12 Things You Don’t Expect to Miss While Abroad

12 Things You Don’t Expect to Miss While Abroad

Going to another country is an engaging, exciting, and bit frightening experience. Everything is novel at first—the train system! The breakfasts! Waiting in line at the grocery store!—and the differences are why you went abroad in the first place. However, there comes a time, when in your new country, that you start to long for the familiar comforts of home.

You expect to miss your family and friends, but there are other things you suddenly find yourself missing that perhaps you didn’t anticipate. Below are what I didn’t expect to miss while living in Italy.

Things like:

  1. Driving
  2. Your routines (running in the morning, smoothies for breakfast, watching Netflix after dinner)
  3. Random foods from home that you don’t even really like (baked beans and Subway chocolate-chip cookies, anyone?)
  4. American accents
  5. Picking up the phone and calling who you want, when you want, and not having to worry about things such as international fees and data plans
  6. Endless free wifi
  7. Convenience of making your own schedule
  8. Magazine racks that carry English-language magazines
  9. Chain stores such as Starbucks and Forever 21 (…really)
  10. Being able to easily ask someone for directions without having to plan out what to say/how you’re going to ask
  11. Hearing English spoken in the streets, supermarkets, trains…
  12. Things you always took for granted but suddenly seem remarkably important—such as doors that you understand how to close and lock, how to order coffee at a café, and how to greet a friend’s extended family
While Italian food and coffee is delicious, sometimes I miss being able to order food in English.

While Italian food and coffee are delicious, sometimes I miss being able to order food in English.

Living abroad is a fantastic experience. You have the opportunity to become fully immersed in a host culture, seeing and doing things that you never could back home. As long as you keep in mind that eventually you will start to miss the little conveniences of home, you’ll be just fine.

And what to do when that homesickness strikes?

Well, perhaps you can use up a little bit of that international data plan to call a friend, or jam out to some Selena Gomez, or find the only restaurant in town that serves passable burgers and fries.

Appreciate the differences and live in the moment. Because soon you’ll be home and find yourself missing those confusing, hard-to-lock doors, and people you can communicate with through only a simple smile.

Happy Travels!


3 thoughts on "12 Things You Don’t Expect to Miss While Abroad"

  1. Shawn says:

    Very insightful article. I enjoyed reading it. I’ll be traveling to Italy next year for the first time and will benefit from your observations.

    Happy travels,


  2. Cari says:

    Your tips are very helpful, thoughtful and are presented with a bit of humor! I plan to travel to Europe next year and will probably laugh when I recognize missing those same comforts you listed. Thanks, Kayla, for another great post!

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