Can you believe we’ve been in France over 4 months now? We are loving our time here and we are doing our best to make the most of it. But that doesn’t mean we don’t get homesick every once in awhile. Today I woke up missing America — nothing specific really, just the familiarity of it all.

Since homesickness was on my mind, I asked the kids what they’re missing most of all. Here’s what they had to say:

Betty: Well, what I miss… hmmm… I miss my flower blanket and I also miss our cousins and I miss the green belt behind the house.

Oscar: I miss blueberries from Whole Foods! I miss the Sabeys. I think I miss my superhero toy too.

Olive: I miss having smoothies every day after school.

Maude: I miss cupcake batter. I miss cinnamon rolls. I miss Sour Patch Kids. I miss my gymnastics class and my turquoise bed sheets. And my favorite weeping willow tree on the way home from school.

Ralph: I miss pizza delivery. I miss the mall. Sometimes I miss dressing casually. It feels strange to be watching American pop culture happening from so far away. Also, I miss having movie theaters really close to my house.

What do you think you would miss most if you moved away from home?

P.S. — I took these images last month during a visit to The 104. We heard about it from Jordan. There is a stunning carousel there unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. And no matter how many pictures I took, I couldn’t do it justice. Every creature was elaborate and unique, with parts to manipulate and levers to pull. Truly a stunning work of art. If you want to see it in Paris, act fast, because it’s moving to its next location in a few weeks (we heard London might be the next stop).

86 thoughts on “Homesick”

  1. What a lovely post. I love how the kids’ ages are reflected in what they miss the most. Our family has connections to so many different places that I find myself feeling “homesick” for all of them at different times. I grew up in-between Austria and Germany (one parent from each place,) went to graduate school in the Netherlands; worked in the UK, Spain and France, married an American with Irish parents, and moved to San Francisco. We live in Italy right now and I absolutely LOVE it; the people, the food, the culture, the language, the weather; but sometimes I miss Mexican food or fish & chips or my Oma’s cakes…Why is food the only thing I can think about when I’m up at 3 am with a sick baby? While living in the US, I grew used to everything being so convenient, I’ve had to grow accustomed again to planning to do things ahead of time.
    Anyway, I think it’s great to appreciate where you are, and to remember where you come from. Your family will gain so much from the experience of this year, even baby June! Best wishes, meilleurs voeux, migliori auguri.

  2. I’m an Australian, living in China and I miss my family, my public library, cream, non-smoking areas, avocados, carpet, a regular sized oven, gum trees, the beach…oh I could keep going. But, for everything I miss from home, I try to remember what I would miss from here if we went back to Australia to live! Sometimes it helps — sometimes, I just want cream, damn it!

  3. I miss my family and friends. I miss the food – and spend ridiculous amounts of money at import stores to buy food from home. I miss the scenery, the buildings, the history, the beauty. I miss the people – I still have trouble reading people over here sometimes, as they have different mannerisms. I miss blending in. I don’t like feeling that I represent my country, in that people always first describe me as an English girl, and I feel will judge my countrymen partly based on my actions etc. I don’t like that I stand out from the crowd as soon as people hear that I have an accent.

    At first I really missed knowing immediately which shop would sell something, too, but obviously that’s a lot less common now. Although I have been searching for a plain ball of string and have been having no luck. Nothing at Target, the supermarket etc. Maybe I’ve been looking in the wrong sections… Any ideas?

    1. For a string/rope look at Home Depot or Lowes or any hardware store you have near by.
      At home (Slovenia) I would always be able to find it the local market in the section with laundry. They do not think the same here. :)

  4. For my 18 mo. stint in Portugal, I missed… in a big way: Oreos. Cheddar cheese, especially on the Blue Box Mac n Cheese, frosting, Reeses PB cups, Ranch dressing, Girl Scout cookies, chocolate chips, Animal Control (lots of sad strays over there…), people who patiently wait in line, owning a washer and dryer in the house, (I cleaned my laundry in a bidet….), widespread orthodontics, good road systems that were planned – not evolved, and people who smile on the street and nod at you to cross the street from their car.

    But America doesn’t have Magnum bars. CORRECTION: They just introduced them in the grocery stores. But we don’t have… like, super super super old stuff. And only a handful of people know what you mean when you speak of Joi de vivre. No – not the actress married to Brad Pitt darling… ;P

  5. Bonjour! So it’s been slightly over a week since we arrived in Paris. Got pickpocketed at the Metro almost immediately. Felt taken advantaged of as we were struggling to catch the train with little Alis wanted a drink at the same time. Just as the incident about to set my mind of the move, I received an email from a stranger saying she found my purse with all documents intact & will post all of them back to me soon. Such kindness still exist in the same world that holds the gypsies. Homesickness will hit again, am sure but for now you’re right – the groceries in the fridge made me feel more settled in. x

  6. Living in States from Slovenia for the last 9 years. We are going home in 4 weeks and I cannot be more excited. My mom already has a list of meals I want her to make. Then there is yogurts, donuts, bread, ice cream, hanging out at street cafes, no humidity, my siblings, my parents.
    But then I am always happy to return back to the States. I get excited for the convenience of stores, automatic cars (no stick shift), a chance to return something when I change my mind about the purchase… At home once you pay for it no more changing your mind. It is yours. You don’t even complain if you find out something is wrong with the product when you come home.
    And it might sound weird. Love going through the Customs at the airport. Officers are always greeting us with Welcome Home. And the first smell of the McDonalds. Rarely eat their food but it is usually the first thing I get when I return.

  7. i know i’m not the first one to mention this…but you do realize you will be required to edit down all this information and all these experiences and submit a “living/traveling in france with kidiots” guide in the future…i’m waiting. :)

  8. but to answer your question. i’ve traveled abroad since i was a teen. mostly by myself. weird and crazy places (from skull caves in new guinea to being held at gunpoint in honduras). and the whole time i was experiencing these crazy and amazing things…and especially towards the end of my wandering years, i started to miss a person beside me to share the memory with. cheesy, but its the reason i stopped moving around so much and settled down into life, to build the kind of family that i could drag around the world with me at a future date. algun dia.

  9. What a great post. I love how you share the authentic realities of your experience, but in a way that is somehow still positive in its own way.

    I think that it’s inevitable to miss wherever you’ve come from, while at the same time still really making the most if your experiences and opportunities. I love the glimpses into the kids’ personalities their answers provide! And, I love how you framed it in terms of what you miss about the US, rather than what you dislike or are frustrated with about France, if that makes sense

  10. I really hope you heard right – I’d love to see that carousel up close!

    When I’m away from the UK, I most miss:
    Our TV – I don’t even watch it all that much, but the BBC is real quality, the panel shows and even sitcoms are hilarious … and the TV on the continent and in Asia is kind of sucky. I’ve heard it’s good in the US, but still, those infuriating ad breaks!
    Marmite – seriously, I don’t understand why it’s not sold in other countries. How do you *live*? I once spoke to someone from Alabama who thought it was a type of fish.
    The British attitude – sometimes all that darn in-your-face friendliness and emotion in other countries is a bit overwhelming when you’re not used to it.

  11. I think you should be able to do something about the cake batter, smoothies, and cinnamon rolls…;) It’s hard to know what I would miss until I don’t have it! The week we spent in France in July, I missed central AC!!!

  12. Oh, what an amazing piece of art! I love that carousel. To see it in person must be magical. Your episode of House Hunters was so neat now all I can think about is moving to France. Take care:)

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