Home Comforts: 10 Things British Expats Miss

Packing up your life and moving across the world to another country will bring about a mix of feelings and emotions ranging from excitement to fear and somewhere along the way you will start to discover the things you miss from home. Dan and I have both lived abroad in various countries and it has been a year and a half since we left England for Australia thanks to his partner visa. Deal Checker have put together some fantastic data about the price of some home comforts in multiple countries across the world and asked us to share some of the British home comforts which Dan and other British expats miss. I may have moaned about the miserable British weather the whole time we lived there but since we’ve left I have seen a completely different side to England and even I have come to miss some of these things too.

London at Dusk over Thames

A Full English Breakfast aka a fry-up is a overflowing plate filled with bacon, eggs, sausages, grilled tomatoes, mushrooms, baked beans, hash browns, toast and potentially other various fried breakfast items. Each region in the UK has their own variation of a fry-up and Dan would have happily eaten this every single breakfast of his life. If we ever stayed in a hotel that only offered a continental breakfast, it truly was the end of the world. So popular is the beloved full English that in many European destinations that Brit’s frequent such as Spain, Portugal and Greece – we saw restaurant after restaurant advertising their full English. Apparently about a fifth of British tourists eat a full English breakfast while on holiday overseas!

There really is nothing quite like the English countryside for amazing rural escapes with its patchwork hills, dramatic dales, ancient woodlands, green farmlands and winding country roads. The English countryside is wonderful to explore in any season and we have the best memories of exploring quaint villages, bluebell covered woodlands, seemingly endless castles and ancient stone circles and stopping at the most authentic farms along drives to try fresh cream teas, homemade ales and ciders and purchase our free range eggs.

English countryside with stone walls

Brits bloody love their Sunday roasts and they love their Yorkshire puddings even more! During our years living in England we had a roast every Sunday evening without fail. Dan has struggled to adjust to Sunday’s in Australia as it is too hot most of the year to have roast dinners and our Sundays are usually a “whatever” night where we have leftovers or something easy before we start our new week. I had never even heard of Yorkshire puddings before I moved to the UK and it is definitely one of the things Brit’s abroad miss the most, especially dowsed in gravy!

English roast dinner with Yorkshire puddings

The pub culture is so deeply engrained in British culture and there really is nothing like a beer garden on a rare but perfectly sunny summer day and sitting in a cosy corner by a blazing fireplace in the depths of winter. British pubs are ridiculously charming and no two are ever the same, each with their own characteristics that are taken from the old buildings in which they are housed. Dan also misses being able to buy a pint of beer because Aussie beers are smaller, weaker and more expensive! For example a standard pint in London would cost you £4.50, in Miami it would cost £4.90, in Cancun you’d get a bargain at £0.90 whereas in Sydney it would set you back £8.

English country pub

Australia has more than its fair share of deadly and dangerous animals including sharks, jellyfish, spiders and 21 of the world’s 25 deadliest snakes. There are also countless spiders, bugs and creepy crawlies that won’t kill you but may give you a heart attack anyway! Britain is lucky enough to not share in Australia’s fate with deadly animals and that is one thing I especially miss from living in the UK. I miss not living in fear of cockroaches, spiders, snakes and sharks!

Surfers with shark below

It is no secret that Brits are obsessed with tea and are one of the world’s biggest consumers of the quintessential beverage. My colleagues in England would describe the colour of their tea in comparison to a paint chart! They were that specific about how they drank it and I will admit I never joined in the tea rounds at work as it felt like way to much pressure for a drink! Dan really misses his English tea and he said you can’t have a good cuppa without McVitie’s Digestive Biscuits. I’d also say there is a good percentage of British travellers pack tea bags from home in a sneaky zip lock bag in their luggage. In London a standard cup of tea can set you back anywhere from £1-£2, in St Lucia it will cost expats £3.40, in Alicante £1.30 and in Sydney £3.

Tea and macarons

Australia is ridiculously big and our cities are very spread out. The closest city to Dan and I in Australia is a 2 and a half hour drive away and the closest international airport is in Sydney which is a 5 hour drive. In the UK you can literally be in a new city or town in a much shorter time and you can be in Europe in less than an hour by train or flight. During our years in the UK, we went away every month either to a different city or destination within the UK or a new country in Europe. I think that is one of the things both Dan and I miss the most as it is definitely not as feasible over our side of the world, but we do live in paradise on the beach which definitely makes up for it!

Manarola Cinque Terre from hiking path

Firstly I can’t believe we are writing about British summers… but really we do miss the long summer nights where it stays light well past 10pm whereas the latest it stays light here is 8pm during daylight savings. I would never swap our Aussie summers for British summers but we do have great memories of sitting outside in a friends garden on those rare, warm summer evenings. There definitely is something magical about those clear nights where you can sit outside in a backyard or in a pub garden until late enjoying the warmth and light. The English coastline is wonderful to visit on a beautiful, sunny summer’s day too.

Flowers at Fistral Beach, Cornwall

One of the biggest foods that British expats miss is fish and chips. Whilst you can buy fish and chips in most countries, including Australia, apparently it is not the same without mushy peas and dousing of vinegar. I have however slowly converted Dan to chicken salt, the true Aussie way to enjoy fish and chips! We had fish & chips in London for £14 each during one visit whereas we had fish & chips last night for dinner in Australia and it only cost us £7. In Miami you’ll pay approximately £9.20, in Gran Canaria £5.40 and in St Lucia you’ll be charged a whopping £18.40!

Fish and Chips with Mushy Peas

Of course any expat will miss their friends and family more than anything else. Living abroad in a country like Australia gives family and friends the perfect excuse to make the trip over for a holiday! Facebook, Skype, WhatsApp and Messenger are all some forms of free communication that we use to keep in touch with friends and family and it certainly is a lot easier now that it was in previous years. We are heading back to England next Christmas and Dan and I are both looking forward to getting our fix of all of the above, and hopefully some snow!!

We moved to Australia for the weather, lifestyle and to be closer to my family, especially for when we decide to start a family. The sunshine, healthy lifestyle and amazing beaches are all a bonus and Dan has truly embraced the Aussie lifestyle (and already owns 4 surfboards)! The thing we miss the least is certainly the weather which definitely isn’t conducive to a healthy lifestyle at the best of times. We loved our time living in the UK and whilst I don’t see us moving back to England but we will certainly visit as often as we can to see Dan’s family and our friends and make sure Dan can get a fix of the home comforts he misses the most, especially his mum’s roast dinners.

Expats: what home comforts do you miss the most?

London at Sunrise

This post & data is brought to you in collaboration with Deal Checker

Our opinions are as always, our own.