By , June 22, 2011 8:39 pm

As our jobs wind down (only 6 working days left!) and our trip fast approaches (only 13 days plus a few hours.. crazy!) it’s hard not to think of the things we will miss when we get on that plane without a return date.  I’m sure this is a stage that every traveler goes through (see Skott’s post over at Get Up and Globe) – as I consider all of the things I’m looking forward to, I can’t help but look back on the things that I’ll be leaving behind.  Here are a few of them:

1.  Family & Friends

This is number one for a good reason.  We’ve been saying goodbye to family since Easter and let me tell you, it’s not easy.  My mom recently admitted that she’s already been shedding tears about our trip when we’re not around.  Mike’s mom seems to tear up every time we see her – which is a lot, since we’re living in her house right now.  If I had a way to bring everyone with us, I would (at least for a visit here and there), but since teleportation is still in its quantum stages, I guess I’ll have to settle with email and Skype to stay in touch.



2.  Our Cat, Pi

Although she is without a doubt part of our family, and thus included in number 1 above, I thought Pi deserved her own number on this list.  Pi has been a member of our family since our wedding nearly four years ago.  Since Mike’s parents didn’t want a cat in their house, we had to give her up at the end of May after we sold our house.   She’s got a great new home with one of my coworkers (again, thanks Lana!), but I’ve missed her every day she’s been there.

3.  Quachie Food

The Gateway restaurant in Qu’Appelle has THE best Chinese food I’ve ever eaten.  We even had them cater our wedding.  I think I’ll miss their egg rolls most of all.  And their ginger beef.  And their long dry ribs.  Oh, wow, now I’m hungry!  It’s the definitely the egg rolls that I’ll miss the most.




4.  Board Games

Mike and I love to play board games.  Sometimes it’s just each other, sometimes with friends.  We have spent many an afternoon talking and laughing over a game board.   We’re both super competitive so sometimes it’s pretty quiet after one of us backstabs the other on our quest for victory.  The first thing we secured a home for (after Pi, that is) is our collection of board games.  Somehow I don’t think they’d travel very well in our packs.

5. China Pastry

It might seem weird to you that I’ve got two restaurants on my list, but if you had ever tasted a bun from China Pastry you’d understand its inclusion.  My favourite buns are the plain buns, but I’ll miss all the other flavours (BBQ pork, Szechwan vegetable, hot dog, cocktail, etc.) equally.  Hopefully I will find on my journey a savoury pastry to equal these delicious packets of perfection.

6.  Boston Lee Days

Mike and Ashley - Boston Lee Day

For as long as I’ve known Mike, he’s celebrated Boston Lee Day with his friends on every Friday the 13th.  It’s a happy orange holiday that we always look forward to.  Celebrations were moved to our place after the bar that originally hosted them shutdown in 2007.  When the next Friday the 13th hits (January 13, 2012), Mike and I will be sure to don some orange and celebrate wherever we are.  Hopefully they find a new venue back home to join in.


7.  Teaching

I love teaching.  For the past four years, I have been teaching math at the same high school in Regina.  It’s become my second home.  I didn’t realize how much I would miss it until the last couple weeks, when I started going through the series of goodbyes that the end of the school year has brought (last day of classes, each final exam day, and still to come, report card day).  There have been lots of hugs and well wishes, and even a spontaneous round of applause from one of my classes that brought me to tears (just before I gave them their final exam, no less).

There are a few things that I won’t miss, and I think they might be worth mentioning too:

1.  The Alarm Clocks. Neither Mike nor I are morning people.  ‘Nuf said. iPhone Alarm

2.  Our Bed. We have been in desperate need of a new mattress for about a year.  But we were too cheap (frugal?) to buy one, since we knew we’d be leaving in July.  This may have been a smart decision, actually.  We’ve basically been in training for the variety of beds we’re bound to encounter in budget hostels.  In fact, a lot of the hostel beds may be a step up.

3.  The Stuff. I really don’t think I’m going to miss all the stuff I’m leaving behind.  Especially things like the TV, the stack of laundry (do I really need that many clothes to get dirty?), and everything else we’ve gotten rid of already.

4.  The Commute. Spending almost two hours driving each day is crazy.  That’s 12.5% of my waking hours!  What a waste.

5.  The Schedule. I think.  I’ve always been a fairly by-the-book kinda gal, so maybe I won’t like not knowing what tomorrow will bring.  For as long as I can remember, I’ve had school or a job to live by… even in the summers.  But then again, the more I think about it the less I think I’m going to miss having to follow a set schedule day in and day out.

For everyone out there traveling the world, what do you miss the most?  What’s the thing you’re most happy about leaving behind?

21 Responses to “Some Things That I Will Miss (And A Few That I Won’t)”

  1. Mary Ann says:

    I will miss you the most! ,thank God you taught me how to skype!

  2. This is terrible I guess, but I think I always missed my pets more than my family.

    You’ll find lots of these things when you travel. Sounds like you have to go to China. Go, teach for a few months. Those buns are everywhere, that’s school cafeteria food over there.

    Ditch the schedule. Sure, sometimes you need it, but don’t force yourself to do everything. If your having fun, have fun. We once went to a hostel in the mountains and for 2 days, wound up staying 2 weeks. It was just to good to leave.

    Have a great trip guys. Looking forward to the start.

    • Ashley Lenzen says:

      Hmmm… doesn’t seem fair, does it? China gets China pastries and we get hot dogs and tater tots.

      As for the schedule, I was originally anxious about how I’d fill my time. But that’s silly… I really don’t think it will be a problem. I can’t wait to have the freedom and flexibility to change plans at the drop of a hat.

  3. Kris Koeller says:

    Living in San Francisco for 15 years, the thing I missed most on the road is good, well-brewed drip coffee. Happy travels!

  4. Having animals around us. And the food. And good coffee (although we did find a place that serves an acceptable – to our standard – coffee here in Baños. Yay, life is good).

    • Ashley Lenzen says:

      I’ve heard a lot of people say they miss good coffee. Luckily, Mike and I don’t drink coffee so that shouldn’t be an issue. I totally understand missing the animals… I still look around when I get home to say hi to Pi before I remember she’s not here.

  5. amy says:

    Great list…and yes animals would be tough tough tough. We have two cats my parents thankfully love them and will watch / take care of them. And yes no alarm clock – heaven. Sleeping until you wake! Ahhhhhh

    • Ashley Lenzen says:

      That’s great that you already have a good place for your cats! Good luck on the decluttering of your house… it’s the most freeing experience! 2013 will be here before you know it.

  6. Lauren says:

    I love that your cat is called Pi!

    Can’t believe you guys are leaving so soon, and I’ll be leaving in 3 weeks – scary!

    I’ll have to do a list like this at some point.

    • Ashley Lenzen says:

      Isn’t it crazy how fast time has passed? I really enjoyed writing this list, although I missed a couple of items:

      8. The Water Tower Game – The first time I drove out to Qu’Appelle with Mike, he introduced me to this. Basically the first person to see the Qu’Appelle Water Tower shouts it out and wins. Since he didn’t tell me how it worked, he won that time. I’ve won nearly every time in the eight and a half years since (I can probably count all of his victories on one hand). It may seem childish, but my competitive spirit keeps me playing (and winning!).

      9. Saskatchewan Roughrider Games – I’m not much for watching sports, but I am a big Roughrider fan (Saskatchewan’s CFL football team). I’m even considering taking my jersey with me for game days. We’ll probably try to catch most of the games online if we can, so maybe I won’t literally miss them.

      Good luck on your trip start, Lauren! Can’t wait to read about your adventures!

  7. Kieron says:

    I’m feeling you Ashley! I think we’ll put together a list like this as well…

    Definitely gonna miss family and friends the most but on the flipside we can’t wait to escape our alarm clocks, our commute and the constant sacrifices we’re having to make like living at home.

    Only 4 weeks left for us! Good luck to the two of you. 🙂

  8. Tijmen says:

    6 working days will be over before you now it 🙂

    Other then friends the thing I missed most is riding my racebike over the flat and long straight roads here.

    Maybe it has something to do with me being Dutch and our love for bikes, but just riding a bike in general is something I miss as well. Last time I went 9 months without a bike, when I finally came back home again, it was so great to be able to cycle again. And dutch cheese pancakes, that was the first thing I had for dinner once I came back home 🙂

    • Mike Lenzen says:

      Tijmen, I’ve been missing my bike too. I sold it in a garage sale, only made it out for two short rides this year.

      I’ve never heard of a Dutch Cheese Pancake before, but I like pancakes and I like cheese, so I can believe their good.

  9. Jack Scott says:

    I miss the big city vibe, decent croissants, travelling on the tube outside the rush hour, Indian food and a big dollop of culture. I don’t miss them enough to go back!

    • Ashley Lenzen says:

      I’m kind of looking forward to the big city vibe. I’ve lived pretty much my whole life in small towns, and worked in relatively small cities.

  10. Galmc says:

    We are heading off for a RTW trip in 2 weeks – just have to pack up the classroom, sell a few more pieces of furniture (thank you craigslist!) and pack the car for the first leg of the journey – a liesurely drive across Canada to deliver the dog to family in Nova Scotia. I think I will miss my dad and our dog most of all.

    • Mike Lenzen says:

      Enjoy the drive across Canada. I’ve only managed to see parts West of Winnipeg so far. Maybe after our big RTW trip I’ll get a chance to see the East coast.

  11. PostcardFromBk says:

    We’ve been travelling for three weeks into our six month trip and mostly miss our friends, family, and neighborhood. We have started to notice the little things too like a good Internet connection, iced coffee and gel stick deodorant (which we can’t find anywhere).

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