As an expat, I feel like there is sometimes that “one thing” that keeps you from being 100% happy and in love with life. It could be that “one thing” that you miss most, the “one thing” that you can’t find that you used all the time back home but can’t find in your new country, or the “one thing” that’s going to send you straight past insanity and right on to certifiably postal. My friend has a saying for the last “one thing.” She calls it “bodies in the yard” situations…like when the plumbing goes out in your house, and the repair man tells you he can be there on Friday, and it’s Monday. At that point, you call your husband and say, “You’d better get home ASAP or else there’s going to be bodies in the yard.” Yep, that’s definitely an appropriate description.
For me, that “one thing” has been weighing on my mind lately. Mine is homesickness. I miss my friends and family. I miss home. I miss the ease of knowing exactly how to handle any daily situation I come across. I miss going to the grocery and knowing they stock exactly what I need, and that it’ll be open, even if it’s 2:00am. There’s just this underlying feeling in the back of my mind right now that is saying, “The one thing I need right now is a taste of home.”
Everyone’s life has an ebb and flow. For expats, that ebb/flow is only exacerbated by the fact that we daily interact with a new culture, often a new language, and new societal rules. It’s hard to be faced with “different” every day and not long for the simplicity of “familiar” that home brings. I often find myself thinking, “just because it’s different doesn’t make it wrong.” And that’s true. There’s a lot of things here that are “different”…but that doesn’t make them any less right/wrong than what I did back home.
Tomorrow marks my eighth month here in the Netherlands. I feel like I’ve learned so much about who I am as a person, my relationship with my husband, and how to work and adapt in a foreign atmosphere. I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything, I truly wouldn’t. But, knowing that doesn’t stop me from craving the little things that remind me of the US. I just need to remind myself, from time to time, that while there are a few, significant, things I miss about home, they aren’t lost to me forever. And now, while I can, I need to enjoy the journey I’m on and embrace every new adventure.