London View

10 reasons I remember I love the UK 

There’s nothing like a bit of distance to make you look at your home country with rose-tinted spectacles! We are really enjoying this awesome holiday in our own country! Here are my top 10 reasons I remember I love the UK:

1. Public transport

Gosh we used to complain about public transport. And don’t get me wrong, I don’t miss the rush hour scrum or the delays when it breaks. But seriously the public transport system in this country is amazeballs.

2. Waitrose and M&S

We already can’t be bothered to cook tonight and I know we will end up getting one of those great meal deals with a main, a side, a dessert and a bottle of wine for £15 or whatever they charge these days. Super yummy, relatively healthy and cheaper than a takeaway / going out for dinner.

Not just that but going in and seeing the glorious selection of food, the rainbows of fruit and veg, the broad selection, the organic range, the organisation (everything is in the same place every week…it’s quite astonishing). It’s so relaxing and calming haha.

3. (Affordable) booze and pork in the supermarket

This is a bit depressing when you see a bottle of decent but not amazing wine and how cheap it is compared to at home. But I’ll enjoy it while we here.

Add to that the fact that you just can’t beat a nice crispy bacon sarnie or bangers and mash with proper British sausages and you have one happy camper over here.

Mmm…bacon…

4. History

You walk around the UK and you are walking on streets that people have been walking on for hundreds of years. You are constantly reminded of Vikings and Romans, of kings and queens, of fires and walls, battles and famines. I remember living in San Francisco and being told to go and look at some really old houses (the painted ladies if you’re wondering). I was told they were over a hundred years old (said in hushed voices). I was non-plussed – the flat I lived in in the UK at the time was in a house that was older than that!

Now this isn’t always a good thing – our house always had something going wrong with it, the public transport network is creaking and bursting at the seams, our history has a lot in it that we shouldn’t be proud of. But its still our history and our culture.. It makes us..well, us!

5. Online grocery delivery

Gosh this is so easy. And saves you so much time. There’s quite a lot of shopping related things here. What does that say about me?!

6. Green topography

Oh it’s nice to see some green around. Especially in Devon where it’s more 50 Shades of Green instead of 50 Shades of Beige. The fact that these are all on hills is just beyond inspiring . Who knew elevations could be so exciting?


7. Architecture

Let’s be clear… I’m not knocking what we have! Living in the Middle East we are able to see some of the most iconic and groundbreaking architecture of modern times. But sometimes I miss the grandeur of seeing more historical icons like St Paul’s, Big Ben or the Tower of London or even the simple Edwardian and Victorian terraced houses that we take for granted when we live here.

8. PDAs

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not the sort of person to sit snogging the face off my husband. But I am quite tactile. I do like to kiss him whenever I want and to walk along holding his hand. I really miss that at home and enjoy the freedom to do it when I can.

9. Friends and family

I always say its the people not the places and this could never be truer when we think of home. The last week and a half have been so awesome seeing the people who have known us for the longest time of anyone. We are lucky enough that we caught up with a lot of friends and family in Italy but it has still been fab to see most of them again. We have met new babies, seen old friends and done many of the same things we have always done together. It really is the people not the places.

10. Home

You can travel the world and make your home wherever you are, as we do. You can be happy where you are while still missing your home country. But when push comes to shove there really is no place like home.

There's no place like home
And there you have it…10 reasons I remember I love the UK.

Here we come!

UK baby! A holiday in your own country…

7 sleeps till I take the Things back to the UK. This will be our first ever trip back as expats (including the Houston stint) that hasn’t had a reason other than we just want to go home and see everyone! We haven’t been home as a family in over a year and even the last 2 trips I took over were so whistle-stop that I didn’t have time to see anyone properly.  To say we are excited is an understatement!

This isn’t your typical holiday

So what are we going to do? Will this be a holiday or just a jam packed 10 days of seeing people, drinking too much and not sleeping enough? Well, there will definitely be an element of that :-). But I am determined to make this a holiday as well. The last year has made me realise that the place I know as home really isn’t home for the Things. They know it is where we are from, that we have lots of friends and family there and that our old house is there. But Thing 1 has only some fading memories of this place and Thing 2 remembers literally nothing of our life before we moved. So this will be the perfect time to show them where we are from.

How do you visit the place you are already from?

I’ve taken a bit of inspiration this week from Bebe Voyage and Wanderlust Crew on how to be a tourist in your own town and in London (which for us are one and the same). My favourite tips from Bebe Voyage included checking local blogs, taking pictures as if we were real tourists (well I suppose we are really) and taking a guided tour. Wanderlust Crew’s recommendations of riding public transport (you just can’t beat a bus or a tube when you are a deprived expat kid who only gets to go on planes or in cars), doing the tourist stops like the London Eye, Big Ben, etc, going to parks and for afternoon tea have really inspired me too!

So what are we going to do?

Our time will be split in 2:

Devon

First off I am taking the Things to Tavistock, Devon which is where I am from. It’s been almost 2 years since we made it down so I’m excited to see the moors and to show them where mummy grew up (for the most part lol). Or activities will include:

  • Seeing family and friends
  • Walking on the moors
  • Jumping in muddy puddles (new welly boots at the ready)
  • Swimming
  • Feeding the ducks
  • Exploring
  • Finding tunnels
If you want to jump in muddy puddles you must wear your boots!
If you want to jump in muddy puddles you must wear your boots!

None of it will be particularly touristy but I love the idea that they are both now old enough to remember this holiday and that they will start to have proper memories of where I am from.

London

After 5 days Mr Wanderlust will head over to the UK where we will meet up with him in London. The only weekend we are in town will be jam packed seeing family and friends (at least 2 sets per day!). The evenings are set to be quite busy as well: Of course we might be on holiday but everyone we know will still be at work so we are trying to do everything outside of business hours! The upside of this is that the daytimes are going to be quite quiet so we can do some more family focussed things.

We are planning on doing some touristy things like going on the London Eye and taking a river cruise (this isn’t a Merlin Entertainment sponsored post, honest!). We will do a few day trips for example to Wimbledon (where our house is) and Kingston (one of my favourite places to shop!). Both will involve trains / tubes / trams so the Things will be Made Up. If we have time I really want to take them to the aquarium and I know Thing 1 is desperate to go to a soft play that he remembers. (Honestly, take them all the way to the UK and they want to go to soft play which we have done twice a week since we got back from Italy?!!)

The end of the summer

It is still 3 weeks away but I can’t believe we are finally looking at the end of the summer. What stretched out ahead of us is now within reach. The UK will be hard (first proper time I’ve been back since my dad passed away last year) but super fun meeting some new family members as well as some of our favourite people in the whole world. On our return we will be back to 7am departures for school runs and settling Thing 2 into big school (*simultaneous sob / fist pump lol).

And of course I am already looking into options for the October half term break and an amazing Christmas holiday! The planning never stops!

Here we come!