My Expat Life in the UK — Home, Family, Happiness

Another travel post on the blog? Not really. Just a couple of lines to say goodbye to my little Bulgaria and greet the UK again. Our holiday in Bulgaria is coming to an end. A few more days and we are flying back to London.

Am a sad? No. I have enjoyed every bit of our long summer break. I love spending time with my mother, she is amazing and I adore her. This time, I have also taken full advantage of staying with her — no unpleasant everyday chores, no worries about the cooking and planning the weekly menu (well, I miss the cooking but I’ll be catching up with it soon. :D ). Thank you, mother! You are a star, I mean it.

I have met all those people close to my heart who make the homeland a place I want to return to. Now, it’s time to go back to our new home, the United Kingdom. It feels like home and we love it, it must be home then. And I miss it already.

I even miss the cloudy sky, the wind, the rain… Who says there is no charm in the unpredictable British weather? Oh, I will never forget my first British storm! I was stupid enough to go out in the park with my son and moments later, we were caught up in a tremendous storm, with no place to hide. Have you seen a soaking wet mummy, running fiercely while holding a kid? :D But there was an afternoon in bliss afterwards, for I had a big cup of my favourite Twinings, Soothing Camomile and Honey.

Why is the UK so dear to me and my partner? Because it is much more than a country to live in for a while, it is intended for turning into a home. And home is always a special place, a place you are fond of. I love this friendly country with all its idiosyncrasies — a patchwork of cultures and yet, determined to preserve its own traditions and identity.

Falling in love with London is inevitable

I love the inherent dignity of the British, their refined manner, their kindness. I love their open-mindedness and the cosmopolitan spirit of London, but I also appreciate their pride. I admire their affection for the Royal family. I love the festive mood around Christmas or Easter. I love so many other things… And certainly, I love British literature and Jane Austen.

Too early to give an opinion about the UK? Maybe. But I guess, this is what happens to expats like me who enjoy their expat life — the oscillation between two countries, between nostalgia and the inexplicable joy of being part of another society.

As for nostalgia, it exists no matter how hard you have dreamt of living abroad. Nostalgia is nothing but a word, a word void of meaning until one experiences it themselves. It is a pain and a burden, and countless fits of immense homesickness. And it haunts you… But nostalgia is normal, isn’t it? An immigrant’s mind often remembers only the good of their motherland.

Bulgarian roses

The Ancient Stadium of Philippopolis, City of Plovdiv

Then, I look around and recall why I have chosen my host country. That moment when I feel grateful my family and I are given the chance to live here. That moment when I get reconciled with my uneasy consciousness of an expat. Because now I know, I want to be in the UK, I have always wanted to, and I’d love my son to grow up in this wonderful country. Despite all my parental guilt…

Probably, nostalgia will never leave me and my partner completely, and we will be missing our Bulgaria. Badly. To tears, sometimes. Or as a fellow blogger, Danielle from Someone’s Mum, has put it in her comment on “Mummy, Where Do We Live?”, “There are always pros and cons to everything”. Yes, being an expat totally proves it.

Well, spending the summer in my homeland has had a healing effect on me. I love my country but I can’t wait to go back to London. My boy talks about it every day, too. Our Daddy is already waiting for us there.

Goodbye, my dear Bulgaria. See you next year. I will remain a Bulgarian to the core. I derive from a remarkable country, so rich in history, cultural heritage, beautiful places and talented people, and I am truly proud of it. But I have moved away and I hope you, my motherland, won’t reproach me for my expat-minded soul. We moved to a great country and we are happy.

A few more days and our family will be reunited again. In the UK, at home. Because “home is where the family is”

Originally published at www.simplymarinailieva.com on August 21, 2016.