I’m sure at some point, every Brit has said “I wish I lived somewhere else in the world!”, and as someone who has said this and left the UK, here’s the top things I miss!
*Friends and Family
Classic! Of course this was going to be top of the list, and I assume at the top of anyone’s list that has upped sticks and moved away! Our nearest and dearest are the ones we often wish we could just click our fingers and have appear before our eyes; whether its because we’re feeling sad, or happy, we’re ill and want our mum, or just because we miss them and want to see them! Thanks to technology, and largely the internet, keeping contact with our favourites is super easy and convenient, and with just the touch of a few buttons, you can be on Skype or FaceTime – which, is the next best thing after having them there with you of course! Luckily for me, I have the a truly wonderful family and some of the best friends you could ask for, so I had a lot of visitors, surprises and reunions in Portugal last year! It is such a great feeling to see them, but also so exciting to have them there, see and experience this new, important chapter of your life.
Too many individual things to fit in my top 5, so categorised them into one; home comforts! For every person, these will be different, but for me, the mains ones were; a hot bath – I am naturally quite a cold person so a hot bubble bath to warm up, relax, and get lost in a book was the thing I missed most! Yes, they have baths in Portugal but it would never get hot enough, or bubbly enough.. no matter how small a detail its just not the same! (the same applies to a fireplace – nothing compares to snuggling up in front of a roaring fire watching a movie while, it continues to hammer down with rain outside) My bed – you could have the softest, biggest, comfiest bed in the world, but it will still never compare to your own! Carpet – like I said I’m usually pretty cold, so waking up and stepping onto a cold tile wasn’t something I looked forward to every morning! During peak season when it was boiling outside, it was nice to be instantly cooled down, but the rest of the year, I missed the soft, insulated touch of carpet! Drinking from the tap – probably sounds a bit odd, and it is no big deal at all to drink from a bottle (in fact I now prefer it) but just the convenience of instant flowing drinking water! Although I don’t believe the water in Portugal will kill you, its recommended to only drink bottled water (unless a filter has been installed), but the amount of times –purely down to forgetfulness/laziness – I didn’t have a bottle in the apartment and I’d wake up in the night with a dry mouth, parched for just a sip! I realised how much I take the (really) little things for granted back home!
Not sure exactly what to call this one, but by this title I mean the typical things you would normally do back home, you maybe take them for granted and not be too bothered about them, but as soon as you know you cant go, its all you want to do! Things like family roast dinners, Air Shows at the beach, Fireworks night, Halloween, Easter Egg hunts! Things you might normally make plans with your friends for instead of attending, but knowing everyone else is there and you’re not, really makes you miss them and appreciate the memories you made in previous years!
*Not Having Everything Come Naturally
By this, I mean that in your home country, you know the language, the value of things, the abbreviation meanings, the way things work.. When your in another country, whether it’s the same language or not, things are bound to run slightly different than your used to. I love being in the UK and not having to convert prices into or from Euro’s; knowing what specific signs mean; how to buy a ticket on a bus; where to go if something is up with my car. The longer you stay in a new country, things will automatically start to come more natural to you and you will pick more up as time goes by, but when you’re still new, not having a clue can be a bit scary sometimes!
So this one is going to sound pretty lame, and also probably a bit stupid.. Obviously you can get cable TV in Portugal and again, thanks to the internet, you can watch almost any movie or show you want to, BUT, I really did miss Sky TV, and not even just because of the shows. When your in a sunny, warm country, the ideas of going to the beach, lying by the pool, trying para sailing, going out for a jog (not that that ever happened!!) seems far more appealing than sitting in all day catching up on the latest episode of Gossip Girl or The Walking Dead! You also feel like you’re wasting the time and beautiful environment you decided to move to! So over the summer, my hard drive full of TV shows and movies hardly got a look in, however the few cold, wet, winter months back in the UK certainly made up for that. Aside from working and catching up with friends, my days back home consisted of laying in bed getting through as many TV shows as I possibly could! (Currently on Criminal Minds which I really recommend!!) With only a couple of weeks to go before I give up the screens for the big outside world, I feel I have to squeeze in just a few more!
There is of course plenty of things I miss from the UK, even down to certain chocolate bars or hair products you can’t buy in the Algarve, but these are my top 5! If you have moved away from your home town or country and there is something you desperately miss, comment below! 🙂