As we brace ourselves to move abroad for the second time in a few years, I look back and I know that squeezing our lives into a suitcase and live as expats was the best decision that we could have possibly made. Because when you move away, when you turn your life into a journey filled with uncertainty, you grow up in unexpected ways. You face new challenges, you get to know parts of you you didn’t know existed, you’re amazed at yourself and at the world. You learn, you broaden your horizons. You unlearn, and after coming down and embracing a few lessons, you start growing in humility. You evolve. You feel homesick… and you shape memories that will stay with you forever.
Only a few days before leaving Greece for the second time, me and my husband are both excited and eager to start our new life. In our mid 30’s we feel like school kids who can’t wait to see what future holds with all the career prospects that arise before us. Best part is that we are planning on starting this new life journey with a road trip across Europe and I can’t even begin to tell you how excited we both are… and yet, something brings a sad taste to this burst of enthusiasm.
Though we are both dedicated into an open lifestyle and very experienced in relocating for career pursue, we found ourselves already missing a couple of things from our home country which, surprisingly enough, are very common among the expats no matter the country of their origin. No matter if you come from sunny Spain or ice cold Iceland when you move abroad there are a few certain things that you miss from back home.
Whether it’s mum’s homemade food or street food or certain packaged treats, no matter if you move to a country with an internationally famous cuisine or not, you will always miss the food you grew up with. Even if you find the exact same dishes or the exact same products in the markets, there is always something missing. It could be something as small as a certain bar of chocolate or something more basic like finding some kinds of vegetables or fruits. Three things we know we will miss more than anything once we move abroad:
- Cutting fruits directly from the trees in our yard (apricots, lemons, figs, grapes and walnuts) and fresh vegetables from my mum’s garden.
- Finding good quality olive oil at a decent price.
- Mum’s homemade pies.
2. The weather
Surprisingly enough, all expats seem to miss their home country’s weather. Whether they come from a country with a mild climate, like the Mediterranean, or a country with a more unpredictable weather, like Britain, we all miss the weather we grew up with. Yes, people miss rainy and cold as much as other people miss sunny and warm. The only assumption we can make is that it has to do something with our childhood memories of when everything felt easier and more secure. As long as we recall our childhood period as the happiest of our lives we will always miss everything connected with those memories.
Most expats claim that one of the top reasons to leave their county is their wish to change their lifestyle (better work/life balance, daily routine, cultural environment) and yet at the same moment it’s one of the things they miss the most once they move abroad. A lot of space here for some human behavior analysis (which is one of my favorites in Social Sciences) but let’s not step into that now and let’s just remember that being used at something is one of the greatest addictions.
A lot of friends ask me what I will miss the most about Greece, food, climate, family or lifestyle, and they are usually surprised by my answer.
Yes, as all expats, we will experience some kind of nostalgia for all the things mentioned above but what we will miss the most is the light and colours of Greece. The bluest blue and the brightest bright along with the other, fading under the sun, colours. If you have ever been to Greece you know of what I’m talking about. If not, here are some pictures similar to those I always carry with me in my mind.
Even if you miss home sometimes, never forget…
The only impossible journey is the one you never begin.