Moving back to the UK: What I’m Looking Forward To

So, June is here. The long-awaited month of my departure from Vietnam and my arrival back home. Long-awaited, with excitement and disappointment coming in waves. In 18 days, I should be on a plane. *Should* because obviously this is 2021, a global pandemic and no one really ever knows what’s going to happen. We’re teaching online at the moment, in a lockdown-ish state in Hanoi with cafes, restaurants and bars closed except for takeaway and only small gatherings allowed. It’s a pretty disappointing way to end my three years here, so today I want to inject some positivity into my day!

Seeing photos and hearing stories from friends and family as England opens up again has been so lovely, and has really helped get me excited about my return.

Here’s what I’m most looking forward to about moving back to the UK:

  • Chocolate hobnobs and proper Dairy Milk (I’ll state now, for the record, this list is in no particular order…)
  • Hugging my parents and grandparents after so long away
  • A UK summer. The 47 degree feels like temperature right now is not the dream!
  • Walking into clothes shops and not – as a UK 12 – having to buy clothes labelled 4XL
  • The vegan(ish) options available in supermarkets and restaurants. Yes I have perused some online grocery stores and I am keen to get trying them!
  • Long summer evenings; a blessing after 6-6:30 sunsets every single day here
  • BBQs and brunches and beer gardens and bumbling along with my besties, prosecco or cider in hand and a grin on my face
  • Being able to visit one shop to buy food and not having to visit 3 or 4 different ones to get everything on my list. Exploring the aisles of a supermarket and knowing what everything is!
  • Days out in new places with Mum, walks in the hills with Dad, pub lunches with Grandma and baking and scrabble with Granny
  • Nature. I’m moving to Norfolk, a country with a long coast line, fields a plenty, the broads and forests. I can’t wait for day trips out with my camera and a picnic
  • Exploring our new city and county with Oli, and having friends and family come to stay
  • Marmite costing a more reasonable price
  • Fresh air. Anyone who thinks pollution in the UK is bad hasn’t lived in an Asian city, where ‘unhealthy’ levels (150) are common and 140 feels fresh! (To put it into context, read this post)
  • Travelling round the UK and exploring what’s on offer; it’s definitely a place I’ve taken for granted
  • Getting actual books from an actual bookshop or library with a huge range
  • Being able to jump in the car and drive around, stopping wherever takes my fancy. I never felt confident on a motorbike so I’ve relied on taxis here (as many expats do). Being able to go out without having a destination in mind will be so freeing

It’s funny – some of these are things I never expected to miss. Now I’m moving back to the UK, I’m excited for simple things I certainly used to take for granted. There’s absolutely no doubt that there are a huge range of things I’ll miss about Vietnam, too, but I’ll save those for another post. I’m just grateful for the opportunity I’ve had to live here, and for now being able to go back home!

I’m sharing more about my move back to the UK on my Instagram. Feel free to follow!

If you lived abroad, what do you think you’d miss most about home?

Let me know in the comments!

Niobe x

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