As we start planning flights and stays, and figuring out how we’ll set up home upon arrival, I’m starting to wonder what I will be homesick for. This isn’t a big deal (I don’t think…): Traveling and living abroad provides the opportunity to explore how others live, what they eat when they want to do takeout or takeaway… But I’m trying to see if I can predict what I will be homesick for and plan on how to deal with those feelings.
Here is a list of things I think I will miss as we travel and settle elsewhere. Right now, the list is primarily food I will miss. Clothes or media, I think I will be able to secure via Amazon or international shipping. You still cannot successfully ship a burrito.
If there is a particular food item that I need (“need” being a very subjective term), I know there are stores like Martha’s Backyard in Auckland that carry American foods.
As I started a draft of this list, I realized that all the things I would miss are things I can’t get in D.C. right now anyway. The majority of the list are southern things that I get when I visit Atlanta (where I grew up). Am I doubly missing these things? Anyways. So, without further ado…
What I think will be homesick for:
Chipotle: While there are some international Chipotle locations, there’s no Chipotle in New Zealand. The Kiwi says “there are replacements [other burrito places], but you won’t like any of them.” He said that because we have a theory: Americans are very snobby about their Mexican food; anyone from city or state with significant Mexican communities have the right to be even snobbier.
This isn’t to say that there isn’t good Mexican food in New Zealand. During our last trip in March 2014, we went to a restaurant called Mexico in Hamilton (with other locations across the country), and it was pretty good. Quesadillas, Mexican beers, all solid.
I’m not worried about finding Mexican food, I’m worried about finding three-pound burritos for $7. Maybe lack of access to ginormous burritos is a good thing.
Publix: Publix is a regional grocery store in Georgia, but better known for owning the state of Florida. Publix has a cult following for its subs and cakes. Publix cake is so good, I wanted my wedding cake from Publix. During a girlfriend getaway in Miami in 2013, we bought Publix Italian wedding cake and red velvet cake. We went out to a club, which was fun. But also, we came home to put on pajamas, drink white wine, eat Publix cake and watch Vanderpump Rules.
Arguably, Publix cake is better than a night at the club.
Waffle House: 24-hour southern diner known for hash browns. The Kiwi doesn’t understand why I love this place. I think it is because when you are 16 to 18 years old, and you don’t know college friends and you don’t partake in illegal activities, the only cool thing to do after 11 p.m. is go to Waffle House, eat a waffle and play some songs off the jukebox. All for not even $10.
Old Bay: Crab seasoning that I put on everything: shrimp boil, roast chicken, pasta, the rim of a Bloody Mary… I’ve determined that I will bring a vat of Old Bay to New Zealand somehow.
My mother’s and grandmother’s black beans: My face is grimacing at the thought of not having this for a long time. Unless I go plead for the recipe. Both of them would give me some, in a frozen container to take home. Anytime I go through the airport, I worry that TSA will take it away and have a feast in the back room. Luckily, TSA has never taken my black beans. Probably because they are frozen, not liquid — ten points to science!
I may keep this as a running list, so check back to see what I add to this list.
If you travel or moved away from home for a while, what food did you miss?