I’ve been a nomad now for 10 years. A nomad that left home for the sake of new opportunities abroad – education, love, work, money and the sense of adventure and travel.
Being an expat is no easy thing, but it’s not just expats who spend time away from home and family. Even college students leaving to study or going abroad go through the difficulties of being away. (I’m sure a lot of moms suffer on their behalf, too!)
It’s been a few years since I last went home or saw all my family, so I’m feeling nostalgic.
What do I miss most from being away from home?
I wasn’t sure if I should add this in position #1 or #2 – I haven’t decided yet if I miss food or family more. I love my family, but I’m dying for some of my home food… some anticuchos, empanadas, salteñas, pollo al espiedo, llauchas…
The food in Israel isn’t great. Monopolies in the food market make for little competition and options and bland, bland tastes.
No thanks, I’ll take my delicious Latin American cuisine instead!!!
2) Family, of course
One of the more painful aspects of leaving home is that your family stays behind. They will always love you, but you’re no longer a day-to-day part of their life.
I left home at 19… I went back only after a few years, and the ‘kids’ were no longer kids. I was practically a stranger to them. It wasn’t an easy thing to deal with.
Things are different today. Thank god for Skype, Whatsapp, and wifi… when I left home, we just didn’t have that as openly available as it is now. Now I can chat with my family every few days, hear the latest gossip, and know what’s going on. But I still spend every day that much lonelier without them.
3) The view
I was raised in the mountains, and not just any mountains, smack in the midst of the Andes Mountains, a full 4000m (13000 ft) above sea level.
Now I live in the flatland that is Central Israel.
The view from my room back home was inspiring… gorgeous, majestic mountains of different colors and heights wherever you looked.
We have a beach here in Israel, so I can’t fully complain, but I am dying to feel the thin air of the high altitude, the crisp cold of the snow peaked mountains and the stunning view of a city in the middle of nowhere.
4) The culture and traditions
I’m Jewish so I was always celebrating a combination of Jewish and Bolivian traditions. When I arrived in Israel, I didn’t feel completely out of place… after all, I had been celebrating the holidays my whole life and had some sort of awareness of the history and culture.
But oh, to hear the sounds of Carnaval, to see the dancing in the streets, the lights on Christmas time, the Easter eggs, and chocolate. I really miss all of those!
5) The language
I remember the days when I could communicate easily with those around me. I could ask for directions, get on the bus without misunderstanding what the driver said to me, understand all the signs and products around me. Those were the days!
Now I’m in the land of foreign language, an ancient language that is written and read the other way around, without vowels (!!), and requiring a lot of brain power on my behalf in order to speak properly.
I’d love to just go back to a few weeks of feeling the gift of speaking naturally instead of having to constantly search my brain for the right words and conjugations.