Thursday, 19 January 2012

Home or Home Sick?

I'm often asked if I ever get home sick? Particularly as many people who come to the island for a holiday dream of living in the sun, many know they never will and love to know if I miss 'home'. The answer is yes!

We have lived outside the UK for a number of years and as much as I love the adventure of learning about different lifestyles and learning a new language I sometimes miss 'home!'

So what do I miss? Well, I'm not a great one for shopping, but sometimes it would be nice to have big shops and lots of them to meander around and have a choice. Though the last time we were in the UK we did run amok in the shops, but compared to our little stores, we needed a Sat Nav to get round the mega stores...!

Also as a writer it would be fab to be able to talk over a cup of coffee or lunch with another like minded person. Then there is the language, of course we try at all times to converse in Spanish when required, but when I need to explain something technical or legal, I would be so much better doing it in English. Thank goodness for arms and facial expressions, worth a thousand words!

I could list a few more, nice to have and dos, but it would be pointless becasue most of the time, I count what I have not what I miss, but we all have off days even living in the sun! And as lovely as it all looks to others, it can be the simplest things that you occasionally miss being an expat. So if you are an expat living abroad or a person who dreams of living outside your country, what would you miss?


Michelle Betham said...

Having lived abroad myself, Pauline, I can identify with so much of what you've said here. I missed so much about the UK when I lived in Tenerfie, yet now I'm back in the UK there are so many things I miss about Tenerife! But, you're so right when you say the simplest things are what you miss the most - for me it was stuff like Shredded Wheat and pork pies!! Sometimes just knowing that it isn't all that simple to get your hands on something makes you want it all the more, even if you never really used to eat it all that much in the first place! But I'm so glad I took that chance and spent some time living abroad. It was one adventure I'll never forget! :)

Paula Martin said...

I've never lived abroad, but I do know a lot of ex-pats. One in Dubai said she missed the seasons, especially spring and autumn; another one (in America) missed English bacon and sausages (and Marks & Spencers), and another, while living in Bucharest, longed for English magazines.

Pauline Barclay said...

Hi Michelle, it is the simple things you miss. Most of the time they never bother me, but every now and then, they do... funny!

Hello Paula, I would never swop my travelling or living abroad. It has been an adventure, but when I fist left the UK 12 years ago to live aborad, I so missed M & S. But glad I'm not alone missing things :)

Suzanne said...

Being away from the US, I miss abundance. It seems like the UK restaurants and grocery stores only give you enough to get by. Granted the obesity rate is lower here, I'm sure, but £4.50 for a tiny bottle of Aussie shampoo is outrageous. I miss things being easier in the US (in some respects.) In the UK it's just harder to get around because of public transportation, shops shutting early, hills and terrain to climb to get there, etc.

I'm the opposite of your situation I guess. I lived in Florida for 22 years so the cold, damp, English life is completely different. I miss being able to jump out of the shower in shorts, t-shirt and flip flops and head outside. I miss the A/C in the summer and central heating in the winter (it gets to be a whole 30F in Florida in January!) We don't even have screens on the windows. I still haven't figured that out yet. :-/

I love England, don't get me wrong, but there are things I do miss (and a lot I don't miss, respectively.)

Kimberly Menozzi said...

Living in Italy, I mostly miss my family and my friends back in the US.

I also miss odd things - mostly food-related and junk-food-related items - but when I go home to the US, I find these things are never, ever as good as I remember them. LOL! Just as well - it helps me to resist them while I'm there.

I often miss being able to shop on a Sunday, or just being able to grocery shop whenever I want, and yet I don't want that to change, here.

I don't miss television very much, and I don't watch much Italian TV either (I can't stand half the programs here, so I only watch cycling coverage or interview programs when they have guests I like). When I'm in the US, I have the TV on all the time, but I barely watch it. I'm usually exercising or writing, or talking with my mother.

When I first came here, however, I went crazy after being denied my peanut butter - whether in candy or spread on toast - my family sent over a care package filled with jars of the stuff! After that, my husband started calling me Peanut, and that's been my nickname ever since.

Rosalind Adam said...

Reading your blog makes me think twice about some of the things I take for granted. I have friends in this country who have over an hour's journey to reach shops like I have a few minutes away. They're always reminding how lucky I am too and yet I hardly ever visit them. Typical!

I have a friend who moved to Spain several years ago and she said that it's the medical language that really floors her. She has to take an interpreter when she goes for hospital appointments.

Keep smiling. :-)

Melanie said...

I agree wholeheartedly that when you're abroad, you miss home, and when you're back home, you miss things from abroad.

I think what I would miss most about living in Canada is the winters and the sub-zero temperatures.

How often do you get back to the UK, Pauline?

Pauline Barclay said...

Hi Suzanne thanks for stopping by and sharing some of your experience being an ex-pat... have a great day!

Hi Kimberly, it is the odd things that we often miss the most. Again this yeaar, it will Hot Cross buns at Easter!

Hello Ros, and yes to the hospital, we too need an interpreter at the hospital. Another story there!

Hi Melanie, I know you love the cold, so living here on our pebble in the middle of the ocean would certainly have you missing home!

Thank you all for sharing your thoughts, wonderful.

Kath said...

Looking for a positive aspect tho'...I suppose any strong feeling, whether of homesickness or anything else, helps make the emotional content in your writing more authentic. Well, I don't suppose you have any trouble with that, but I need all the help I can get!

Pauline Barclay said...

Hi Kath, lovely to see you here and good luck with the emotions!