I’ve been lucky enough to travel a considerable amount over the last 10 years or so. My time abroad has been spread out across a combination of relaxing ‘holiday’ holidays, ‘backpacking’ holidays and ‘visiting family abroad’ holidays (which only half count :P).
America is normally one of these family holidays for me, so I’m used to spending a few weeks living over there. This also means I know where the country is lacking in home comforts and I’m already mentally preparing for the things (mostly food) that I’m most going to miss when we leave the UK!
- TEA! I’m sorry to live up to the British stereotype but, seriously, sometimes you just want a good cup of tea! This was actually the only thing I wanted during my hair and make up at 6am on the morning of my wedding – and I was a right grumpus until I got it!
I always make the mistake at least once during my trip, of ordering a cup of tea (most often on the plane) and I am always disappointed in the lukewarm cup of greyish, milky water I receive (It’s not even brown! How can you mess up tea???!). Anyway, I know I’m not going to last 3 months without a cup of either english tea or homemade chai and so I have already packed up a ziplock full of British tea bags for our trip ;).
- Chocolate. I’m not much of a chocoholic, but I cannot stand Hersheys chocolate! I know – everyone says it, but it really does taste like..puke?! So I’m sneakily packing myself some British chocolate ‘in case of emergency’. I’ll have to find a good place to hide them from Mr Honeymooner though…
- Voltage – Or maybe it’s wattage? Whatever it is, hairdryers are weirdly weak out there and my phone/laptop chargers are never as powerful :(.
- Cheese – It’s so hard to find good cheese in the supermarkets out there! Everything is pre-grated or plastic-ey or SUPER expensive imported stuff. They also have this cheese that they call cheddar but it’s actually just a trick to make British people sad when they eat it. Unfortunately, I won’t be packing my suitcase with cheese this summer. But I will miss it.
- Cheap paracetamol/drugs– Normally I try not to take meds but, a few years ago, I was in New York with some friends for Thanksgiving and I came down with the worst flu I’ve ever had in my life. I mean, it only lasted like 2 days, but I can’t remember the last time I’d had the flu so it was awful for me :P. Anyway, my fever was being a real pain in the ass and I was told by my pharmacist friend that I needed to take something (probably because I was being a real downer on this holiday). I was expecting your standard 25p pack of generic paracetamol but NO! I think I ended up paying about $12 for a small bottle of Tylenol. This time I’m going prepared with my own stock of painkillers – just in case!
- Baked beans – beans on toast/jacket potato with cheese and beans/beans with hash browns for breakfast! Baked beans are a staple food cupboard item in the UK – I normally always have a can in the cupboard in case of a comfort food emergency! For some reason, Heinz have chosen to deprive the USA of proper baked beans. Instead, Americans choose to eat weird smokey beans that sometimes has ham in it…
- Sweetcorn on pizza – Americans don’t put sweetcorn on pizza… Sweetcorn is my only ‘must have’ topping on pizza in the UK but apparently that’s crazy talk in the USA.
- Primark – Primark is my first stop for almost everything mainly because they sell the same stuff as all the other shops but for half the price! Also, summer clothes are so thin that I refuse to spend a lot of money on them – and this way I don’t mind if they get wrecked or I have to ditch them on holiday if I run out of suitcase space! I actually bought 5 of the same top in different colours to take with me on this trip – they’re so light and comfortable – and they were the only things I could handle wearing during that recent 32ºC heatwave we had a few weeks ago. I just don’t know which shop in NYC could even compare.
- Nandos – I was about to end this list when I remembered the love of my life. I’m a vegetarian and I still love Nandos – it’s got a rep for a reason! Apparently you can buy the sauce in the supermarkets out there but they only have restaurants in like 4 states?! I’ll have to make one last visit before we leave.
I know I’m going to LOVE New York and Hawaii and I’m sure I won’t notice these things tooo much while I’m out there…in hindsight, this might just be be a post about me being hungry right now!