© LUH 3417

9 Things You Don’t Expect To Miss When You Travel (But You Will)

You know that orange-hued, totally unhealthy, kinda nasty Chinese take-out that you order on a lazy weekend? If I told you you’re going to miss that when you’re travelling, would you believe me? Well, you will.

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When you’re travelling, you’re prepared to miss your friends, your family, your pet, your home – the usual stuff. But here are a few things that you’ll be surprised to find yourself missing.

Puppy Sleeping on Pillow
© jeffreyww

#1: Your Pillow

You’ll miss this one pretty soon into your trip. You could rest your head on a dozen different pillows when you travel. Some of them may be fancier than the old one at home, but you’re going to think of your own bed longingly a few times when you’re thousands of miles away. That faded old blanket, or that soft downy quilt that you love – you’ll miss those too.

#2: Your Regular Coffee Shop

It’s not about the coffee. It’s about the routine. It’s about the barista who greets you and knows how you like your caffeine fix. If you’re not a coffee drinker, or you haven’t been lucky enough to find your own favorite coffee joint yet, substitute this with the local frozen yogurt shop that you visit every weekend.

No Money (sign)
© David Neubert

#3: The Day Your Salary Comes In

When I quit my job to travel, I knew I wouldn’t regret it. But I missed the comfortable knowledge that a sizable sum of money was going to be transferred to my bank account on a regular basis.

I missed planning the first big spend of the month. I missed going out for a celebratory drink with office colleagues on the first Friday after our accounts suddenly bloomed. Here too, it’s not about the money – it’s about the feeling of security and sudden, relative luxury that a paycheck gives you.

#4: The Changing Weather in Your City

When you travel for a long time, you’ll skip a couple of seasons that change back home. That means that you miss all the fuss around the first day of spring, the unpacking of summer sandals, the sudden appearance of pumpkin spice in everything. You could be enjoying far better weather on the other side of the world, but you’ll feel a little left out when friends post pictures of the first snowfall of winter.

Spring Sunset in Montevideo, Uruguay
Spring Sunset in Montevideo, Uruguay © Vince Alongi

#5: Not Worrying About Your Stomach

When you travel, you probably think twice before ordering ice for your Coke. You use hand sanitizer almost every hour. You’re carrying what seems like a lifetime supply of antacids, diarrhea tablets, and more. You ask your waiter complicated questions about the way your meal is going to be prepared. All for the sake of your stomach. It can be exhausting, and you’ll miss being able to just drink the water at a restaurant without worrying.

#6: Your Neighborhood Pharmacy

When you’re feeling ill, the last thing you want is to have to deal with a new doctor or pharmacist. You’ll really miss going to someone who knows your history, shakes his or her head in resignation at your carelessness, and prescribes your medicine in a comforting manner.

#7: Chocolate

This is a strange one, but the same brand of chocolate tastes different in different countries. You’ll buy yourself a bar of Snickers as a treat, bite into it, your taste buds already knowing what it tastes like, and you’ll find yourself pausing for a minute to figure it out. The different quality of chocolate or peanuts or caramel makes all the difference, and you’ll miss the familiar.

Bedtime Ritual
© hobvias sudoneighm

#8: Your Bedtime Ritual

I’ll tell you what you won’t miss – the old You.

We all have a ritual before bed. Some of us tuck in to read a few chapters. Some like to play a few rounds of Candy Crush. Some indulge in an elaborate spa-like procedure with lotions and serums. Some of us browse through our favorite websites just before bed.

But when we travel, those routines are replaced by new ones: planning tomorrow’s activities, totting up expenses and worrying about your budget, updating your blog, making calls and writing to family, or thinking about the day you had. Some days, you’ll miss being able to climb into bed and just switch off.

#9: Geeking Out Over Your Favorite Television Shows

Why would you miss a television show when you have a new place to explore? Why would you wonder what your favorite character is doing when you are doing such cool stuff?

That’s what we asked ourselves too. But you do. You miss rushing through your shower and planning dinner around the new episode that’s about to air, and discussing it the next day with your fellow enthusiasts. That applies to your favorite television channel too, the one that plays those unbelievably bad reality shows, the most frivolous fashion makeovers and the trashy celeb-spotting news. We all need our small fix of utter nonsense.

But I’ll tell you what you won’t miss – the old You. The You from before the travel, who worried about money, about finding the perfect new color for your new sofa, the You who lay awake some nights wondering when your life would be closer to your dreams. I bet you won’t miss that at all.

  1. I’m not a huge TV fan so I haven’t been missing watching it at all, but I can relate with some of the other things. I definitely miss having my own bed and not to have to worry where I’ll have to sleep at night.

  2. As with Franca, TV is the only one that doesn’t really apply to me. Everything else though, spot on. My local coffee shop is definitely the top thing I miss, though mostly I find awesome coffee shops when travelling, but there’s something homely and comfortable about a regular one. I love fro-yo heaps, but I never find it in that many places…

  3. Most of these are spot on. I definitely worry about the stomach thing, but I can honestly say I’ve never missed the chocolate from home. Of course I’m from America, so the chocolate is better almost everywhere else in the world!

  4. I find most of these so true! However, I’ve been impressed by how quickly I seem to forget about my favourite shows and stop missing them.

  5. The chocolate part I definitely agree with – though I was pleasantly surprised to be able to find Snickers bars almost everywhere we visited in Central & South America (though sometimes for quite a premium…). We almost broke down in a small surf town in Nicaragua and paid an outrageous $15 for a small jar of nutella… managed to stay strong, though! =)

  6. the biggest thing i notice i miss is not being able to just pour a glass of water from the tap. or not worry about water from the shower going in your mouth…i suppose these all relate to “worrying about your stomach” but the freedom of good clean water always tops my list of things i miss.

  7. Screw chocolate. Cheese! Though, now I’m finally travelling Europe rather than Asia, the cheese is flowing!
    As for TV. A lot of stations have on-demand online players (The BBC does) all you need is a VPN (to fool the system into thinking you are back home) and you can watch the shows as they come out.

  8. I’m an American expat living abroad in Germany and when I traveled to the UK I was soooo excited to see a Hersey’s chocolate bar in the store! So I bought 10 to bring back with me. Took a big ol’ bite of one later–like you said, with my expectations of tasting a little bit of “home” on the tip of my tongue…nope. Different. What a bummer!

  9. I haven’t started my RTW yet, so maybe I will come back and comment when I am a few months into it. I suspect that what I will miss the most are family and friends, rather than possessions.

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