One of the potential problems with living and working abroad as an expat is that you might end up missing things from back home. Food, culture, customs, TV programmes, friends and family are all things normally quite high on the list of home comforts that we find ourselves missing, and these can often lead to homesickness.


However, new research commissioned by Natwest International and carried out by the Centre for Future Studies has suggested that British expats don’t really miss these things at all.

Santa Monica, King

British Pubs

The research suggested that British expats are enjoying their adoptive countries far too much to worry about trivialities such as food, British TV and the British sense of humour.

In fact, of all the things that Brits abroad miss, the only thing that any of them seemed to miss on a large scale was the inimitable atmosphere of a British pub.

1,800 expats across a dozen different countries were surveyed for the research, and it was found that only a quarter miss British TV, only 41% miss the British sense of humour, and less than one in ten miss British food products including baked beans and Marmite.

Things Are Getting Better

What’s even more interesting is that the number of expats who do miss many aspects of living in the UK is in decline. The research also revealed that fewer people miss the things that they were missing just four years ago, suggesting that it is becoming easier to live abroad.

The Influence of the Internet

One of the most interesting suggestions from the findings was that the internet has had a large influence on how much people miss their home countries.

Isolation and homesickness can be all but eliminated through being able to link up with family and friends back home. Whereas once missing family and friends was a major issue, now it is not so important for the millions of Brits living abroad.

Skype and social networking mean that the number of people missing friends and family has gone down by a third since the last such survey, and it is a sign of just how much we are able to now live our lives online.

Is the Expat Life for You?

If you have been thinking about the possibilities of living and working abroad for some time, but have been putting it off because you are worried about all the things that you might miss, then you may find that you end up missing them a lot less than you think.

And of course, as well as helping to battle homesickness, the internet is an excellent way to work whilst you are abroad, so that may be something to consider as well.

Have you signed up as a member of LWA yet? Keep up to date with our favourite resources for starting a new life abroad. 

About Phil

I am Phil Byrne, a web marketeer originally from the UK and now living and working across a number of places on this fine Earth. I adore everything web, music and travel related. From this blog, I aim to bring the best of my experiences of working online and living overseas. I hope they help you bring both freedom and choice into your work and home life too. For more info, please email Phil Byrne or visit his Google Profile.

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