Originally written for my study abroad class.
When you’re far from home, you look for the little things that give you a sense of comfort. It’s those little things that give you peace. Picking up and starting up in some new place without ever having been there is a little discomforting. There are things from home that you can live without, and there are things that you have a hard time getting on without.
In Scotland, a first-world country, there isn’t a whole lot of disparity between it and the United States, but there are small differences. And some of those small differences feel very big.
Since I’ve been in Scotland for almost three weeks now, I’ve realized some of the things that I miss about home.
1. WatchESPN (and other streaming sites)
As someone who loves sports more than the average Joe, being without WatchESPN has made me feel like I’ve been living under a rock for the entirety of my stay in Scotland. Back in the States, every day when I wake up, I turn on SportsCenter and get my daily update.
Since I’ve been in Scotland, I feel like I’m completely out of the loop with all things sports related. I missed the last few games of the NBA Finals. I missed the NBA Draft. I missed the last few games of the NHL Finals. I’ve missed the majority of the Women’s World Cup. I’ve missed 17 Braves games (so far). I will be missing the majority World University Games.
2. Warm weather
Granted, this past week has been considered a “heat wave” by the locals, but all in all, it’s been quite cold. Some days it doesn’t get above 50 degrees Fahrenheit.It’s very weird to me that I need to wear a sweater or jacket when it’s June/July. I definitely miss my sticky and gross Nebraska heat. I miss the traditional summer that I grew up with: the lake, the pool, shorts, the list continues. Everyone knows where I’ll be when I get home.
3. Taking a long, uninterrupted shower
Showers are my happy place. My showers back home are where I can go think, sing as loud as I want, take as long as I want and get as clean as a whistle. Showers here live up to none of those things from the States.
- I understand the necessity and practicality, but I really don’t like showering with a “BopIt.”
- I can’t have a solid stream of conscious thought when I’m thinking, “did I press the button? Am I going to run out of water?”
- At home, I take 15-20 minute showers. In Scotland, I take 5-10 minute showers. Afterward, I don’t feel as clean as I do after I shower at home.
- My timing here is always very, very bad.
- Over half of the times I’ve taken a shower while at the University, I’ve been interrupted. I’ve been in the shower three times when the fire alarm has gone off. I’ve had the cleaners come into my flat twice when I’ve been in the middle of a shower. Thanks to that, I’ve been quite rushed.
- Singing? No chance.
- My roommates are all very quiet people. Half the time I don’t even know that they’re here. Whenever I’m playing music, I’m asked to shut it off. Whenever I’m on the phone, I’m asked to take it outside. If I were to sing in my shower, I’m sure it wouldn’t go over very well.
4. Having space
My flat isn’t very big. My room in my flat is even smaller. There is barely enough room for me to stand in between my bed and my desk comfortably. Even though I’m a small person, I take up a lot of space. I like to stretch out. Sometimes I like to lie on the floor. (I’m kind of weird. Don’t ask why.) Without having the space I have at home, I feel very cramped.
Do I like it here in Scotland? Yes. Of course I do. Traveling and diving into different cultures is something I love. However, there’s just something about the place you’re from and all the things you’re used to.
“There’s no place like home.”-Judy Garland