What Will We Miss About Home While On The Road

Right now we are rushing to pack the last few items in our backpacks so we can hit the road for our seven week adventure in Mexico.  I’m sure we’ll all have a great time while on the trip, but travel fatigue is also a possibility.

Before we leave, it’s a good time to reflect on how great our lives at home are by thinking about the things we’ll miss the most.  Absence makes the heart grow fonder and you don’t know what you got till it’s gone, as they say.  Even though we don’t spend a lot of money, I recognize by world standards that we live a luxuriously bountiful life that offers everything we need and then some.

Here’s what everyone in the family thinks they will miss over the next seven weeks:


Things Mrs. Root of Good and I will miss:

  • Air conditioning. We won’t have this for 6 weeks and high temps will be in the low to mid-80’s (but 55 to 60 at night).
  • Comfort of our own home.  Everything is how we want it and it’s all familiar and easy.
  • Lounging on the back deck.  It’s getting too hot for that most days at home, but should be nice enough for relaxing on the patio or rooftop terraces at our rentals in Mexico.
  • Peace and quiet. There’s a possibility of fireworks, loud cars, and barking dogs since we’ll be staying in town.
  • Family and friends.  Skype videochatting will help.
  • Babysitters.  We won’t have our family to babysit whenever we need it.
  • Conveniences like our car.  We’ll have to think a little more about where we are going and which bus or subway line to take.
  • Grocery stores that we are familiar with.  However, visiting foreign grocery stores is a cool part of the culture, so learning what they have for sale and how they are organized is part of the fun, too.
  • English being the default language. It’s easy and natural and we don’t have to think.  After a while you Just. Want. To. Speak. English.  But the Spanish immersion will help all of us grow our foreign language proficiency.
  • Waking up every day with nothing to do.  Hey, the routine of early retired life is pretty awesome!  We hope to mix in lots of relaxation with sightseeing so we don’t get burned out too early in the trip.
  • A well stocked fridge, freezer, and pantry.  It’s nice to have a variety of cuts of meat at your fingertips plus a selection of canned goods, dry goods, fresh fruits and vegetables to complement the main dish.  In Mexico, we’ll be shopping for a day or two at a time since we’ll be carrying the groceries back home on foot.
  • A diverse spice rack and sauce selection (curries, pastes, seasonings, etc).  When we cook while on the road, we’ll have to economize on the seasonings and make substitutions at times so we aren’t buying a ton of ingredients for a single dish.  We won’t be able to haul a lot of stuff to the next rental.  Sometimes simple is good though.
Training for the Mexico trip: backpacking the 1.8 miles to Grandma's house.
Traveling on foot or by public transit means thinking ahead.


Things our ten year old daughter will miss:

  • Knowing where things are around the neighborhood and around town.  Although she might learn where things are since we are staying in one place for two weeks at a time
  • Knowing where things are around the house.  The unfamiliarity of new apartments or hotel rooms will be a challenge.
  • Friends.  But she knows we may be able to skype with them.
  • All the normal types of food like candy, pizza, and ice cream.  But she is excited to try the versions of these foods available in Mexico and other new dishes.
  • Our cat. In spite of having to feed her daily.
  • Speaking lots of English.  Time to practice Spanish!
  • Air conditioning
  • Riding in our own cars
  • TV.  She has a tablet and should be able to watch Netflix on the road
  • Laying on a soft couch relaxing.  Our apartment and house rentals have nice sofas!

It sounds like our ten year old has a good grasp on the challenges of life on the road.  And her list has a lot of overlap with our list.


Things our eight year old daughter will miss:

  • Her toy unicorn named Wishful.
  • Her long pants. We’re making her pack shorts due to the heat.

Nothing else, she says.  She is a girl of few words.


Three year old son:

  • His tablet

He was playing on it at the time of the interview.  And proceeded to play on it during the ten seconds he paid attention to me.  I told him we were taking it with us and he said “I can play on it on the buses”.  Smart kid.


Leaving home

To summarize, the adults and the ten year old will miss a lot.  The eight year old and the three year old won’t miss much at all (so they say!).  We’ll see what happens once we’re on the road.

The plan is to put out travel updates once per week.  So keep in touch with us throughout the trip via Facebook, Twitter, or by email or RSS reader (in the column to the right).

Hasta la vista!



What would you miss most about home if you were gone for two months?



photo credit: Russ Bowling @ flickr

Root of Good Recommends:
  • Personal Capital* - It's the best FREE way to track your spending, income, and entire investment portfolio all in one place. Did I mention it's FREE?
  • Interactive Brokers $1,000 bonus* - Get a $1,000 bonus when you transfer $100,000 to Interactive Brokers zero fee brokerage account. For transfers under $100,000 get 1% bonus on whatever you transfer
  • $750+ bonus with a new business credit card from Chase* - We score $10,000 worth of free travel every year from credit card sign up bonuses. Get your free travel, too.
  • Use a shopping portal like Ebates* and save more on everything you buy online. Get a $10 bonus* when you sign up now.
  • Google Fi* - Use the link and save $20 on unlimited calls and texts for US cell service plus 200+ countries of free international coverage. Only $20 per month plus $10 per GB data.
* Affiliate links. If you click on a link and do business with these companies, we may earn a small commission.


  1. We have tons of trips this summer and fall which will equal probably around 2-3 months of being gone. We are currently around 21 hours from home and I miss just having everything so easily accessible in my same house haha.

    1. Wow, that’s a lot of traveling! Doing a 7 week trip all at once isn’t too bad because we’ll be settled in one place for 2 weeks at a time (by design of course). I think it’s the packing and unpacking, waiting on flights, travel delays, checking in and out of hotels/apartments that wears us down.

  2. I think I would miss the independence of taking my own vehicle. Even if visiting an area with a great public transit system, I would hate to give up that self controlled mobility. I’m sure the lack of AC might get frustrating, especially in the middle of the day. I hope your family has an enjoyable vacation!

    1. Not having a vehicle has its perks too. No need to park, worry about hitting other cars, having your car stolen or getting towed, needing to return to the car after exploring the town (just meander toward the hotel or nearest public transit instead). But eventually I’m sure we’ll miss the convenience of throwing all our gear in the trunk and zipping around (especially once it’s hotter during the day!).

  3. The biggest thing I would miss is ice- apparently nobody does ice like the Americans. I hope you guys have an awesome trip, and that you don’t succumb to travel fatigue!

    1. Yes. There’s an ice machine at the hotel but I’m not sure if they use purified water so I’m not going to risk it. Room temp beverages seem normal. But there’s something strange about a soda that’s not ice cold. Too bubbly?

  4. I would definitely miss having everything at my fingertips (liek you mentioned). Not being able to hop in the car would also be strange, but rental cars and public transportation can solve that one. I might actually miss the consistent routine of the work week at first! I know that sounds strange, but I could plan my week based on meetings/workload/etc and know what was in the pipeline.

    Have fun on the trip. I am expecting lots of food posts.

  5. Well, if you put it like this, it’s almost a miracle that you guys are actually going 😉 Have a great time though, looking forward to the occasional travel update.

    Funny thing is, I usually never miss anything from home when I’m on the road, love the unknown and the chaos associated with it. Seems to always work out fortunately!

    1. I try to be a realist and acknowledge that travel won’t always be perfect and might be tough at times (especially if you venture outside of resorts, which we always do 🙂 ). Just throwing some things out there that we might miss about home compared to life on the road. The fact that we are 2 days into our 7+ week adventure still hasn’t really sunk in yet.

      We’ve been fortunate so far. Having GPS and offline google maps helps immensely to just wander around aimlessly and see what we find.

  6. The spice rack is such a good point! We love cooking our own food when traveling, but we always realize how very much spice we use in our food–it’s tough to get by with just salt and pepper ;)! Mr. FW has been known to bring spices in his carry-on. We always miss Frugal Hound when we travel as well as the quiet solitude of our home–it really is our refuge. Enjoy your trip! Can’t wait to hear all about it and see the photos!!!

    1. I hope we get to try some local spices and ingredients, but so far the restaurants and street food have been priced just right for us. In the subway I saw 5 tacos and a soda for USD $1.33. I’m hoping they are open tomorrow morning so I can try me a few of them nom nom nom. 🙂

  7. Missing items while away on holiday makes me appreciate them so much more when back home.
    Items I usually miss: a good shower, my bed and pillow
    Items I usually love: exploring new food and extoic drinks… yammy.

    Enjoy the trip

    1. That’s the way I look at it, too. Home is pretty awesome. Traveling is pretty awesome in a different way. And no matter how awesome the trip, I’ve never been disappointed with the feeling of returning from a long trip, flopping down on my own bed at home and drifting off into an exhausted slumber.

  8. The biggest issues we have when traveling are the Internet connections we encounter (almost never as fast as home, and oftentimes non-existant) and showerheads (the low-flow type that allow barely enough water to get you wet to come out.) Other than that we love traveling. Right now we have 1M points per year with the Wyndham club so if we time it right and get lower required point stays, we can travel for months out of the year and stay at good places. But even good resorts can have the two issues I reference above. No doubt these are minor nits, which is why we love to travel irregardless.

    Best of luck in Mexico. Like others we look forward to hearing the details. Travel safe!

    1. Slow internet sucks. I had to test our internet at the hotel here in Mexico City. 3 ms ping time, 21 mbps download, 27 mbps upload. Wish I had that at home! Well, I might when google fiber shows up. 🙂 And those speeds are on the wifi from the rooftop terrace at the hotel. Amazing. Haven’t taken a shower here yet though.

  9. I’m a routine type of guy, so I would miss my routines and having everything within arms reach. I’d definitely miss my toy unicorn if I had one though. Can’t wait to see pictures and get some tips for when I go to Mexico (eventually). Have fun!

    1. I would miss my routine a bit too if I couldn’t partially maintain it while in Mexico. I’ve read more in the last two days than I have in any other recent 2 day period (thanks to a 4.5 hour bus ride one day and a 4 hour plane ride the next day). But I know what you mean – you get used to following a routine and breaking out of it is weird.

      So far I haven’t missed any things but we’re only in day 2 right now. I’m sure we’ll come to the point where we think “wouldn’t it be nice to have X”.

    1. Sounds great! I’m sitting here on the hotel’s roof terrace watching the sun go down, enjoying a cool evening (when it’s in the 90’s back at home!) and generally having a great time. And we haven’t even arrived at our first 2 week apartment stay yet.

    1. Does a 15 year old degree in Spanish Language and Lit count? 🙂 I did some Duolingo.com online language learning. Probably more helpful was researching the trip where some of the content was in Spanish. And being forced to email places for business inquiries. After a partial day here in Mexico City, I think I’ll be okay. I also don’t mind asking “how do you say X” (or “como se dice X”) to waitresses, store clerks, etc to keep on learning.

  10. I can’t live without A/c. I always check for it on the travel sites. It severely limits travel options but it is worth it. Hope you and your family have a great time. Take lots of pictures.

    1. Thanks! We’re having a blast so far and have filled up a memory card already (according to the photographer Mrs. Root of Good).

      And I’m happy to report that our first place without A/C is going well so far. Pretty warm in the sun when I was out and about today but perfectly cool inside the house. There’s a mini heat wave the next few days (in the mid to high 80’s) so we’ll see how I feel by the weekend. 🙂

      I feel the same way about A/C but it was nearly impossible to find where we are staying. I think because it’s moderate 11 months of the year and pretty dry even when it’s hot. The construction here is also heavy duty bricks and concrete so you get a more muted thermal variation inside because the walls don’t warm up quickly. Lows in the 50’s each night mean it might be chilly here in the morning.

  11. Have a great time! Usually, I don’t miss home much when I’m on the road. There are just so many things to do. Mrs. RB40 likes home, though. Not sure if she can do 7 weeks. 🙂

    1. 3 days in and we’re still very content. We just arrived at our first apartment rental for the next 2 weeks and it’s pretty amazing (given it’s $60 per night). We’re just taking it very very easy. Mrs. RoG and the kids stayed at the house this afternoon while I navigated the local market and picked up all kinds of dinner.

  12. I am looking forward to hearing more about your trip and seeing some pictures.

    I enjoy traveling for the change of pace and being in different environments. Your post highlighting some of the things you are missing shows you how blessed our lifestyles really are in the US.

    When you come back home from your trip you will certainly view your home and life in a different light!

    1. Hey, there’s a new post up today that shows tons of pics from our first week. You’re right about perspective – we really do have it very sweet at home. The fact that so many people (with proper planning and a little luck) can retire comfortably is testament to that fact.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.