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“The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.”
-Maya Angelou

When I’m somewhere over the rainbow, trying to sniff out food that could pass as something edible, or locate a toilet that resembles a normal toilet, there are a few things I’m fairly certain I’ll miss:

  • Saturday morning tea and peanut butter toast: though it’s 99% possible rich European pastries will fill the void.
  • My moccasin slippers: I live in these things, but have been told they aren’t a necessary item on my already overcrowded packing list.
  • My job and coworkers: spending 8 hours each work day at a job I love with great people is something I’ll admit to taking for granted. It and they will be missed.
  • Home cooked meals:  I’m sure we’ll both return 20 pounds heavier, so it’s not a matter of starving. It’s the sometimes mundane ritual of cooking an evening meal and putting our feet up to watch Breaking Bad that is a routine I know I’ll miss.
  • Snow: for the 8 months of “winter” in Canada, I constantly curse the snow and swear up and down that I wasn’t meant to be born north of the 49th. That said, this will be my first snow-less Christmas EVER (shortly after which, we’ll be returning to Canada, at which point I can resume my lifetime grudge against the cold).
  • Wide open spaces without people, vehicles, or noise: from what I hear, these can be hard to find in Europe and something we are used to seeking out on weekends in the Canadian rocky mountains. Bringing my earplugs!
  • My cat Davey: Tyler’s parents have agreed to feed him kibble and scoop his poop THE ENTIRE 4 MONTHS! They are not so sure about the idea of getting him on Skype to visit with us…I’ve got some convincing to do.
  • Home and its comforts: cranking the heat up all the way when I’m chilly, playing Wii in my short shorts unselfconsciously, the excellent water pressure of my shower, the dip in my mattress where I sleep, the closet that holds my sweaters, shoes and purses in all their right places.
  • Family & friends: we’ll miss them and all the occasions that bring us together. Though we take it for granted that we are in the same city, province or country, I take comfort in knowing that if I wanted to, I could see most of them within minutes or hours.

The things I’ll miss might sound like a crybaby list of first world problems, but as I start to clear out my desk at work and make last minute packing arrangements, I empathize with Dorothy, poised to leave the wonderful world of Oz, clinking her red ruby slippers three times over: there truly is, no place like home.