No matter where I go in the world, I always find myself wishing I were somewhere else.
Not all the time, of course, but there are always moments when I start to wonder why I wander. Moments like watching my best friend’s house party on her Snapchat feed. Or seeing photos of my friends snowboarding over plush, pillowy lumps of snow. Or hearing the familiar name of my favourite coffee shop, bar or restaurant back home.
All of those things make me, naturally, a little homesick.
Even without any provocation, there are three things that I am guaranteed to ache for almost anywhere I go.
I’ve been living in Seoul for over four months now. I have just three weeks left until I fly to the Philippines for 2.5 weeks with my boyfriend. Then, I’m coming home. These are the top three things I’m longing to reunite with when I get there:
A fresh, juicy, rare Alberta steak, served with baked potatoes smothered in sour cream and topped with sliced green onion and home-made bacon bits. Nothing really beats the food where you’re from, does it?
Living in Korea, I’ve masticated on a lifetime supply of rice, noodles and fried chicken. I can’t drink another Americano that tastes like water or a latte that tastes like milk. Even Korean BBQ has slightly lost its ability to make me drool. Instead, I have started salivating over the beautiful sound of the word “lasagna.” Every morning, I envision a steaming plate of pancakes and farmer’s sausage, sticky with maple syrup. Today, coming home from the gym, the thought of fresh, zesty guacamole paired with nachos covered in melted cheese nearly brought me to tears. South Korea doesn’t understand the true meaning of the word “cheese.”
While I don’t miss Canadian food quite as much when I’m in Europe—come on, they’ve got sizzling Bratwurst, flaky chocolate croissants and real Italian lasagna—I still crave a portion of poutine and winter ale from local BC breweries. When I get home, the first thing I am going to do is eat.
If you’ve ever walked into a hostel dorm room and immediately checked to see how many bags are in the room, you’ll know what I mean. I’ve been living with a roommate for the past 4+ months, and although she is wonderful, constantly sharing my space is not.
To be honest, I love staying in hostels. I love instantly meeting people. I love feeling surrounded by friends from around the world. But I don’t love sharing a bunkbed with creepy guys. I don’t love struggling to change my clothes without barring my skin. I don’t love trying to fall asleep while people are snoring or talking or drinking or coming in at 5am and turning all the lights on.
I miss having my own space to exercise, blast music and just lie around naked. If you have that right now, don’t take it for granted. I am exceedingly jealous.
While this section obviously includes my friends and family (I haven’t forgotten about you!), it also applies to Canadians in general. Canada doesn’t have the strongest culture, because it is so diverse and multicultural. However, when I’m abroad, I still miss my people.
As wonderful as it is to learn about other countries and to be a representative for Canada abroad, sometimes I get sick of saying “Well, in Canada we…” Sometimes I just want someone to know what I mean when I say toque. Sometimes I don’t want to be asked if I’m afraid of the dark or if life is really like South Park. Sometimes I just want to talk to someone who gets it, who gets me and who knows me.
Soon enough I’ll be back in Kamloops, and I’m sure once I’m home I’ll start missing South Korea. Perhaps that’ll call for another blog post… but for now, I’m off to stuff more oily noodles in my face. Cheers!