Missing Home

Yesterday, for the first time, I missed home. The feeling rose somewhat unexpectedly– from somewhere inside of me– and caught me by surprise.

The rest of the family is gone on a two-week vacation to Goa–it is just my wife and I (and the dog, of course) here in Dubai. While sitting on the small patio area behind our villa, a ton of thoughts and emotions slowly grew: I do not know how long it will be before I get to see my parents, my brother and his family, and my friends from the US again; this is not a vacation; I am not going home, this is my new home. I cannot even call my family in the US. They are on vacation (with my brother and all his family) in China, until late this month. To make it worse, when we left my parents’ house for the flight to Dubai, it was the last time I will be able to call that house “home.” It was the home I grew up in and my parents are selling it.

Tears welled up. I knew this was not going to be easy.

Later, I searched for work online and made a few phone calls to some possible job leads. After that my wife and I drove across town to run an errand. I am slowly learning the roads here and it was nice to know I am able to get across town and back again.

On the way home we stopped at Spinneys, a chain grocery store here that carries more European and American brands than the other grocers around. What was weird was that just seeing grocery store brands that are familiar helped lessen my homesickness. Froot Loops, Ruffles, Campbell’s, Bush’s Baked Beans, Glad garbage bags, Scott paper towels, Tony’s frozen pizza…just the smallest, material, seemingly very inconsequential things helped–just because they were familiar.

I thought about all the familiar roads in Frederick and Middletown. I thought of the familiar woods behind my house. I thought of the familiar faces of the people I love.

Very little is familiar here. However, everyday that “very little” grows in small increments.

What happened to my childlike excitement of being in a new culture? It is still there and still excited. But even children can only stay excited for so long before they crash and need the familiar cradle of their mother’s cuddling.

I think I’ll go curl up on the coach and cuddle with the bag of Ruffles I just bought.

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6 Comments on “Missing Home”

  1. Erik S Says:

    Hang in there, buddy! You are definitely being missed back home, and we’ll all be ready and waiting for you once you’re ready for a visit! 🙂

  2. Ruth Says:

    Eric,
    Logan and I are really enjoying your blog! Very well written. It’s nice to know a bit about your adjustment and experiences, and we admire your courage in taking such a big leap of faith and moving so far from home. We’re thinking of you and praying for you! Say Hi to Raina.
    🙂 Ruth

  3. Darren Says:

    Eric,
    I enjoyed reading your thoughts.
    As you know my wife is from England and one day we may found ourselves there. Thanks for sharing.

    your cuz
    Darren

  4. Jeanna Says:

    Hey there – reading this reminds me of exactly how I felt when we left after our wedding to St. Maarten. It was so forgein and unfamiliar! There were things (like food) that reminded me of home but it made me all the more homesick. Knowing I could not talk to my family (we ended up talking to them once a week – it cost 8.45 a minute…) was hard. But I promise you the adventures you will have will far exceed your loss of home. You will return someday if only for a bit, but the stories of your adventures will be priceless for all those you share them with.

    This will also be a time for you marriage to grow even stronger! You will rely on your spouse so much during this time. You will find she is your EVERYTHING (since family and close friends are far away) and that will be amazing for years to come. Cherish this time, and know that we all miss you too! Blogging will help and it will be fun for those of us here in the states!!! Thank you for sharing! Hang in! 🙂

  5. Pop Says:

    You know we love you Boe. We miss you. Mom cried in China the day she knew you boarding the plane for Dubai. I, of course. am tougher than that. “Put it away and let it eat you from the inside out”…that’s my motto!

    We will come see you in the spring and after a week with us you will remember why you left :-).

    I love you.

  6. Christopher Mathewson Says:

    Bro… I admire your courage to move to a new land! Thanks for your transparency as you transition! Of course you have our prayers, but I wish I could buy you a beer (hard to do it seems like) and chat about life… Fight the good fight my old friend!
    Lisa and I have talked about coming to visit… would that be possible?

    much love bro
    c&l


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