You would have thought that living in the Alps, skiing six days a week, and generally continuing a student lifestyle would mean that there’d be pretty much nothing I miss about living at home in the UK. And for a while, this was the case. Who needs home comforts when you can step from your front door onto a piste? Who needs meals cooked by your mum when you can live off baguettes, burgers and beer? Well, that was the attitude we all had for the first couple of the months of the winter season.
But now, with four weeks left to go until we’re back in good ol’ Blighty, I’ve begun to realise that there are certain things I can’t wait to get back to. Let’s start with the most obvious:
- Going into a kitchen that actually has edible food in it (and that has been paid for by someone else)
- Sleeping in a double bed, and not sharing a bedroom
- Spending a Saturday the way most people would, rather than getting up at 4am and passing the day on various coaches dealing with grumpy customers
And then there are various things that I didn’t expect to find myself missing, and yet can’t wait to get home to:
- Wearing fashionable footwear on a night out and not have to consider risks such as ice and snow
- Putting on nice clothes to go out and not getting weird looks for not wearing jeans and a t-shirt
- Eating brown bread with Marmite and proper butter on it
- Eating a proper roast dinner
- Drinking normal fresh milk
- Having access to food and drink in general that doesn’t consist of pasta and vodka (the list of food I’ve missed could go on for a very long time)
- Being able to use my iPhone and not pay through the nose for it
- Going for a walk with the dog
Don’t get me wrong, I love living abroad. This is the second time I’ve done it for an extended period of time and I wouldn’t have changed it for anything. Through a combination of the people I’ve met and the things I’ve done, these have certainly been the best four months of my life so far. Having essentially lived away from home since I was 10, I’m definitely beyond being homesick. But now that it’s nearly the end of the season, I think we’re all looking forward to getting our parents cooking a huge supper and sleeping in a bedroom that isn’t right next to where fifteen people are drinking and getting ready to go out.
Of course there’ll be certain aspects of alpine life that I’ll miss. Seeing friends nearly every day, skiing off my hangovers, having a fairly lax work schedule… But Dorothy was right: there’s no place like home.