Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Three Months in Scotland: Three Things We Miss the Most

Continuing the top three theme honoring our 3 month anniversary in Scotland, today I’m focusing on some things that are hard to dwell on. No matter how much we love our adopted country, it will never be the good ole' US of A, and there are things we inevitably miss about ‘home’.

It’s quite the slippery slope when I start reminiscing about the things I miss the most, so hemming this category in at just 3 items was impossible. In this case, I just have to hand out an honorable mention.

Top 3 things we miss about America:
Honorable Mention: We miss Bars!  
I believe the biggest culture clash between the UK and US is apparent in the nightlife. When we go out on the town in Aberdeen, it’s usually to a club with very loud dance music, very expensive drinks, very pretentious lines to get in, and very drunk guys dancing by themselves. The pubs aren’t much better. They’re usually lit up bright as day with fluorescent lighting, 90% of the patrons are men, and the sports on TV do not include baseball or (American) football.

We miss casual nights out with friends in a relaxed setting, with subtle background music or a live set, where we can simply unwind with a few beers. I'm just the kind of girl where if I can't wear cowboy boots into your establishment, I'm not sure I want to give you my business.
Another thing we are missing is craft beer. We were shocked to discover that there isn’t a plethora of good beer in Aberdeen, and we’re definitely missing the casual bars and breweries that we frequented in Houston. We’ve been to both Ireland and Scotland, and while we’d both say that Scotland tops the list for most things, Ireland definitely had a better night life. One of our favorite things about our trip to Dublin was happening upon a pub with live music and 30 different beers and ciders on tap. We’re missing that in Aberdeen for sure.

Apparently there is a microbrewery called Brewdog that is more in line with what we’re used to, and the good news is that we have plans to go there with friends this Friday. It sounds promising.

3. Target. What I would give for a Target. There is just something incredible about being able to go into a single store and get all of your groceries for the week, cute home décor, a new outfit for Friday night, gifts from friends’ wedding and baby registries, sports equipment, this month’s NY Times bestseller, and the latest Disney movie to come out of the vault. Seriously, UK, get with the program!

Target is the closest thing to heaven on earth, and will likely be my first stop on our October trip to the States. I’m salivating just thinking about those Target brand animal crackers that they keep in the checkout lines. Impulse buy, every. single. time.

2. Warm summer nights.
We’ve finally entered into Scottish summer, and for the past week I’ve been able to wear short sleeves as long as the sun is shining. But once night falls, there is an undeniable chill in the air, and I’m forced to grab my jacket before heading out the door. I miss wearing a sundress on some Mexican restaurant’s patio, sipping margaritas and gorging myself on chips and queso.
I miss hanging out by the grill with an ice cold beer in hand, while Jonathan prepares dinner. I don’t miss 100 degree days, not in the least, but I do miss those…ah…those summer nights. (Any other Grease fans out there? I may or may not have had a Grease themed 11th birthday party...)

1. Accessibility to friends and family. I’ve been holding up okay as far as homesickness goes, but there have been moments that I’ve experienced frustration over the fact that I couldn’t get to my family or friends. I can talk on the phone to them until my face turns blue, but nothing replaces the feel of a hug, or the ease of simply being in their company.  
I find myself getting jealous when I hear that my brother and sister in law are hanging out with my parents for the weekend, or that my Mom has flown to Florida to visit my sister and her family, or that my parents have traveled to Missouri to visit my grandparents at their Lake of the Ozarks home, or that my friends all had a blast at so-and-so’s wedding or baby shower.
It hurts my heart to think about all the quality time that I’m missing out on. It’s especially hard on me since my parents spent the last 8 years as expats, only to return just as Jonathan and I embarked on our own international adventure.

Okay, now that I’ve sufficiently bummed myself out, I think I’ll conclude today’s blog post. And since this post was a bit nostalgic and depressing, tomorrow I’ll be featuring the top three things that we love about our new hometown. That will be quite hard to cap at just three things as well.


  1. Aw. I lived in London for 6 months after college. I missed all retail. And Shiner Bock. And driving.

    But you will replace those things with Scottish things you love!

    I still miss always being in shape from all the walking, and cider (have never found proper cider in Houston), and walking in a shop and choosing from 20 different 'full fat' cheeses and pates...mmmmmm

    1. That's true; what Scotland lacks in good beer, it makes up for with Cider:)

  2. Laine,
    Sorry to hear you're feeling homesick :( sending happy thoughts your way...and totally agreeing with your assessment of Target :)

  3. I so agree with you on Target too!!! Con't know what you do without it or how I did without it for 8 years. I sure spent some money in there upon each return to the states. I also am with you totally on the missing family and friends. It is hard honey and will not get easier. Just know that we all look forward to the time we will get to spend with you on your trips home!!! They will become more and more special!! We Miss you too!!!!!

    1. I'm counting down the days! I miss my mommy:)