What Would You Miss?

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Heading to the other side

Heading to the other side

When you live on the other side of the world you definitely miss some random things from home! Try to imagine what it would be like to step on a plane in your home country, sit there for at least a fourteen hour flight, and arrive in a land where you understand nothing, can’t read any of the signs, and have no idea how to ask for a thing.

Heading to the other side

Heading to the other side

When you live on the other side of the world you definitely miss some random things from home! Try to imagine what it would be like to step on a plane in your home country, sit there for at least a fourteen hour flight, and arrive in a land where you understand nothing, can’t read any of the signs, and have no idea how to ask for a thing.

Hello NEON!!

Hello NEON!!

It brings up an interesting mix of feelings to say the least! The four stages of culture shock will have you jumping from “THIS IS AMAZING!!” to “WHAT THE EFF WAS I THINKING??!!??” and periods of homesickness will ignite thoughts and memories of home you didn’t even realize you would miss!

Who would miss this??

Who would miss this??

What might these things be? Well, I’m sure they are different for everyone, but for me they were:

1. Being in the same time zone as people at home

I have to be honest, I am not much of a FB checker. Before moving abroad I went on once in a while to scroll down the news and look at pictures. Living in Korea has changed that and made it into much more of an ingrained habit! Throughout the three years I was there I checked FB as if it were sinking like Napster. When you are not involved in the day to day lives of people from home you begin to wonder “What am I missing?” and feel as though checking FB every few minutes will keep you in touch! Then you remember people back home are sleeping while you’re awake so there will be nothing new til tomorrow! I once began an email to a friend “I WISH WE WERE IN THE SAME TIME ZONE RIGHT NOW!” and really longed for the opportunity to just pick up the phone knowing she would be awake and possibly free to chat!

A day early!!

A day early!!

2. Driving

It’s funny, I get a different reaction every time I mention this to someone. It’s true though, I really do miss driving while away! I think it’s because I have loved driving from the day I turned 16 and got my license. I have spent a lot of time in cars throughout my life; from road trips out east when I was a kid to practically living out of my car for parts of my twenties and thirties.

One of my fave places to be...behind the wheel!!

One of my fave places to be…behind the wheel!!

I have had many good times in cars and I miss being behind the wheel all the time when away… Not enough to rent a car and drive in Korea though. Not one bit! A friend once offered me their car for a weekend while they were away. I kindly declined the proposal and said “No *%$!*# way was I going to drive in Busan in someone else’s car, but thank you for thinking of me”!

WTF? Not driving in this!!

WTF? Not driving in this!!

Not only would street signs be hard to read, but there are unwritten traffic rules woven into their culture that would take forever to learn and I get road rage, so all in all just better if I stay away! Which means as soon as I am home and not under the spell of jet lag I hop in the car, pump up the tunes, and just drive. Maybe even with a Timmies in my hand!

3. Consumable products

Of course you would miss things like food and drinks you can only find at home! When I worked on a cruise ship based out of the states I couldn’t get ketchup chips and had a lovely aunt and two cousins send them over to me! There are many delicious things to eat in Korea for sure, but there are things you can’t get that you don’t even really eat while at home yet for some reason you have this inexplicable craving for them while away! You even request the items to be included in your Christmas delivery!

It has arrived...it only took 2 months!!!

It has arrived…it only took 2 months!!!

For example, Kraft Dinner, no joke! I usually don’t even buy it in Canada, but for some reason I always have my mom throw in a box when she sends me stuff for Christmas!

Woooooo hooooooo!!!

Woooooo hooooooo!!!

Other things in that box may include: deodorant (it’s hard to find or you can only find spray and I sweat too much for that!), organic body wash, shampoo, make-up, candy and chocolates (that taste like they are supposed to), spices, hot cereal… I could go on and on!

Merry Christmas!!!

Merry Christmas!!!

I have received a few of these boxes in my time and it feels like Christmas no matter what time of year they arrive! There are many things I wish could be sent, but sadly a case of Nestea Zero would probably cost a fortune! There aren’t many diet drink options other than a few popular soda brands and sometimes I just want a bit of flavour other than coke or beer! Last, but certainly not least, I miss Timmies while I am away. Coffee, donuts, bagels, cookies, muffins, no smoking inside, you name it we missed it! I could go on with so many more, but I will leave you to think of your own!

Perfect combo!!

Perfect combo!!

4. Laundry

Yes, as ridiculous as it sounds, I miss doing laundry in Canada while I am overseas! For many years now I have lived outside of my parent’s house and no matter where I lived, if I was near them I would stop in to do laundry! They have this amazing industrial sized washer and dryer which both fit enormous loads! What takes me one load in Canada takes me two, sometimes three, loads in Korea! It would drive me bananas! Especially last year when it was Graham and I living in the teeny apartment with the teeny tiny washer! I would do a small load, hang every single piece of laundry because there was no dryer (even socks! Hanging socks sucks!), and wait for it to dry while taking up a ton of room in our teeny tiny apartment!

Try fitting a drying rack and 2 people comfortably in here!!

Try fitting a drying rack and 2 people comfortably in here!!

Graham and I would have to shuffle by each other to get in bed and constantly elbowed each other or ran into one another because there was just not enough space for the two of us in there let alone a drying rack with a week’s worth of clothes hanging on it. Let me tell you I missed the space in my parent’s basement, the ease and comfort of their home, and yes I even missed their washing and drying machines!

We even had to get the washer translated on Reddit!!

We even had to get the washer translated on Reddit!!

What would you miss? You might be surprised at what comes to mind once you are away from the comforts of your home country. Never did it ever occur to me that I would miss doing laundry, but when something is different you quickly remember the common everyday things you took for granted at home!



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