Long term expats still nostalgic about British aspects of life

Published:  18 Aug at 6 PM
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However long Britons have lived overseas, there are few who won’t admit to missing certain aspects of their former lives.

Emigrating can be exciting, scary and challenging as well as slightly saddening, especially if the move was planned as a permanent departure from the country of birth. However well they’ve adjusted to their new, often totally different lifestyles, for the majority of Britons there will be still things they will miss. Family and friends top the list, followed by typical British food favourites, the British sense of humour and even the weather, no matter how often it’s given as the main reason for leaving.

The love of certain specifically British foodstuffs may well originate in childhood as it’s one of the most difficult losses to bear for British expats. Leaving aside jokes about Marmite versus Vegemite, many expats pine for Bisto Gravy Granules, Tetley Teabags, Cadbury Cream Eggs and Heinz Baked Beans, most of which aren’t easily if ever available in many major expat destinations. A recent local argument in New Zealand about the merits of genuine and fake Weetabix almost brought a township to a standstill, but the antagonists might have been even more disturbed to find the most-missed British treat of all is the crumpet!

Strangely enough, as it’s given as the main reason for leaving by many, British expats seem to actually miss the weather in their home country. Perhaps it’s because Britons find it almost impossible to adjust to a climate where it seldom rains and is never, ever cold, or perhaps it’s because they’re now robbed of the traditional British conversation-opener. The same could be said of typical British humour, especially as it’s misunderstood by almost every other race in the planet. Its unique combination of satire, sarcasm, irony and self-depreciation is the UK’s gift to the world, even if said world doesn’t exactly get it!

Britain’s long, often convoluted history as well a its unique culture is rightly missed by a majority of expats, even if they’re living in countries with equally impressive heritages. The UK’s historical pedigree is almost unbeatable anywhere else in the world and especially in ‘new’ countries such as the USA where, if a building is over 40 years old, it’s knocked down and replaced. The gilded, brash décor considered desirable in many first world countries is no match for a 300-year old cottage or a 900-year old cathedral, never mind an ancient, haunted coaching inn still in use as a hotel.
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