I’ve never regretted my decision to leave the UK and move to Spain. It’s been hard work, but without a doubt worth the effort. Unlike many expats, I don’t surround myself with my compatriots, speak only English, or pack my case with English products when I visit. However, there are a few things that I do miss, although on the whole I do manage to live quite happily without them …
I’m not sure if you can get this vegetarian product in the US. In the UK, Quorn is available in a wide range of products, from veggie sausages and mince to ready meals. I have found a few products available locally, but at €6 a packet I think I’ll manage without (that’s three times the price in the UK).
Again, this might be an English thing, but I absolutely adore custard. In the UK, you can buy it pretty cheaply ready-made in cartons and cans. Of course, it’s available in Spain … at a price. I demand cheap custard!!
Daffodils are one of my favourite flowers, and after the long, dreary English winter it was always cheering to see the masses of ‘daffs’ start to appear. In Spain (probably because of the different climate), they’re only seen in pots, not grown in vast swathes as in the UK.
One of the downsides of moving abroad is that you tend to see less of your family. This is fine if you don’t like them! I miss mine, but the good news is that it’s so easy to keep in touch these days, and I do enjoy it when I see them.
Everyone who moves to Spain, no matter where they come from, comments that they thought TV was bad in their own country until they came to Spain. It’s terrible. UK TV has a much greater variety of decent programmes, but the only way to watch it here is to pay exorbitant satellite subscriptions.
Oh, for an English library … As a lifelong bookworm, I think that this is the aspect of UK life I miss most. The local libraries don’t have a great selection of English books, and although bookshops stock a good range of novels, it’s naturally at a premium. Fortunately, I managed to pick up a large bundle of books from someone leaving town, and I do mean large. They’ll keep me going for ages.
Spanish cakes are dull, unless you go to a pasteleria and pay a small fortune for a tiny cake that is gone in one bite. The supermarkets tend to have nothing but plain cakes that are hardly worthy of the name. Time to get baking, I guess.
I had intended to list 8 items, but do you know, I just can’t think of an 8th. I tried, I really did. But no. There just isn’t that much that I miss!
Is there anything that you couldn’t live without if you left your own country?
Top Photo Credit: Carmen's Year