Just before the Christmas period we had a few staff members who were eager to get back to their own countries to celebrate the festive season with their friends and family. This got us thinking, when living abroad, what are the things we miss most about our own country?
Part 1, foreigners living in the UK
Alex – An Italian living in the UK
What do I miss? Hmm, not much! They say Italian people are very family orientated and pro-Italy, but I have to assume that my mixed origins (Brazilian mother and Italian father) have prevented me from being too attached to my own country. Don’t get me wrong, I miss my family but that’s about it! Well ok I do miss the food! Especially my Mum, Dad and Gran’s cooking abilities! I must also admit that Art wise, Italy is definitely a prime location to visit, but I can see the beauty everywhere I go really! Maybe sometimes I miss the loud voices! As we all know Italians have the strange ability to shout while whispering, this is an annoying talent, and very rare, seeing as whispering is associated with peace and silence everywhere else in the world! But in conclusion I guess I always felt like something other than Italian or Brazilian and possibly I have found that equilibrium in the UK. Ask me again in a few years!
Maria – A Greek living in the UK
I am often asked about what I miss most from back home and I hope people don’t think I am desperate to get back to Greece when they see my list! For what it’s worth, I think my points are quite representative of a Greek person’s mentality abroad. What comes first on my list, then, is probably the sun, and this is definitely a cliché on my part. Food & drink-wise, I miss pastitsio (baked pasta dish with minced beef and béchamel sauce) and the Greek version of a kebab, along with Greek spirits, and not to mention Greek ‘frappe’ coffee. After all, we’re notorious for our coffee sessions that last for hours, without having to order more than just one drink (‘going for coffee’ is like a ritual where we mainly get to talk about what’s new but we cannot possibly do that without food or drink because, well, we’re Greek!) Then, there is always a place for people who like to stay out until late, as most pubs/bars and restaurants stay open until early in the morning, even on weekdays. Last but not least, I also really miss the ‘folklore’ way of having fun in tavernas, with rebetiko music and traditional Greek dances.
Part 2, Brits living abroad
Laura – A Brit living in Germany
Whilst in Germany I was still a vegetarian (appalling I know) – so much I missed out on. This meant I didn’t miss too many things, however I did really long for Yorkie chocolate at times. Of course there is other, dare I say better, chocolate available, but nothing quite hits the spot like a familiar chocolate. I also really missed British TV along with the cheesy American sitcoms. I spent hardly any time watching TV whilst in Germany, but when it was a rainy day and I wanted nothing more to curl up under my duvet and watch some good old Friends or the latest period drama from BBC or ITV. Finally, I would say I missed the clothes. As with any country, there’s a different style. I liked many of the things I saw in German shops and my suitcase certainly was a lot fuller on the trip home, however familiarity and a certain country-specific-style was something I looked forward to returning to the UK for.
Jacqs – A Brit living in Spain
Whilst I love the Spanish language, culture and people, there were always things I missed about Britain when living in Spain. One of the main things was the cosiness of the UK. Spanish winters are surprisingly cold, and whereas in the UK we’re kitted out with double glazing, central heating, carpeted floors and lovely warm duvets, Spanish homes are more equipped for keeping you cool during their stifling summers! I also really missed the choice of foods available in Britain. The Spanish are extremely passionate about their food, they stick to what they know, and they do it well, but I couldn’t help but crave a good curry!!
We’d love to hear from you about your experiences of living in foreign countries. Feel free to get in touch with us using to comments box below.