What do you love about coming home?

Usually the thought of coming home brings a fear of dread to a backpacker! In most cases you are only coming home because you’ve ran out of money, your studies are about to start back home, or your visa has ran out! This means that in most cases when a backpacker comes home it is not necessarily through choice, it’s simply the situation they find themselves in. Still, there must be things that you miss about home occasionally when you are away, and that you like about coming back… even if it’s just for the first few days or weeks. The following are mine;

Good Telly

I don’t watch TV when I’m travelling. Even if the place I’m staying at has a TV, it’s usually in another language, or doesn’t show the programmes I would watch back home, or I just simply don’t have time for it. I certainly wouldn’t choose to stay home just to watch TV, and I don’t think it’s healthy to watch it all the time, but one thing I love about coming home is for the first two days I get to sit and catch up on all my favourite programmes! British TV is just simply better than anywhere else in my opinion. When it comes to comedy programmes, such as the Inbetweeners, Peep Show, or Misfits, even the USA for me can’t beat back home (although Family Guy will always be a firm favourite.) If I spend too much time watching TV I get really bored, and after the first few days of watching records of my favourite programmes, I am always very eager to get out the house and away from the box, but the first thing I do whenever I return home is tune in and tune out!

My own room

An obvious one for anyone who’s ever stayed in a hostel, but having the privacy of my own room is always a welcome treat! There have been times when I’ve come back from a trip, and a room to myself has seemed really eery and lonely after staying in rooms as big as 20 bed dorms (in Prague), but you soon get over it when you realise there is no one waking you up in the morning/middle of the night, you can walk around naked if you want, that I can invite people over, or blast my music without any headphones. It’s little things like that that you take for granted back home, but after months in a hostel you really begin to appreciate.

When I get ill…

Getting ill while you’re travelling is no fun at all. I stay in hostels predominantly on the road, so this makes things even worse as you have to share your room with other people when all you want to do is be alone. Aside from that however, you want to be out having fun, but instead you are inside feeling miserable, with no one to look after you. Being ill at home is no fun either, but having experienced illness both at home and abroad, I would definitely take being home any day if I ever get so much as a cold! For a start, back home there is usually someone to look after you. In my case it’s my mum. When I’m ill I want my mum! There also the fact to consider that if you’re puking in a bucket, or just generally looking the way you do when you’re ill, at home no one can see you but your family! In a hostel, everyone can! Then there is the fact hat you can just snuggle up on the couch with a duvet the whole day and not have to worry about moving, and if your illness is really serious, then you don’t have to worry about getting healthcare abroad, or how to claim on your travel insurance. I don’t love being ill, but if given the choice I would much rather be home when it happens than away.

Free digs

This won’t be the case for everyone, and technically it’s not even the case for me as if I’m home for a period of time I usually have to pay my parents a small amount of dig money (I don’t see the point in getting a flat back home if I’m going to be travelling most of the year), but being home means spending next to no money which is always a good thing after a long jaunt abroad!

Seeing friends & family

Being able to catch up with friends & family when I come back is always a highlight, especially seeing family. I have a very large, close knitt family, and despite the fact that they are all very different to me, and drive me crazy sometimes, I do enjoy their company. There is always good banter in my house. I miss the comaraderie a bit between me and my immediate family, as well as my cousins, some of whom I am also very close with. It’s always good to go away and then come back and see everybody again. It reminds me how much family is important to me above everything else, which I think can only be a good thing. Most of my good friends these days actually live abroad, so I see them more when I’m travelling than I do at home, but it’s still good to be able to catch up with a few buddies from back home everytime I go back.

Good internet connection in my room

I am always searching for places with a good FREE wifi connection when I’m travelling. The first thing I do after I’ve checked in somewhere is to find out where the nearest place with free wifi is. I need internet for my work as a blogger, but I also use it for a lot of other things such as keeping in touch with people (from home and from my travels), for my music (I use Spotify), and just for general entertainment purposes such as watching movies. Mostly however, it is for work. Being at home I don’t need to take my laptop outside with me, or wander round looking for a Starbucks. I can simply sit in my nice comfy room and log on. Also, when I’m travelling I am always very conscious of having things stolen. It’s only ever happened to me once, and it wasn’t my laptop that got taken, but I generally just don’t like walking out and about with my laptop, or pulling it out in public places. At home I don’t have that problem either. I can work in peace.

 Clothes shopping!

If time travel was real and I could back in time, my 16 year old self would be ashamed of me right now! I used to be so fashionable. Then I went travelling. All my money goes towards that or my business. I simply can’t afford to be fashionable, at least not in the high street sense anyway, and when I do go clothes shopping it’s like drawing a blood from a stone trying to get me to part ways with money that I feel could go so far, and would be so spent much better on my travels. Then I discovered Primark! I discovered that if you only wear plain clothes, buying things like leggings or little tops in cheapo shops like that, its the same as buying them for a higher price tag somewhere else. I would love to be more fashionable if I could just part with the money, but I do still get a small sense of enjoyment out of buying clothes if I think I’ve got a very good deal. For me, the fact that I was able to buy a pair of jeans, shoes, two little tops, and 6 pairs of socks for 35€ one time in Dublin was the highlight of my day. I didn’t event think it was possible to get a pair of shoes on their own for that amount! I love clothes shopping when I’m home because I know where to go to get the cheapest shit out there. I like to think that I have that windswept and interesting look, that I can look good naturally rather than by wearing top high street clothes. In reality, it’s probably a lot different, but I do enjoy coming home to “raid” the cheap stores!

Talking in my mother tongue

I come from Scotland, which is an English speaking country. English is my 1st language. For those who have been to Scotland though, you will have noticed the distinct differences in the way we talk. Our accents are very different to the traditional London-style English most people may have heard before coming to the UK. Scots is actually a recognised language in it’s own right, as a spoken-only language, because it is so different to traditional English at times. This is with both the way we say words, the amount of Scottish slang we use, and the occasional mix of Gaelic words. There are also many different varieties of the Scottish accent itself, with distinct regional differences in places such as Glasgow, Aberdeen, and Edinburgh all sounding very different. My accent is very light compared to most Scottish people. I travel a lot, and I also come from the East Side of the Central Belt (near Edinburgh) which probably has the most easy to understand accent out of them all in Scotland. Even still though, I often have to slow my speech greatly and speak with what is at times a completely different accent, as there are many people who don’t understand me abroad if I don’t. It’s almost automatic for me to speak differently while I’m travelling, as I do it so much. I don’t mind doing it. I want to be understood, and sometimes I have trouble with other people’s accents too. Sometimes though, I just wish I could talk Scottish. I just want to be able to talk naturally, without slowing down, without choosing Oxford English Dictionary words, and in my own true accent. Back home I can just rattle off what I’m saying without even thinking about it, and I won’t ever have to repeat myself.  People used to compliment me on my accent all the time when I travelled, but the more international it becomes, the less I hear this. I want to keep my Scottish accent, and so coming home brings it out again, and I can finally talk in my mother tongue.

Pub Grub

In the UK there is a pub lunch type culture that you don’t have in many other countries. Many pubs have menu’s just like restaurants, and are usually much more affordable to eat in. Typically they serve traditional pub meals like Steak & Ale Pie, or Sunday Roast, and I really do miss it while I’m away. A pub is just so much more of a relaxed, casual atmosphere than a restaurant, and it usually offers a bigger menu than a cafe, i.e. you can actually order a full starter, main, and dessert, plus they have a bar so you can drink alcohol if you want too. I like to go with my family regularly for a pub lunch. It’s the first thing I ask to do when I get back home, and I wish other countries had more of a culture like this, and affordable meals available in their local pubs.

Irn Bru

This is very specific to Scotland, but Irn Bru, for those who don’t know, is a beverage made in Scotland. It is the only (non-alcoholic) drink, other than one other beverage in Mexico, which outsells both Coke and Pepsi in it’s homeland. Local Scottish people love it, and about 90% of foreign people that I’ve seen try it think it’s disgusting! I guess it is something of a local delicacy. Either way, you rarely see it anywhere abroad, and when you do it’s usually imported so cost a lot more money. Drinking a cold can of Irn Bru is one thing I really love about coming back home.

I don’t know if what I love about coming back home is similar to you? It would cool to hear what other people miss about home too. Please let me know on twitter @runawayjane, or in the comments field!


2 Responses to “What do you love about coming home?”

  1. Haha, I can’t believe how much Irn Bru Scottish people drink! It’s gross.
    I’ve got to agree with everything on that list. I particularly like being able to understand what everyone is saying around me. It was the first thing I noticed when I arrived back in Britain; I could read every sign and understand everything!
    I think the list of things I miss about travelling is equally long, if not longer!


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