i will be home for christmas in just over two weeks, and i could not be more excited. it will have been almost exactly a year since i left, and there have been a few times this year when the homesickness bug has hit me hard — during basketball playoffs. when i was going through a tough personal time. just after my family came to visit in august. when october rolled around, with its changing leaves, cooler weather, and the start of [american] football season.
i originally wasn’t planning on going home this year, which now strikes me as kind of crazy. i figured since my father came in march and the whole family came in august, i wouldn’t need to go back. but then i realized there’s a difference between having my family come to visit me here, and me going home. sleeping in my old bed. sitting on the couch with my parents and cheering on the grizzlies. going to afternoon matinees with my brother. eating my way around the city with my friends. marvelling over how much friends’ children have grown. i have missed all of those things much more than i expected, and i cannot wait to partake in all those activities – and more! – for the two weeks that i will be back in memphis.
and because i am so excited, today i am sharing a few things i am most looking forward to during my upcoming trip.
family time! this one is obvious, but it cannot be emphasized enough. my mother is taking the week of christmas off, my father will also have a four-day weekend, and i am using all of my persuasive abilities to convince my brother to give himself a break from studying. the four of us will eat, watch football and basketball, and generally just hang out. it’s going to be awesome.
chick-fil-a, taco bell, and dr pepper. these might very well be the three things i miss most when i am in india, and they will be consumed on a near-daily basis. those spicy chicken biscuits, those cheesy gordita crunches, and those cans of dr pepper don’t stand a chance with me in town. and yes, i fully intend on packing a 12-pack of dr pepper to carry back to india with me. i’m not even ashamed.
cold weather. i am a big fan of seasons, and fall / winter is my favourite. i love bundling up in sweaters and shawls and jackets and hats and boots, and i am insanely jealous when i don’t get to partake. when the weather in memphis started cooling off in october, bangalore was experiencing an unprecedented heat wave [thank you, climate change] that resulted in four hours of power cuts a day, so i was extra miserable and jealous. don’t be surprised if you see a photo of me sitting outside in below freezing weather just because i can.
memphis food. there is not enough i can say about how wonderful memphis food is. as soon as i booked my tickets, i began crafting an eating plan to ensure i will be able to hit up all of my favourite spots in the two weeks i am back. to any friends reading this: please make sure central, bbq shop, lenny’s, huey’s, babalu, las delicias, kwik chek, and all the rest are ready for my return.
grizzlies games. and sports in general. i miss my grizzlies something fierce when i am away from memphis, so it’s lucky for me that they have two home games while i’m in town. in addition to that there will be no end to the college football, college basketball, nfl, and nba games on tv, so most of my free time will be spent watching whatever games i can find to get my fill while i can.
all the babies. so many of my friends have adorable babies, and i love getting to play fun aunty veen. i already have a day trip planned to nashville to spend some time loving on evelyn and millie and josie and sam, and i’m looking forward to some quality time with my lena-bug while i’m in memphis as well. half of my luggage will be gifts and toys for these rugrats, because they’re awesome.
christmas lights. one of my favourite christmas traditions is piling the family into a car and driving around the neighbourhoods to see all the light displays. some houses go traditional and simple, and others go all-out crazy, and it’s so fun to see it all. last year i added a new tradition to the mix — a drive through the starry nights display at shelby farms park. my parents loved it, and my mother is already planning which night we should go once i reach.
catching up with as many people as possible. email and facetime are great, but they’re not the same as being able to catch up face-to-face. there are a lot of people i’m going to miss, but there are also a lot of people i’m going to get to see, and i can’t wait to hear all of their stories in person.
i think this might be the most i’ve anticipated a trip home since i first moved to bangalore ten years ago, so i am going to live it up.
read: my 30 favourite places in memphis.