Sometimes I think my father should be nominated for Best Dad of the Universe.
There are a lot of reasons for this, like the fact that he handled living with three incredibly bossy, opinionated, and headstrong females for many years without going totally insane.
But one of the main reasons is that when I was little, I used to get horribly homesick when I was staying with friends and call home at 3 a.m. or so to have my dad come get me. I don’t remember him ever being upset with me or annoyed at the fact that he had to drag himself out of bed—again—to fetch his daughter. This was not a one-time occurrence, either. I had chronic homesickness.
The homesickness I experienced when I was a little girl was awful. Before bedtime, I was fine. We would watch Labyrinth (hells yes to David Bowie in a codpiece!) or La Bamba and sing along to all the songs, eat lots of junk food, and gossip. But when the lights were turned out late late at night, I sat wide awake in the dark in my Strawberry Shortcake sleeping bag on my friends’ floors and felt an overwhelming sense of loneliness and sadness.
All I wanted in life was to get back to my room, with my bed, my stuffed animals, my familiar noises. There might have been monsters in my closet, too, but at least they were ones I knew about. And if somebody was going to break into the house to kill us all, at least I knew where I could hide when I was at home. If I was at somebody else’s house, all bets were off—I was a goner for sure. (Please tell me I’m not the only one who ever thought about that…or still does…I used to have a definite plan for hiding in my apartment in Maryland if somebody broke in to rape and/or murder me. That’s just smart, people! In my apartment in BKK, I’m basically dead because there’s nowhere to hide. I need a better plan.)
So I called my dad at 3 a.m. and he came to get me. Every time.
Since I first left home for college when I was 17, I’ve lived in two different cities in Missouri, two different states, and three different countries. I’ve traveled to a lot of countries, for long periods of time.
Somehow, I still get homesick every time I leave home overnight, but I don’t call my dad to come get me anymore.
*My mom’s going to kill me for posting this picture. Love you, Mom!
Yeah, I’m not entirely sure how it came to pass that I don’t like being out of my comfort zone, yet I am constantly forcing myself out of said comfort zone. I mean, nobody made me leave all my belongings behind and move to countries where I can neither read nor write the language.
Since moving to Thailand in August, the homesickness hasn’t been too bad because I’ve been mostly happy to be here. There have been rough patches, though, when I would kill your mother to:
a) be able to buy some cheap cans of black beans, tortilla chips, salsa, and shredded cheese for nachos. NACHOS, I say! Cheap ones! At home! I mean, I saw shredded cheese at Villa in BKK for about $8 ($2.50 for the same stuff back in the U.S.)…that’s not sustainable nacho culture. I’m going to start a sustainable nacho movement! Join me!
b) see the leaves changing color in the fall. Perpetual summer is awesome, but I still feel like I’m on perpetual vacation.
c) get into my car and drive 5 minutes down the road to the grocery store, where everything is familiar and I can read all the labels, even the ones in Spanish.
d) order a big effing pizza for, like, $7.
e) see my family and friends.
f) speak English to everybody. I know I’m in another country, people, and I am trying to learn the language. But sometimes—like when I asked in Thai, “Do you have wifi?” and the guy brought me a glass of white wine—I feel like throwing in the towel. I don’t want to become one of those people who just speak English in their host country, but I will if I have to! Don’t mess with me, Thailand!
g) have a big oven and my beautiful KitchenAid mixer to make some delicious baked treats. I don’t know how to make new friends if I can’t bribe people with baked goods!
Here are some virtual baked goods for you. Now be my friend!
I’ve just been thinking about being homesick because I’ve been in Chiang Mai for a week now and I’m getting more and more homesick for my apartment in Bangkok. I don’t cry when I get homesick now, but I get irritable and grumpy, which is really fun for my traveling companion!
Yesterday I came dangerously close to having an I-hate-everything-about-Thailand moment, which had absolutely nothing to do with Thailand and everything to do with the fact that I want to be in my apartment—my home—with all my familiar things. And I want to be able to read signs and menus.
I’m back in BKK on Friday, but in the meantime, I’m accepting donations for my sustainable nacho movement!
Homesickness: 1 Megan: 1
I don’t get as homesick as I used to, but I still have to battle it every time I leave whatever I consider my home for the moment. It’s not terribly fun, but that’s the way it goes sometimes…