The Best Things About Returning to the United States
Ah, traveling. There is nothing else like it. The freedom. The adventure. The fun. Don’t you wish you could just pack everything up and do it forever? Unfortunately for most of us, however, all good trips come to an end—which is why it’s handy to remember that returning to the States can be pretty glorious. Here’s what I relish every time I land.
Few things are more romantic than strolling the unfamiliar streets of a foreign country and stopping into the fromagerie for a wheel of cheese, the enoteca for a bottle of wine, and the bakery for a baguette. But after a few weeks of hunting all over town for the staples, you can grow to miss the ease of a supermarket. Our strip mall culture is a drag compared to the handcrafted care found in many other parts of the world, but you can’t deny its convenience. If anything, it’s nice to come home and be able to stock your whole picnic basket in one place.
Much of the draw of travel lies in the unknown—seeing new places, trying new things, and meeting new people. Every day is exciting when you don’t know what to expect. But let’s be honest: Sometimes the constant stimulation of figuring things out grows tiring. Converting currency, interpreting menus, and finding your way around is half the fun of being overseas, but sometimes you just miss the comfort of the familiar. It’s a relief when you return to the States, and a cheeseburger tastes like a cheeseburger.
Whether you are home or away, it’s the people you’re with who really make an experience. And you will forever hold dear those you meet in your travels. After all, you’ve bonded over a communal adventure that many back home don’t understand. Still, nobody can replace your true friends and family—the folks you’ve known for years and share that place you call home. Coming back from a trip, nothing beats surrounding yourself with those who know you best (and love you anyway!).
Don’t eat with your right hand. Do drive on the other side of the road. You go to the bathroom WHERE?! There are a lot of customs to learn when you leave your homeland. And your world is turned upside down when the things you have always known are suddenly laden with new meaning or downright forbidden. It’s a relief to be somewhere where you understand the law of the land, literally and figuratively. After touching down on U.S. soil, it’s comforting to know how not to offend people.
This is probably the best of the best things about returning to the States. After a little globe-trotting, you begin to see the whole world through the eyes of a tourist. Suddenly, your hometown has more charm than you realized before. The sights are grander. The weather is better. Things you have always taken for granted suddenly shine in a new light, and your fresh perspective results in a whole new appreciation for the place you reside. At the end of a journey, it’s a joy to realize that there truly is no place like home.
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What do you love about coming home? Tell us in the comments.