We started living a strange life of sleeping on an air mattress and living out of suitcases at the end of April. El had the idea of shipping our things over to the States as early as possible so that we wouldn’t have to wait for them for very long. We were very lucky that we only had to wait a week in the KCMO area for our things. Since living back in the US, we have had time to reflect on our experiences in Europe. Going from Cambridge to Kansas City was a bit of a shock. We miss many things about living overseas, and specifically Cambridge.
- Walking. Seriously. No one walks here unless it is for exercise. I walked the 3 blocks to the grocery store pushing Oliver in his stroller the other day. The looks I received from motorists and the cashier were priceless and made me feel a bit foreign. It may have been nearly 100°F (38°C) and super humid, but I was still going to walk!
- A pint and a biscuit. Actually, a pint and a scotch egg. The pub scene is on point in Cambridge. It was also great seeing other moms out with their wee babies at the pub. We miss that the pub was an extension of your living room, a meeting place, and a restaurant.
- History. Everywhere you go in Cambridge, there is history. You pass 500+ year old buildings that are still standing and being used. Things are preserved and used to their fullest. With the exception of some of the buildings on the military base (ahem….Army post), most of the older buildings in our local area are maybe 50 years old at best.
- Quiet Conversations. The stereotype is very true. Americans are loud. Our friend Bill has a saying that you can always hear Americans before you see them. And it is true. And quite a few Americans are quite proud of it. People in England and in Europe just understand that you can hold conversations without speaking loudly or over each other. I miss it.
- Cheese. The English cheddar is better, hands down. We had a cheese board from Trader Joe’s the other day. It was disappointing.
- Bicycling. You can bicycle safely to basically everywhere in and around Cambridge. It is mostly flat and the cars share the road decently with bicycles. Oh, and 3 foot bicycle lanes. Those are nice. There is a bicycle scene in KCMO. But it is surprisingly hilly in this area. We’re working on building up our cycling skills.
- Proximity to epic traveling. We travelled to about a dozen other countries while living in England. And we feel like we didn’t properly take advantage of this as much as we should have.
- Fashion. I remember the Cambridge News having an article about people being offended by consumers shopping in their “pyjamas.” And it was funny. I am not fashionable. I’ve only recently decided to buy a pair of skinny jeans (I. still. hate. them.). But you don’t see Brits out in about in sweatpants. It when it happens, it makes the local news!
- Hand car wash. You can pay to have your car washed by hand while you’re shopping at the grocery store. Something we didn’t take advantage of nearly as much as we should have.
- Roundabouts. The traffic flow with roundabouts is just better and more efficient in England. There are stupid roundabouts (I’m looking at you, Five Ways!), but these are few and far between. There are a few roundabouts in KCMO and at least one on post; both times, I just about lost it with excitement!
- Adverts. The advertising on billboards here is everywhere, blocking the scenery. But at least you know there’s a McDonald’s up ahead.
- The River Cam. We lived on the river. And as silly as it sounds, we loved watching boats and rowers go by. The bicycles and joggers as well as the tourists. They were all along the river. Have a cuppa and watch the world go by is what we dearly miss about living in Cambridge.
- People. More than anything, we miss the friends we made while living overseas.
We loved our time in Cambridge. It was difficult being away from family and friends while living there but it was still an excellent opportunity to experience the world.
What are the things that you miss from the countries and cities that you’ve moved away from?