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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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?