Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Expat Talk: I'm Going Home! (For a Week!)


You know that childhood bed I wrote about a few days ago? The one that makes me drift off to sleep in a matter of seconds, with a Hello Kitty clock ticking loudly over it? Well, it looks like I'll be tucked up in that bed in a matter of weeks, because I've just booked a flight back to Seattle in May! It'll be a solo trip this time as John's traveling for work, but that just means all the more shopping time (see below). I mean, Pacific Northwest adventures and family time. That's totally what I meant.

Anyway, to say that I'm excited is an understatement. I haven't been back to the U.S. in over a year, which seems like a really long time to me.

This trip wasn't planned. It's just that ... well, I've been homesick. And when my mom asked me if there was any way I could come over in May or June, we took a look at John's BA points and there were flights available, so I snapped them up (thank you, John!).

Here are all the things I can't wait to do:

Hug my family.

I love giving my dad and my brother a hug when they pick me up at the airport, then seeing my mom at the door to greet me when I arrive home. I love heading straight for the shower after a long flight and sitting down to eat my mom's congee and special pork belly.


Buy fruit from a fruit stand.

We have lots of farms and fresh fruit stands in my hometown. My parents often stop to buy huge ears of corn shucked on the back of a flatbed truck or Honeycrisp apples twice the size of my palm. I'm tired of the sight of packaged fruit at my local Tesco Express here in London and can't wait to stop roadside for fresh fruit when I'm back in May.

Renew my U.S. driver's license.

My trusty U.S. driver's license (and my only form of photo I.D. aside from my passport) expired last year. Although I was granted a paper extension, I have to go in to re-apply for a photo I.D. in person, so I'd love to get that ticked off my list of boring administrative things to do when I'm back! I also need to study for and pass my UK driving test(s), but that's another story for another time.

Eat all the donuts.

I miss American donuts so much. Despite all the novelty donut shops that are available in London like Crosstown or Dum Dum, nobody makes better donuts than my local donut shop in Washington. Actually I'd prefer it if Crosstown parked their crazy concoctions for a hot minute and just made a delicious maple glazed bar or a bear claw for goodness sake. Sometimes, simple is better!


Eat all the sandwiches.

Following the donut route, sandwiches in London have marginally improved since I moved here 9 years ago. Marginally. I miss those crunchy green pickles on the side. I miss the choice of chips (that's crisps, to you Brits) I get on the side (at no extra cost). I miss sandwiches stuffed with two, sometimes three different types of lunch meat. I MISS ALFALFA SPROUTS.

Buy everything (well, almost everything) in Target.

I am bringing one outfit with me. Just one. For a whole week. Otherwise, my suitcase will be empty, waiting to be filled with goods from Target. Homeware, makeup, Motrin, cough medicine, Goldfish crackers, magazines, underwear ... I'm buying it all. John, you have been warned. 

Visit the Skagit Valley tulip fields.

The Skagit Valley Tulip Festival runs from April 1 - 30, so I'll have missed it by the time I arrive in May. I'm not sure if the tulips will still be in full bloom by then (Mom, can you advise?) but I've been dying to go, given my tulip obsession over on Instagram.

Having breakfast with my dad in real time, rather than FaceTime.

I've talked about how my dad and I have a Sunday tradition of chatting on FaceTime while he's making breakfast and I'm making dinner. I'm super excited to have breakfast with him in real life. He talked about taking a few days off work to have a "special" breakfast in Snoqualmie, which would be lovely, but I'd be equally happy to enjoy the delicious breakfasts he cooks at home or a trip to Denny's for a French Toast Slam.

Shopping with my mom in real time, rather than sending links with subject titles like, "Should I get this yes or no".

Pretty self-explanatory. 

I'm only back for a week, which isn't very long, but it'll be so nice to see my family in the middle of the year, which is rare for me. I also love seeing Seattle and Washington in the spring. Contrary to popular belief, we have really beautiful summers and I'm crossing my fingers for good weather while I'm there!

My heart is bursting in anticipation.
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29 comments

  1. Dude!! This is incredible news, I'm so excited for you! Have the most wonderful time xxx

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    1. Thanks, Laura! Sorry I have been rubbish at organizing a meet-up. It's entirely my fault and I need to get back on it! xxx

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    2. Not at all! I shall look forward to catching up when you're back from Washington - I'll need to hear all about it! xxx

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    1. Thank you, Chrissi! I'm really excited. xoxo

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  3. Is it weird that this made me teary eyed, have so much fun at home it is always so fun to go through the list of home must haves.

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    1. Aw, Bailie!! Thank you so much. Although it will be lovely to be back, I am already worried about how I'll feel coming back to London after the short trip!

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  4. Yay! Hope you have a great time with your family! I'm also going home sans beau in May and I will DEFINTELY be spending wayyyyy too much time at Target LOL.

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    1. Thanks so much, Bayyinah! I think I'll end up making MULTIPLE trips to Target. I usually get way too overwhelmed during my first trip and just staring at everything without putting anything in my basket ... then when I go to checkout I act all surprised when my total's something like $250 haha!

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  5. Ah so happy for you! Going home and eating all the things you miss is THE BEST. I'm not going back to Australia until later this year and it would have been 18months since my last visit (the longest time I've been away)!

    Also Alfalfa sprouts!!!! Oh man. I used to have these in my tuna pasta salad every day at school, they're the best.

    C x

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    1. Thank you, Catherine! This has been the longest time I've been away and it feels really, really weird. Watching the elections over here has made everything even weirder ... I feel such a disconnect from American culture right now, it'll be interesting to see how I'll feel when I'm back!

      So glad you're with me there on alfalfa sprouts. They're just not commonly used here! I saw them in Waitrose once. x

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  6. Your excitement is bursting off the page- I'm so excited for you. Have the best time!!

    K.

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    1. Haha, I'm so glad that you can tell, Kelsey!! I am so, so looking forward to it.

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  7. i can attest that being in your childhood bed in murica is the BEST!!! xpo

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  8. Have an amazing time! What is it about food /that make us think about home ?I think we're all the same!

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    1. Thanks, Angie! Haha ... yup. I miss the food the most!

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  9. Yayy! What an awesome thing to book. Hope you have the best of times!

    Jasmin Charlotte

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    1. Thank you, Jasmin! It makes me so happy and excited!

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  10. What an exciting trip ahead of you!! I can totally resonate, only I have two homes - Georgia (country) and Florida - and every time I book a flight (not too often, sadly) I get hyped about the quality family time, great food that makes us feel at home and shopping! Call me subjective, but I'm a firm believer that no where in the world is shopping as great as the USA! �� Anyway, have a joyous trip, oh and share all the nice Target finds!! :) xoxo, nano

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    1. Thank you, Nano! I TOTALLY agree. Shopping is the best in the US. Everything is so much cheaper and you get so much more variety than you do in Europe! Don't get me wrong; I love European fashion and sometimes I think it's light years ahead of the US, but after a while, it looks so samey! I can't wait for Target. I don't think I would appreciate it as much as if I lived there, though! I have tried to explain it to Brits over here but they don't really understand ... haha! xoxo

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  11. I'm so happy for you! I'm sure you'll have a great time. And please do eat all the donuts. :)

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    1. Thank you, Charlotte! I'm really happy too. It's been too long of a gap since I've been back, which feels weird and sad.

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  12. Have a wonderful time back home, it must be so exciting to go back after a long time! xx

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    1. Thank you so much, Maya! I am really looking forward to it. xx

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  13. This is so nice I could cry! I feel homesick often, so I know how exciting it is to go home and have those familiar comforts. Enjoy every second, and although we don't have Target we have K Mart and even a Denny's up the road, which are two of my favourite things in NZ ;o)

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    1. Aw, Annmaree! I knew you'd be able to relate. My excitement is jumping off the page haha!

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  14. THIS IS AMAZING!! Every expats dreams :D

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