If there’s one question that I always get asked while living abroad, it’s this;
“What do you miss the most about home?”
Of course, what I miss the most about home is my family and friends. There’s nothing that can beat spending time with your loved ones. It even makes me wonder sometimes why I’ve chosen to travel and live abroad, why not stay at home and be close to my family who I miss so much? But, I suppose it’s just a part of who I am. Usually I smile and reply that I miss my family but I’m fortunate to see them often.
Let’s imagine for a moment I’m back living in central London. I’d be working 5 days a week, finishing at 6pm and getting home around 7pm. I wouldn’t go and visit my family after work as I would be too tired and it would be late. I’d probably save that visit for a weekend. Then the weekend would come and they or I would be busy doing something else, so we’d arrange something for the next one. Weeks may even pass without us all getting together even though we wouldn’t be more than 30kms apart!
Then I think about now. We’re all busy but we stay in touch online and I keep up to date with what’s going on in the family. I see photos of my beautiful little nieces daily so I don’t feel like I’m missing them growing up and, of course we have FaceTime for when we want to have a proper chat.
Most importantly, I so look forward to my trips home. I am very fortunate that I get to home around once every 3 months. That’s a combination of having a job that allows me to travel and the beauty of low cost airlines! When I do go home we get to spend quality time together because we plan ahead and make sure that everyone will be free. It’s so much better this way because I spend my entire trip staying in my family home and I see them more than I would if I was just popping in for dinner once a week.
While we’re on the subject of what I miss from home, here are a few other things that I find myself thinking about quite often!
A proper English Roast Dinner – I can cook a roast dinner for myself in Sofia but it’s just not the same. I don’t know why but there’s something very special about the roast dinners I get at home. The tender roast beef, crispy roast potatoes, yorkshire puddings, vegetables and gravy … I am drooling just writing this!
Chocolate Easter Eggs – if I’m not going to be at home for Easter I get really upset because you just can’t buy the same chocolate Easter Eggs in Bulgaria! In most of Eastern Europe, including Bulgaria, it’s traditional to paint hard boiled eggs at Easter which is lovely, but they’re just not as tasty as our Easter Eggs!
People saying sorry – from time to time I miss the politeness of English people. We’re kind of famous for being overly polite and it’s a habit to say sorry to people a lot. In Bulgaria people don’t have this custom, they’re much more direct and although I do find it quite refreshing, I occasionally miss hearing the British “sorry” 🙂
Fish and Chips – more food, I know! It’s hard to find really good fish and chips anywhere outside of the UK, and although I don’t eat it all the time, when I’ve got the craving there’s no chance of finding a good chippy anywhere other than home!
British Jokes – just as we are known for apologising a lot, we’re also known for our slightly sarcastic sense of humour! British humour is wonderful and I really miss joking with fellow natives. I don’t speak much Bulgarian, but even if I did, I have a feeling that I just won’t find the local jokes as funny! You should check out this twitter account @SoVeryBritish, it’s perfect for bringing a bit of British humour into every day life, no matter where you are!
Supermarkets that sell everything – there’s no shortage of big supermarkets in Bulgaria, however, they just don’t compare to a Tesco Extra. In a Tesco Extra you can literally buy everything you would ever need in that one store. I miss that!
Online shopping – I love how simple it is to order everything online in the UK. If you need something and don’t have time to go to the shops, there are plenty of websites offering free delivery and usually you get your shopping delivered within 1-2 days. That’s not the case in Bulgaria at all, there are so few online shops as people are still slightly nervous about buying online.
Of course, I can live without all of these things I’ve mentioned, and I’m not complaining at all about where I am now, but these little things certainly make me really happy when I go back home for a visit! I’m already looking forward to Christmas 😀