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Things I miss from home… 8 months into our year-long trip

In 8 months of travel, we’ve been to 17 countries and stayed in 60 or so Airbnbs. These are the things I miss from home…

My running routes

At home, running my favourite routes is hugely enjoyable. But I rarely hit the pavements of a new city because the traffic is daunting. Even though I keep my eyes peeled for river paths and parkruns, I don’t get to run as much as I want to.

Things I miss... 8 months into our year away - by Ruth McAllister Kemp
The view from Belmont Hill on my top running route at home (Long Ashton, North Somerset, nr Bristol)
My coffee percolator

You can serve me a bitter espresso in Sarajevo or a lukewarm flat white in Queenstown or a super-sweet instant in Yogyakarta, but the best coffee in the world is the coffee I make at home with my old-fashioned electric percolator!

Things I miss... 8 months into our year away - by Ruth McAllister Kemp
Decorative copper coffee pots in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina (photo by Thomas)
Quakers porridge

The amount of sugar in packet porridge abroad is disgusting, especially in the USA. Someone ship me out some Quakers Instant from the UK, please!

The back door step

Best when it’s sunny and warm, I sit on the back door step of our house to eat my porridge. The outsideness is a good start to the day. Sadly, nearly all our Airbnbs didn’t have a sunny step, but if they did you’d be guaranteed to find me there.

Things I miss... 8 months into our year away - by Ruth McAllister Kemp
View from my back door step
Things I miss from home... 8 months into our year-long trip - by Ruth McAllister Kemp
You’ll always find me in the sun (Colombo, Sri Lanka)
The school run

Walking the boys to and from school is a welcome punctuation to my week days. Loaded with fresh starts and fresh air, it’s an everyday routine that I totally miss.

Things I miss... 8 months into our year away - by Ruth McAllister Kemp
I knew I was always going to miss the school run
My bed

Climbing into your own bed when you know the sheets are clean, the mattress is just right and the pillows are dotted with your own dribble is heaven compared to hoping for the best in a strange bed.

Things I miss... 8 months into our year away - by Ruth McAllister Kemp
We all miss our beds from home
The radio

BBC Radio 1 is my pretend teenage friend. It helps me feel a little bit hip. I could stream it, but it’s the lazy listening that I miss.

Bristol

My home since 1997, Bristol is now a best buddy of mine. I’ve seen it in many places, especially cities that have embraced their waterways, such as Cape Town and Wroclaw.

Things I miss from home... 8 months into our year-long trip
I love Bristol’s harbourside
Things I miss from home... 8 months into our year-long trip
Wroclaw, in Poland, embraces its waterways, much like my beloved Bristol
Ashton Court parkrun

Run me alongside a dazzling blue lake in Melbourne or by the Golden Gate Bridge, but nothing compares to my local parkrun at Ashton Court. I love rocking up to run or volunteer in all weathers and watch the people congregate. It has the funniest, most supportive briefings and a buzz that’s been absent elsewhere. Plus, that hill just can’t be beat and nothing has equalled the views over Bristol or the exhilaration of flying downhill. And the marshals who never stop clapping and the peeps who shout encouragement at the finish funnel? You don’t get that everywhere you know!

Things I miss... 8 months into our year away - by Ruth McAllister Kemp
Not even the most glamorous of international parkruns can equal Ashton Court parkrun
Of course I was going to miss things from home!
Crissy Fields parkrun, San Francisco
Driving

Love hopping in the car – it’s thinking time and radio time. The use of a car (and being able to drive it) is a freedom I miss.

Hanging out with friends

I don’t frequently pine for dinner dates or friends calling in for a cuppa when I’m home, but I love it when it happens. Spending a YEAR with the same three people is, shall I say, a bit claustrophobic at times.

Of course I was going to miss things from home!
Belly laughing with friends at home
Things I miss from home... 8 months into our year-long trip
These guys are my best friends too
Cooking from scratch

I miss making fish pie, apple crumble, cookies and quiche. Pot noodles and quick pasta just don’t match the cooked-from-scratch family favourites, not only in the eating but in the joy of cooking too.

BodyCombat

For 12 years, I’ve been going to this weekly martial arts cardio class to sweat hard and jump about to loud music. It’s the closest I get to raving. Can’t wait to go again.

Litter bins

There should be more litter bins everywhere! It pains me to not pick up other people’s trash because I can’t see a bin nearby.

Daffodils

Just one clutch of white daffodils on Alcatraz Island in March is not enough to herald spring in the northern hemisphere! Give me swathes of them. I need them in my life.

Things I miss from home... 8 months into our year-long trip
Daffodils on Alcatraz, San Francisco
BBC Countryfile

It’s a Sunday institution. Every week, just as Fraser goes out to teach samba drumming, the boys and I settle down to watch ‘Countryplops’ for an educational trip around the UK.

Cheap butter

What is this whipped stuff they do abroad? And why is normal butter so flipping expensive? We pay £1.30 for a packet of butter in the UK, but in most other countries we’ve visited it’s been three times as much.

My slippers

I need my furry slippers, even in warm climes, because I have Reynaud’s disease and feel the cold. Thankfully, the fluffy socks Sarah gave me on my brief return home have saved me many times.

Things I miss from home... 8 months into our year-long trip
Fluffy sock rescue
Long hair

Having my hair cut short for travelling wasn’t a great idea! I miss scraping my hair back into a ponytail when it’s hot and sweaty. And finding a good hairdresser who does ‘European’ hair (seemed like a sore issue in Hong Kong), is not easy. My last haircut in Vietnam was bad and I’m growing it long again.

Things I miss from home... 8 months into our year-long trip
Long hair on an earlier adventure to Utah, USA
My hairdryer

Most places we stay don’t have them so my hair has to air-dry. This is the best way to make a bad haircut look even worse (see above). Yurgh.

Wearing jeans

I am so fed up with wearing the same clothes week in, week out. I mix it up depending on climate (like leggings underneath trousers, double sockage and four layers when it gets below 15°C), but I’d love to NOT wear my acrylic trousers. They may repel water, wash well and dry quickly, but they swoosh with every step and have zero style. I wish jeans weren’t so bloody impractical for travel!

Things I miss from home... 8 months into our year-long trip
Acrylic travel trousers are terribly practical but have zero style (on the road to Milford Sound, New Zealand)
Lamps

Every bedroom should have a lamp. Don’t mess with me – I’m an ex-lampshade maker.

What would you miss from home if you left to travel the world for a year?

 

March 31, 2017
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4 comments

brill read i know i missed golden virginnia , nescafe , yes lamps !!!! and mates x

I used to miss the classic English countryside, friends/family, some foods like a great pasty, and CIDER the most! Sounds to me like it is your house you miss the most xxx

I agree, its the food thing, making meals from scratch (in your own kitchen), gives a much greater pleasure than packet noodles when you’re travelling. (I took jeans with me when I traveled, couldn’t have not taken them in the end!). X

We are in the process of planning our world trip for 2018. But, my husband and I have travelled before and this reminded me i missed chipstick crisps, even had them sent to me via poste restante!! I hardly eat them, ha ha!

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