Friday, 29 August 2014

What do expats miss the most?


The one thing all expats have in common is that they have left an old “home” behind to find a new one. But when it comes to listing what expats miss the most there are as many answers as there are expats; is it the northern lights from the coast of Scotland or the street food of Bangkok?  We’ve turned to our fantastic expat community to find out what expats really reminisce about when they think of home.

All expats miss their friends and family from time to time, but sometimes the most important companions are of the four legged variety.  With quarantine rules keeping pets locked away for months, deciding whether to bring your pets with you can be a major worry. Not to mention the health risks of taking animals on long haul flights and the reams of paperwork at either side.

Pixabay / RalfBeck

If you don’t think you could take the trip without your pooch, check out our guide to “pets and passports”.

“You will miss your home country food a lot so bring snacks with you”
– an expat from India living in the UAE

Our 2013 Expat Explorer survey asked thousands of expat for their tips and there was one particularly common theme – food.  As another expat living in Ireland said “Make sure you have a steady supply of food or other items you might miss from home”. Hundreds of miles away from family, expats are just a little susceptible to comfort eating, but how to get hold of some home-made grub? Mum’s pad thai is difficult replace for Thai expats living in Brazil and there are few places outside of Germany you will find the delights of sauerkraut (that’s fermented cabbage to the rest of us).

Expat Explorer guest blogger Dana Newman

That’s why you will always find expats returning from visits back home with backpacks full of sweets, suitcases of homemade meals and sometimes even boxes of peanut butter…

Queuing. Perhaps the most unusual reminiscence we’ve come across @expatexplorer, but it also reflects one of the most important – culture. Social media and the internet make staying in touch with your religious roots, finding people who speak your language and simply keeping up with your old sports team easier than ever. But what about the little things, you don’t appreciate until you make the move? Perhaps it’s the constant murmur of Bollywood tunes in New Delhi, the occasional siesta in Madrid or maybe even the great tradition of queuing in Britain.

Is there anything quirky you miss about home? Tell us @expatexplorer, but before you go, keep these inspirational words in mind from our 2013 expat explorer survey:

“Enjoy it while you're out here. There may be things or people you miss from home or even have to give up to live the 'expat' lifestyle. It's a choice you have to make. But you only live once. Make it a good one!”

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