This morning, I was looking through my luggage for a necklace that I swear I brought with me, and I opened a duffel bag that my mom lent to me for our trip here — it smelled just like her house. It was great. I miss home. It’s not a bad feeling, but a wistful one. I’m still enjoying my time here (even though there have been some challenges) but I wish I could be experiencing what I’m experiencing while surrounded by my family and friends from home.
The sights, sounds and even smells that remind me of home are lovely and sometimes surprising. The sound of someone speaking American English on the street is pleasantly startling. Seeing something (a sign, a menu, even graffiti) written in English in a place I don’t expect it makes me smile. The taste of a McDonald’s cheeseburger, a Starbucks chai or “American Ginger Ale” are all unadulterated flashes of home. The scent of my mom’s duffel bag or a piece of as yet unworn clothing from home that still smells of Dreft or Tide or Downy are familiar and comforting.
Giving my boys a hug or a snuggle feels like, home, too, but in a different way — they’re with me on my journey here, so they are less a reminder of home, and more a reminder that, for now, this IS home.