Erica & Matt Chua: He Said/She Said — What Do You Miss Most From Home?

HE SAID…

Mexican food.  Bet you thought I was going to say family and friends, but seriously…imagine life without Mexican food.  You can’t, can you?  Living in the great USA you think Mexican food is a God given right.  I fell into believing that the hardest part of eating Mexican food would be choosing if I wanted guacamole with that.  Then I went to the ROW, that evil “Rest of the World” that doesn’t border Mexico and found that getting an OK burrito, fajita, or quesadilla is impossible.  Here is my open apology to Mexico for taking it for granted.

Dear Mexico,

I hope you are doing well.  I hope that you’ve been moving on and, as much as it hurts to say, I hope you’ve been as good to others as you were to me.  I think about you constantly, there is nothing that compares to you.  I miss your smell, how you made me feel when we were together, even when you made me sick to my stomach.  I miss how you celebrated my birthday with a giant sombrero and “all-you-can-drink” birthday shots.  My heart burns with desire for you today the way it did when I tried to drink your “special sauce” straight from the bottle.  Mexico, I want you back in my life.

I know I’ve done so much to hurt you.  I shouldn’t have blamed you for my party-ending flatulence, that was my fault, I know I have lactose issues, I shouldn’t have ordered más queso.  Even then I knew that the New Year’s debacle wasn’t your fault as I claimed, I made the choice to drink a mug of tequila.  Too many things I’ve blamed on you and for that I’m sorry.  I’m an adult and I have to take responsibility for my choices because Mexico, I want you back in my life.

Mexico…we have so many memories together…we should make more.

I’ve changed, I understand how much joy you brought to my life.  I miss the feeling of your massively thick burritos in my mouth.  I miss the sizzle of the chicken on the make-my-own fajita platter.  I miss your spice, your flavor, your mariachi, even if I am upset with you the day after.  Please don’t make me beg, because I will.  Please don’t make me watch soccer, because yes, I’m willing to even go that far.  I’ll do anything you ask to have you back.  Please, Mexico, come back to my life.

Mateo

SHE SAID…

Unlike trying to come up with my favorite place in the world this question is much easier to answer, the thing that there is no replacement for anywhere in the world are the people I left behind.  I miss my family and friends back home more than any kind of food, activity or place.    It seems that everyone who embarks on a long journey, regardless of the reason, becomes more aware of what is most important to them and what they value.  Family and friends have always been important to me, but being away from them for so long has made that even more clear.

At the end of our first year of travel my parents and brother met us in New Zealand for an amazing family reunion. It was so good to see them, catch up on their life changes and to share some incredible experiences.  I realized how much I missed my Dad’s stories and advice as well as my Mom’s incredible ability to listen and provide a level of comfort than only mother’s can (no matter how old you are).  I missed my brother and having someone around that had come from the same background and could laugh with me about things only the two of us could know growing up together.  It’s hard not to be at home with my parents for holidays, to congratulate my brother in person with his career advancements, have “girls nights” with my Mom or go on bike rides with my Dad.

In the same way I miss doing things with my family, I miss hanging out with my friends.  We meet lots of people during our travels, but it’s not the same as spending time with long-time friends that know you really well and you have shared memories with.  Conversations are different and there are no awkward moments with people you’ve known for years versus people you’ve known for a matter of days.  I look forward to going home in just a few months and spending time (while eating Mexican food, for thinkCHUA) with the people I love as there is just no replacement for my family and friends on the road.

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