To be clear, this will be about foreigners who speak a foreign language. These are questions I’ve been asked countless times, and for which my answer has always seemed unsatisfying for the person asking.
Question 1: Do you miss your home country?
My typical answer: “Non, mais tu sais, ce qui me manque, c’est la nourriture.”
Typical reaction: “Hahahahaha!”
I feel like I’m always letting people down when I say no to this. Honestly, I don’t miss the US. But I do miss the food, which is hard to say to a French person without them honestly thinking it’s a joke, because American food is so misunderstood (and so badly exported).
I know the US has a lot of qualities that are lacking in France (and vice versa), like the general friendliness and openness of strangers, and the wide open spaces. But once you crack the shell of French friendliness (it can take some time—years maybe—to find it), American friendliness doesn’t feel so absent. I can get my fix of it when I go home.
As for missing family, I think moving far away for college prepared me for long times away from home. The only hard times are when I’ve just left Texas or they’ve just left France, and it only lasts about a week.
So no, I never find myself aching for home. I don’t get homesick. I feel blessed to live in France. Maybe that’s not normal?