Travelling is an amazing way to learn about new cultures and gain a list of whole new experiences and perspectives, and I can say for certain that some of my greatest memories have taken place while I was living abroad in foreign countries. However, it’s not always easy adapting to life in a new country, and there were a lot of things about the UK which, to my surprise, I really missed. You’d be stunned at how many things we take for granted as Brits which aren’t present in all countries, from the mannerisms of the people to the traditional foods that are eaten. I longed for a lot of home comforts during my time spent away from the UK, and here are 10 of the things I missed most while living abroad.
The truth is, we Brits get a lot of stick for our incessant queuing habits, but we follow our own set of rules for a reason! Acknowledging the presence of a queue shows respect for others, as opposed to the many incidents I’ve had abroad where I’ve been forced to compete in a literal free-for-all.
2. The Seasons
Obviously the UK isn’t the only country in the world with seasons, and we do complain about the weather a lot, but when I lived away for a year the familiar British weather was something I really longed for. I was living in Colombia where there aren’t really distinct seasons and I was more or less trapped in an eternal summer – I really missed the changing seasons of leaves falling and later blossoming once more.
3. British Kitchen Appliances
When I say British kitchen appliances I mean specifically the toaster and the kettle. How other cultures live without these two mechanisms I will never understand, seeing as in the UK we eat a lot of toast and drink a lot of hot drinks (above all tea, obviously).
4. The Politeness
I like saying please and thank you, and I like when people apologise – it feels natural and familiar to me. I remember when I was living in Spain being told that it sounded rude to constantly say please and thank you at the end of a sentence!
5. Having Soup With Bread
So I’ve lived in countries where soup is eaten solo, and others where it is accompanied by bread, but the UK is the only place I’ve been to where we dip the bread in the soup. I’m sorry, but soup without bread dipped in it just isn’t the same!
6. The Fast Paced Walking
When I’m walking down the street I want to be surrounded by people who know where they want to get to and who want to get there quickly. Living abroad in much more relaxed cultures such as Spain and Colombia taught me that we Brits are fast-paced walkers!
7. Taps Aff
OK, this might be something I missed about Scotland specifically…you know when it’s a sunny day and the weather is classified as “taps aff”, aka hot enough for chalk white middle-aged men to take their t-shirts off and burn within an inch of their life.
8. The Chippy
The skinny fries you get abroad most of the time just don’t do it for me – chippy chips (from the fish and chip shop) are the ones! Topped off with tomato sauce and of course washed down with an Irn-Bru.
9. The Cider
I didn’t realise how much of an attachment I had to cider until I lived in three different countries where it barely existed. The variety we have on offer in the UK is extensive – Strongbow, Magners, Kopparberg, Rekorderlig, Old Mout, Thistly Cross…and being able to have a cold pint of cider was something I truly missed!
10. Meal Deals
It’s just standard in the UK that every mainstream supermarket offers a lunch time meal deal, which includes a sandwich, a drink and a snack. Alright, it’s not the highest quality meal you’re going to have in your life, but it’s cheap, efficient and does the job!
What did you miss about home while living abroad? Let us know in the comments below.
Featured Image: weheartit
A 22 year old foreign languages enthusiast from Glasgow. Lover of all things latino with a passion for travel, writing and photography.