AirForceWife's latest post made me chuckle because it was the exact opposite of my experience. When I got married, I had just finished living in France and Sweden. My husband and I did everything possible to stay in the US for our first tour. He called me three days before our wedding with news I needed to sit down for: we were heading to Germany.
Once there, it turned out to work out for the best. I'm glad our first duty station was the overseas one, and we really liked our post and the region of Germany. But having already lived in Europe twice, I had no romantic notions of how wonderful it was going to be. No matter what fun things we were able to do there, I always had a longing to just go home.
I have distant relatives in France who are really nice people. On one visit to see them, they were making this huge deal about a new cheese they had found in England. They went on and on about this cheese, "something called cheddar." Hilarious. So on my second trip to see them, I was going to take them a boatload of cheddar.
We were leaving for France early Saturday morning, and Friday night we had dinner plans. As I drove off post on the 30-minute drive to the nearest city, I got halfway there and pulled over to the side of the road in a panic. I had forgotten to buy the cheddar. I sat there and weighed my options: if I went on to dinner, I wouldn't be back in time to make it to the commissary, nor would the commissary be open in the morning before we left. Hence, no cheddar. If I turned around and went back, I'd never make it to dinner in time, and since no one had a cell phone, there would be no way to notify my friends. After some deliberation and much cursing, I turned around.
As I drove back to post, I griped and moaned the whole way. If I had been in the United States, I could've gone to any one of the multitude of 24-hr grocery stores and bought cheddar at any time of the night. But nooooo, I had to be stuck with the commissary as my only option. And if I had been in the United States, I could've called my friends and let them know my troubles. But noooo, we were stuck with cell phone service that cost 20 cents per minute, so most people just didn't bother.
At the end of three years, these gripes and moans were adding up fast. I started to miss so many things about my home country. I used to think that homesick was only the feeling of missing your family or loved ones. I thought I did not get homesick. But I certainly was homelandsick. I missed the United States. I wanted to use free bathrooms. I wanted to get water in a restaurant and not have to pay more for it than my husband's beer. I wanted to grocery shop before 10 AM. I wanted to stop worrying whether restaurants would be open or closed, because sometimes they'd just close if business was slow. I wanted to stop paying cash for everything; I even had to walk three blocks to an ATM to get cash when I bought new tires. I wanted to be home.
Did you feel like this on overseas tours? Did you have those moments when you just. wanted. to. go. home?