4G connection. Just think of all that precious wifi you wasted on cat videos and Instagram photos of the Kardashians.
6. Familiar accents
One of the best things about staying in hostels is the veritable United Nations of foreign accents you can hear in the common room, but a familiar sounding voice always slices through like a knife. You don’t realize how much slang you use until you’re talking to some German dude in your dorm throwing around words like “keener” and “loonie” and he’s staring back at you like you’re speaking Chinese.
7. Deep conversation
All those new hostel pals are great and everything, but there are only so many, “So where are you from?” conversations you can have before you begin to crave a deep and meaningful chat with close friends.
8. Your washing machine
No one—not even the most fastidious clean freak—sheds a tear when they leave their laundry behind. But you can bet the tears start flowing when you’re confronted with the instructions at a German laundromat, forced to figure out what “trocknen,” “weichspüler” and “textilreinigung” on the washing machine mean.
9. Your job
When you’ve been staring at so many spreadsheets that your eyeballs start to turn square and you’re convinced that the time in the corner of your computer screen is actually crawling backwards, there’s nothing you’d rather do than jump on a plane and fly 10,000 kilometers around the globe. But when you’ve been travelling so long that you realize you haven’t touched a pen in three months and you’ve half-forgotten how to spell your own name, the thought of heading into work and doing something useful with yourself becomes a little more bearable—kind of.
10. Your kitchen
Don’t get us wrong—our hostels are kitted out with fully equipped kitchens. There’s just something nice about using your own frying pan, chopping board and groceries without having to worry about labelling them with your name, room number and check-out date.
11. Your pillow
Nothing makes you miss home quite like having to lay your head on a pillow that’s as hard as a cinder block or as saggy as a used diaper, then trying to fall asleep only so you can dream about the little cloud of fluffy goodness that’s sitting on your bed back home.
12. Fruit and vegetables
There’s something liberating about tossing out the food pyramid and subsisting on a diet of beer, instant noodles and free hostel breakfasts, but when it’s been six weeks since your last salad, even broccoli starts to look appealing.
Same deal as fruit and veg—saying goodbye to the inside of a gym is everyone’s favourite farewell when they jet off, until all those beers and instant noodles catch up to your waistline and a session on the treadmill begins to feel long overdue.