This time next week my little sister will be here with us in Ohio fromm the UK. She arrives on Monday and is coming to keep the Beckwith girlies company and help out while Mark is off on a rapid response trip.
We have been really lucky since we moved to America as we've had lots of visitors from the UK ... in fact this will make the thirteenth visit in the two and half years we've lived here! (With at least two more in the pipeline!) It's always nice to be able to show friends and family a little bit of our life out here.
Another perk of having visitors from 'home' is that they can bring us some Brit goodies that we've been missing both food and other stuff. Our visitors in the first year we were here had a much longer 'wish list' to find space for in their suitcases and some were more willing couriers than others! But that list has been slowly shrinking ... this time round there are only a couple of requests.
Is our shrinking list because the more we've acclimatised to the culture here, the less we miss about home? Because we've found alternatives? Or because the longer we've been here the more home comforts we've been able to source online or within a two hour drive? Honestly ... it's a mixture of all three!
Take for instance this time last year ... I walked into our local Walmart and saw advertisements for Kellogg's all new cereal ... Crunchy Nut Cornflakes! It made me laugh that it was 'new', seeing as it's been my favourite cereal for years in the UK and there was a huge sigh of relief from all future visitors ... as a box of Crunchy Nut Cereal takes up a lot suitcase space!
The longer you live in the country the more you get to know both what you will miss, what you can live without and how you can eventually get hold of those things you can't. These lists will be completely different whichever country you live in and from person to person too, as everyone's preferences are unique!
Many of my Brit friends will stock up on Marmite, Tea and Chocolate before moving overseas ... these seem to be the essentials. For Korean friends in England, a good supply of Kimchi is a necessity and my Australian friends won't leave their homeland without taking a jar of Vegemite! These are just a few that I've come across in the last couple of years alone.
What was interesting the last time we were in England was that there were certain things from America I missed while we were home ... so when we move on from here I'll be pulling in favours from people all over the world when I want a treat! For the time being I'm looking forward to a new supply of Sellotape and Udon Noodles when my sister arrives. Yes, totally random items I know!!!