Oh, I have been homesick for my own corners of the world ever since I was nine and my parents decided that South Australia was an awesome place to live. I have moved on and forgiven them, though it may have taken a decade. Even now I still feel a bit annoyed, but in the long run, it's all worked out for all of us. And I get homesick for Mount Gambier and Adelaide, and I miss other places I have been in. But being homesick for your own culture is completely different to missing faces and sights and shops.
Last time I was away I was Aussie Prepared. I even packed Vegemite and rice cakes and all the fun stapley food I eat most days. And Cooks is similar to New Zealand as most of the stuff they sell gets imported from there, food wise at least. Despite having freedom to drive around tiny islands, sit on beaches and read a lot, I really felt homesick.
And yet, India is so vastly different to our culture, but I only felt homesick on the last night when I knew I had to make a very crazy trip home. Two cities, two planes, two days, pretty much no sleep. And that's before I knew I probably shouldn't be flying with Mayalsian Airlines. I think part of it is that being somewhere so different is tiring and you don't get a lot of time to reflect on things you miss, more just time to make comparisons. Which is okay, until you just want to go home.
I have spent so many hours wishing I was somewhere other than where I am. This is frustrating for everybody who knows me, or is aware of this longing. But the longing to be in your own country is different to wanting to be with your family or the Pankcake Kitchen (or whatever).
Things I miss while I'm overseas:
-Aussie food. Now, I'm not a fussy eater, but I'm really distrusting of food brands I haven't eaten before and packaging I have never seen. Call me crazy, but I do struggle with this. I even miss diet Coke while I'm away (I have had the unpleasant experience of having Coke Light and it's not at all the same). It's not like I want someone to whip me up a pavlova, but give me Vegemite on toast any day over some weird western omelette that I'm supposed to apparently like.
-Free phone calls. I'm so lucky I am on prepaid, but there is a horrible thing that comes with it - always running out of credit. Even receiving calls is expensive (it was free for Mum to call me, but three dollars from my account came off for every minute we talked). Recharging with my MasterCard has only worked when I've been in Cooks, and usually someone has to bail me out of the No Credit Fiasco.
-Highways and trees. When Stephen and I went on a cruise a few years ago, I was really craving some red dirt and gumtrees. I miss the wide open spaces I have been blessed to call my home for the last few years.
-The news. Stephen kept updating me with South Aussie news last trip, which wasn't very exciting but, most of the time I go away and have no idea that planes disappear from the sky and so on. I don't usually have access to the Internet, and usually I don't want to, so news is hard to come by.
-The lifestyle to which I am now accustomed. If you watch The Embassy, which I like to, it's a good reminder that their ways are not your ways. Laws are different overseas, safety is not always taken as seriously, toilets are never a given, hygiene can be questionable. I've only ever travelled for twelve days at a time, and this is the thing I struggle with the most.
Okay, I just got some good news, so I have to leave it there, but all the same, I love being an Aussie and travelling. Also, Tim Tams are an excellent form of currency.