Leaving family and friends behind is a burden for anybody crossing the Atlantic to start a new life, but football is an itinerant career and players become accustomed to the upheaval. Miller's commitment to Scotland was carefully packed into his belongings, though. He was adamant that signing for the Vancouver Whitecaps would not be the last act of his inter-national career, even if it creates additional demands.
Returning to Glasgow involves an eight-hour flight to London, then another plane trip north. Miller cracks a joke about the Scottish Football Association's reluctance to pay for business-class tickets, but the travelling is not immaterial to a professional athlete, particularly when international fixtures might involve further journeys that restrict time on the training ground.
Miller is 32, but his game has shown no signs of becoming diminished by age, and he stresses that moving to Major League Soccer (MLS) should not be considered a retirement plan.
The striker sought Craig Levein's reassurance before agreeing to the move. Miller will have to prove that there are no physical consequences of the decision to relocate to Canada, but others have already stated his case.
David Beckham and Robbie Keane maintained their involvement, with England and the Republic of Ireland respectively, after joining LA Galaxy. Football stateside is no longer scorned, even if the best homegrown players still play the peak years of their career in Europe and the imports tend to be veterans.
"I've put a lot of thought into it," Miller said. "There's never been any question about wondering if I wanted to continue [playing for Scotland] – I've always wanted to play and always will – but I've had to think about how to manage it. As long as the manager's happy, and I'm still playing and performing, then hopefully it's not too much of a problem. The league is designed to be competitive. We've played the top team and the bottom team and there genuinely isn't much between them."
Miller is not only coping with circumstances. Levein and Steven Fletcher remain estranged, but another striker has staked a viable claim. Jordan Rhodes is still young enough to be content with a supporting role, but his performances, particularly in this week's training sessions, continue to impress the Scotland manager. Miller is diplomatic about his rival's abilities, but he must be feeling vulnerable about his status for the first time in two qualifying campaigns.
There is no leeway, although Miller would shun complacency out of instinct. After next month's double header away to Wales then Belgium, Scotland do not play competitively again until March, but the close season of the MLS runs from November to March. Miller, like Keane and others, will seek a short-term loan move to the UK to maintain match fitness.
Miller relies on his energy, since he has specialised in being a forward who imposes himself on a game by foraging. He has never been considered prolific, and his haul of 16 goals from 60 internationals before yesterday is modest for a striker. Other values are prized, and his attitude and work rate set a standard for the team.
Miller is one of that generation of Scotland players who have only accumulated failures at international level, but while there is still another qualification campaign to be played, those disappointments can be dwelled upon as a motivation.
"I'll do this campaign and, being realistic, it probably will be [my last], but if I'm still able to play at the start of the next campaign I'll be putting myself forward," he said. "When you start out, you can't imagine getting past the 50-cap mark. You probably can't imagine captaining the team, so I have got a lot of good memories. But you still have that hole which is qualification for a major finals. I've still got that desire to make it, as do the other senior lads. Big Gaz [Caldwell], he's maybe got an extra campaign in him being a centre-half. The qualifying criteria gets a lot easier for the Euros so I might have to try and stretch it in case we get there."
He will never retire himself from international duty, and even contributing as a squad member will feel valuable. Miller has refused to become jaded with international football, although there is already a backlog of regrets. Scottish players, and supporters, have become accustomed to qualifying campaigns that end at the last hurdle. The nation has honed its sense of heartbreak.
"We got off to a very slow start, four points from four games in the last campaign, which wasn't great," Miller said. "We should have beaten the Czech Republic last time. We should have been in the play-offs and that was after a really poor start. When it comes to those [final, decisive] games, we have held our own. [Against] Italy, we should never have lost. [Against] Holland, I should have rapped that ball in the back of the net. I hit the bar as well. We have been in positions of getting big games against big nations and we have never let ourselves down, so if it comes down to a crunch match against someone I am confident we can hold our own."
Miller continues to serve his country because his hope has not as yet been extinguished.
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