I haven’t had an actual home for seven months, and it’s been four months since I have stayed in the same place for more than three weeks. In the next nine days, we will have slept in eight different beds, flown on five different flights, and been in five different cities across four countries. Consistency is not really a comfort in my life currently.
Even though these next few days are a bit crazy, it’s all part of this adventure and I am loving every second of it. That said, there are moments when I find myself missing things from my “normal” life. I find myself missing my friends and family like crazy, craving Birthday Cake Oreos or just wanting to walk into a Walgreens and read all the English labels on all of my favorite things.
The longer I’m away, the more I start to appreciate the things that remind me of home or make me feel a little closer to home. Here’s a few of the ways I try to keep home close, even when I’m far away.
10 Ways To Feel At Home While Away From Home
- Go to a coffee shop. The smell of freshly ground coffee beans and the sound of steaming milk is universal. Coffee around the world is the great equalizer. No matter where you are in the world, you’ll find a coffee shop, and while you’re inside, you could be anywhere in the world. It’s a nice way to step away from your travels, for just a moment, and into the comfort of something familiar.
- Travel Sheets: Nothing beats the feeling of crawling into your own bed. I don’t have a bed right now, so the next best thing is to crawl into my own sheets every night. My travel sheets quickly became one of my favorite things in my backpack, especially on the cockroach infested train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai.
- Cards from loved ones: When I left home, I received a lot of sweet letters, cards and emails from my friends, family and coworkers. I packed them all in a sheet protector and brought them with me. I read them when I’m feeling really far from the people I love and it makes them feel just a little bit closer.
- Favorite Shoes: On the first leg of this trip, I only had “useful”shoes, like running shoes, hiking shoes, flip-flops (for hostel showers) and black flats (for the one dress I had). I didn’t have space for my favorite everyday shoes, which are my Chucks. I bought a pair after South America and being able to wear my favorite shoes that are comfortable and cute has just been an unexpected comfort that brings a lot of normalcy to my life
- Cooking foods from home: Trying new foods is always fun, but sometimes you just need a taste of home. It’s often hard to find the ingredients I need to make some of my favorite foods in grocery stores around the world, so I try to pack a few spice packets with me for things like Chili and Tacos so I can make some of our favorite comfort foods anywhere.
- Visit with family & friends: This isn’t always possible for long-term travel, but we’ve been fortunate to have weddings in the US that have brought us home twice, and my family is also meeting us in Hong Kong for my brother’s wedding. Being able to see people and hang out with more people than just each other is such a treat and goes so far. If you can arrange a time to meet up with a few people, home or abroad, it’s absolutely worth the extra money.
- American Junk Food: When I came home from the US for a wedding in September, I ate an entire package of Birthday Cake Oreos, a whole bag of Spicy Sweet Chili Doritos and half of a 1 lb bag of Sour Patch kids. It was amazing. I miss that stuff abroad! So when we see American candies or fun chip flavors (like Pizza Cheetos in Poland!) we try to take advantage of them.
- Become a regular: One of the things we miss most about the US is being regulars places, like Starbucks or Stout (our favorite bar). It’s just nice to have a place to go, work, and hang out where you feel at home. When we can, we try to repeat visits to places with hopes of establishing a temporary “regular” status.
- American Activities Abroad: We were able to work in our favorite activities in the US into our international travel plans, like Disneyland and marathons. We also purchased NFL Gamepass and try to watch American Football every time we can.
- Establish a routine: This is something that a lot of travel bloggers we followed referenced missing, so we tried to proactively combat it. We are pretty good about trying to keep to a routine, even while traveling. Every morning, we go to a cafe to work and blog, go home for lunch, spend the afternoon sightseeing and then grab a drink around dinner time. It really has given us a sense of purpose and routine, so we really feel like we’re getting the most out of our days.
What makes you feel like home when you’re away?