Life as an ex-pat isn't easy. In fact, it's darn hard a lot of the time. Don't get the wrong idea, I love living in Israel, am glad we emigrated here and are raising our Kid(s) here, but sometimes you simply long for the familiar. Like Wal-mart, Target, Safeway (or any real grocery store), Starbucks, etc. And it's hard to be separated from all of your family. Most people who move here have at least some family, but we really have none, and it's been an uphill battle to build a support system here. I still don't have a good babysitter in walking distance. My best option just got engaged, so she's off in la-la land for a while.
But we are going back to the US for a visit in one week. I'm going a bit berserk thinking about traveling in my 3rd trimester with a one year old (Thank G-d the Rabbi is coming!) but I'm really excited just to be "home" with my family for a while. I know it's just a different set of difficulties in America (no kosher meat, or Jewish Milk, having to drive again, instead of walk everywhere, etc.) but at least I will be dealing with people in my native language (and hopefully theirs). And everything is so cheap there (except Jewish stuff, which is very cheap here) that we will be testing the limits of our suitcase allowance with shoes, clothes, Ziplock bags, crystal light, sponges, kitchen knives, high-threadcount sheets (220 is really high here), and anything else I can think of that is really expensive or unobtainable in Israel, but cheap in the US. In exchange I will be bringing Olives, Pomegranate products, Za'atar (Israeli spice), scarves, etc. for family and friends.
So, here's to the exchange of consumer goods, but also to the joy of having 4 generations living on the farm again (however briefly), my daughter being charming to all our friends, getting to feel my BFF's baby kick her tummy, because it will probably be a while until I get to meet him in person, hugging my other BFF because she's going through a tough time and Skype just doesn't cut it, watching my parents play with my daughter, their first grandchild, going as a family to the aquarium for the first time, and everything else. Oh, and if you believe in Prayer, think of us as we drive across the country in Early January with our one-year-old who's longest car trip to date has been 2 hours. Yeah, we're nuts.