We’ve now been away for well over a year. Life on the road is generally pretty sweet and we love the freedom from responsibility it affords. However, there are one or two things we’re looking forward to getting back to in a few weeks’ time.
In no particular order, here are the things we miss most about home.
What I miss most about home – Laura
1. Washing machine, regular access to
Most of the time, we end up hand washing our clothes every day or two. Frankly, it’s boring. Who said the invention of the washing machine was the main driver behind women’s liberation? Amen to that.
2. Not having to check my possessions for things that could kill me
Every morning, I check my shoes and bike helmet for spiders, scorpions and other nasties. I don’t put on clothes that have been left lying around without shaking them out first and I never walk through long grass if I can help it. This is for a good reason – lizards, spiders and a moth have all made my bike helmet their home for a night. The thought of anything like that crawling down my face while cycling along…oh England how I miss your absence of bad ass creepy crawlies.
3. Wearing non-sports bras
I am not a girly girl but the chance to wear decent underwear will be nice for a change. By ‘nice’, I mean anything which isn’t grey from too much lacklustre hand washing.
4. Roast dinners
…and any food which needs to be cooked in an oven. Cooking on a one-hob camping stove can be a bit limiting.
5. Running and swimming
Yes, what I miss during the last few months of constant exercise is…exercise. More specifically, varied exercise. During our month off in Australia it was wonderful to have the chance to mix things up with a bit of swimming and circuits. I even miss other forms of cycling, eyeing people’s lightweight road bikes with envy as we chug along on our heavy steel steads.
What I miss most about home – Tim
I said before the trip that I didn’t anticipate missing any particular foods because we weren’t going anywhere remote, we’d always be able to find supermarkets and every country has new foods and absences. But, man, I miss cheese. In particular, good, strong, solid cheddar. There are few moments on this trip when I would not have welcomed a hunk of crusty bread and a chunk of mature cheddar.
(N.B. Australia did provide decent cheddar in abundance but it’s back to bland here in the US).
I have Laura to talk to and all the people we meet but I miss my friends and being able to have in-depth conversations and debates. With strangers there are usually the basics to get out the way (where we’ve cycled, what our jobs were, do we have kids etc) and even if we’re around for long enough to progress in conversation topics, depth is not common and never quite the same as chatting with an old friend.
(Listening to audio books and podcasts definitely helps stimulate the mind and conversation).
3. The weekend papers
We have rest days on this trip and they are warmly welcomed but they usually miss at least one key ingredient (beyond cheese): the weekend papers. Curling up on the sofa with a big mug of tea and pouring over the Saturday supplements is a delicious indulgence to which I long to return.
We stand out like sore thumbs everywhere we go because we’re white, we’re on big bikes, we’re often filfthy and I have a riculous ginger beard. I long for the ability to disappear in the background and not be scrutinised wherever I go.
5. Proper puddings
Sure, the world is filled with with delicious cuisines and plenty of them include nice sweet things but show me the country that can rival a British pudding and I’ll eat my hat with said pudding inside. In fairness, I’m expecting good things from the Americans before we get home and stuff ourselves with sticky toffee, syrup sponge and apple crumble.