Living so far away from home, there are always going to be things that you miss about your home country. It’s just human nature to crave something that you’ve been used to for so long. So what do me and D miss? Apart from Cadbury’s chocolate and Kingsmill bread? There are so many things other than food that we reminisce about on the sofa on a Sunday night!
Of course, the list starts with family. We miss our family. Growing up and being so close to both of our own, it was difficult to leave everyone. But we made the decision to move here to better ourselves with the blessing of our parents and wider family. We get through missing these important people by staying in contact with them, phoning them whenever we want to (thank heavens for FaceTime!) and truthfully, having a good cry when it all gets too much. There’s nothing wrong with phoning your mum, sobbing incoherently until you’re finished and then moving onto talking about the weather and what colour they’ve just painted the spare room. It helps! And it’s needed. It makes everything better.
A huge part of our life leading up to our move to CA was London. We lived there for 14 months and as much as we may have moaned about the commuter trains, the pollution and the amount of people everywhere, I loved it. Being in easy access to anything you could want, at any time of day was the best. You could wander into the city on a Saturday afternoon and find everything you could ever wish for. From quirky cafes and quaint boutiques, to famous landmarks and iconic buildings. It’s all there. And, yes there are similar sights to be seen in San Francisco, but I just haven’t found them yet. It’s a place that I want to explore a lot more but knowing where to go is the problem. London felt like it was a lot easier to explore, and it’s something I miss. Don’t get me wrong, I will be exploring SF but I need to find some motivation to get there first.
We even had our engagement photos taken in central London! It’s just such a great place.
One of the things that we both miss is knowing what we’re doing. That must sound silly. But coming to a new country, you have to learn everything again. Everyone must think that America and the U.K are pretty similar: both countries speak English, both like fast food, both drink coffee. But a lot of things are different. I’ve already bored(?) you all with the healthcare system but other things such as banking, car insurance, and schools are all on the same list. I remember the first electricity bill we received in our student house in England, and immediately phoning my Dad and asking what we do with it. It’s the same here. You’re an 18 year old student again, learning the ropes, but in a foreign country, where Dad isn’t around to answer the dumb questions. It’s time to work it out on your own, soldier!
One of the major learning curves we had was what to do when an idiot decided to crash into D’s beloved Cindy (a car! No humans were injured in the making of this blog post). In England, we would know exactly the routine. But is it the same here? Do you have to phone the Police? Do you phone 911? Or do they have a non-emergency number? We had no idea! Thankfully, a very kind passer-by stopped and helped us out at the side of the road. We must have looked like two deer caught in headlights! We are also lucky that we have built up a support system here through our friends and colleagues, all of which came running to help us as soon as we picked up the phone. Thank you all, you know who you are
As I said before, a lot of what we miss comes down to the food. American food just doesn’t hit the spot. The chocolate is too grainy, the bread is too sweet and someone, please, point me in the direction of the apple and blackcurrant squash?! Give us a bar of Dairy Milk, and a slice or two of white toast and we’re good for the night! (If anyone fancies sending us a care-package, it would be greatly received!)
Of course, we knew when we moved here that it wouldn’t be the same as living in England. It’s a foreign country! It’s not like moving down the road where you can still find a Tesco in every town (man, I miss Tesco!). We have had drive around aimlessly to find our new local supermarket, frantically raid the fridges in the hope that we can work out which milk will taste the same as the red-top in the U.K. without bursting into tears and calling your Mum for help (true story..). But we are getting there. 1 year down and we are loving life and doing good in our new surroundings. Yes, there are still lots of things that we haven’t quite figured out yet, but we will get there. Muddling through life, together.
Have you relocated to a new area or country? Do you agree with some of our struggles? If you were to move to a new country, what would you miss the most?