Since I’m heading back to the states tomorrow (for the first time since the move!), I thought now would be a good time to share what I’ve been missing about home. I’ve been thinking about all of the things I can’t wait to do once I’m back – some of them might surprise you! Being an American expat can definitely be hard sometimes, but at the end of the day I wouldn’t trade living in London for anything. Once we eventually move back to New York, I know I’ll be writing a post what I miss the most about the UK!
THE TOP 10 THINGS I MISS THE MOST AS AN AMERICAN EXPAT:
- Trader Joe’s. While regular grocery stores here are at a similar point to Trader Joe’s (which is awesome!), they just don’t have the unique pre-parepared food offerings. I miss the cauliflower fried rice and the veggie pot stickers SO MUCH.
- Extra-large sized everything. Some days you just need an oversized iced coffee, ya feel me? The sizes here are significantly smaller than in the states. While I’m sure that health-wise this is much better for you, sometimes your girl just needs that extra caffeine.
- Ice. Yep, you read that right – ice. Nobody serves you water with ice unless you ask, and most places don’t even serve soda with ice! The horror. I’ve learned to just be sure to ask – the last thing I want in the summer, in a restaurant with no AC, is room temperature water. Which brings me to my next point…
- Air conditioning. There is NO AC. ANYWHERE. The temps got into the 90s this summer, and I was really missing my good old central air con. Luckily fall is already in full swing here, and I haven’t been missing AC since July. But man, there is nothing worse than being hot in your own home. Here’s hoping next summer is a little more mild!
- Target. I mean, do I even have to explain this one? Where else can one go to purchase shampoo, groceries, and a cute new pair of booties all in the same place?? (Don’t @ me on this one. Yes I KNOW Marks & Spencer has all of those things but it’s just. not. the. same.)
- The NYC subway system. This one probably comes as a big surprise, because pretty much everyone complains about how gross and perpetually delayed the New York subways are. However, when it comes to public transportation, no one does it as well as NYC. Not only are the subways fast (when running on time), but they hit nearly every inch of the city. If something was more than a 20 minute commute from my apartment, I most likely didn’t go. In London, pretty much everywhere I go I have at least a 20 minute commute. Don’t get me wrong, the stations and trains themselves are much cleaner here. But damn, I really miss being able to get around town quickly.
- American sports. This one has been especially hard on Connor, as he hasn’t been able to watch many Yankees games since the move. It’s going to start to take a toll on me too as we get into football season – no more Sunday NFL RedZone for us 🙁 We’re only going to be able to catch the 1pm EST Sunday games, so I’m definitely going to be missing a lot of Packers games.
- American TV. This one is a big one for me. Do you realize how many hoops I’ve had to jump through so that I can continue to watch The Bachelor?! Seriously though, none of my favorite American TV shows are accessible here. I can’t even watch Hulu! And Netflix is slightly different as well. For the shows I really care about (like The Bachelor series), I’ve found sneaky ways to continue to watch. But everything else I’ve just had to let go of! The bright side is I’ve been reading a lot more.
- Being able to dry my clothes in a dryer. Can someone please explain to me why no one uses a dryer here? WHY would anyone choose to hang dry all of their clothes vs. throwing them in the dryer to get nice and soft and fluffy? And don’t even get me started on the “dual washer and dryer” machines. They’re super great if you’re fine with all of your clothes coming out still a little damp. I would do anything for some fresh, warm, just-out-of-the-dryer bath towels right about now.
- Diet Coke. While they do of course have Diet Coke in London, something about the taste of it is totally off. It tastes more similar to Coca Cola Light than my favorite DC. And let me tell you, I absolutely despise Coca Cola Light – so clearly this has been an issue for me and my Diet Coke addiction. They also only sell Sprite Zero… Like you simply cannot go to the grocery store and purchase a regular Sprite. Do you have any idea how disgusting Sprite Zero is?! Look, I’m all for people making healthier lifestyle choices and by no means do I think someone should be drinking 10 cans of full-sugar Sprite everyday. But I do think we should at least be given the freedom to make our own bad decisions, ya know?
Did any of these surprise you? Are you also an American expat missing the Homeland? I would love to hear your thoughts!