Leaving home is a bittersweet thing. I love Northern California: boiling summers in Sacramento, playing the tourist in San Francisco, living down the street from the most famous start-up Internet companies in the world. Yet I’m looking forward to settling down in a city (and country) that was established before interstate highways and cookie-cutter suburban homes.
Granted, things are looking as if I might not be leaving home tomorrow as planned, but my feelings surrounding that (mostly breathe, smile and realize I have NO control over a darn volcano in Iceland) are enough for a whole separate post (coming soon).
Things I’ll Miss
- Living alone. After a year in a sorority house, I absolutely adored having a studio to myself in Sunnyvale: no one to interrupt rare afternoon naps, judge my weird eating habits or bother me when Friends was on. A homestay will be a beneficial experience, but it will take some getting used to.
- In & Out Burger. And smell of fresh fries as you drive by one. Yum.
- Target. Literally, everything I need under one roof and within walking distance: it’s unbeatable. France has Monoprix, which is cool–but let’s face it, no Target.
- Being able to run errands in my gym clothes.
- A big bowl of milk and cereal. It’s not the same when they sell un-refrigerated milk.
- Bikram yoga and kickboxing class.
- A Starbucks on every corner (especially when I’m running late and need a latte fix).
- Friends and family. Duh. But they can visit.
Things I Won’t Miss
- Having a car and the resulting expenses: gas, oil changes, new brake drums/alternators/engines when you can least afford it.
- Awful public transportation with limited routes and inconvenient schedules.
- Spending the majority of my waking hours in a cubicle.
- Chain restaurants that appear in every city and on every freeway.
- A Starbucks on every corner (forcing locally-owned coffee shops out of business!).
Then again, you never know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone. I bet I’ll miss the predictability of how gosh-darn delicious a Chipotle burrito tastes, no matter what location I buy it from. And I know I’ll miss my trusty little Focus when I want to make a trip somewhere the train won’t take me.
Either way, I’m going to try my hardest to embrace the change and everything that makes France unique. The best thing about home? You always know it will be there waiting for you.
When you’re abroad, what do you miss most about home? What do you wish you would have taken with you? Then again, when you’re abroad, what do you miss least about home?