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.

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

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. ๐Ÿ˜€ ). 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? ๐Ÿ˜€ 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 ย cultures and yet, determined to preserve its own traditions and identity.

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

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 meaningย until one experiences it themselves. It is a painย and a burden,ย 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.

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

Bulgarian roses

The Ancient Stadium of Philippopolis_Plovdiv_SimplyMarina

The Ancient Stadium of Philippopolis, City of Plovdiv

Then, I look around andย recall why I have chosen my host country. That moment when I feel grateful my family and Iย 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 aย fellow blogger, Danielle from Someone’s Mum, has put it in her comment onย “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.

Home is Where the Family is

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”

Marina xxx


Dear Bear and Beany


43 thoughts on “My Expat Life in the UK – Home, Family, Happiness

  1. The Culinary Jumble says:

    So lovely to hear you talk about my home country like that! It certain is a very special place and you are right, as expats, we always have a yearning for home (at least some of the time, anyway).

  2. Nikki says:

    What a lovely post. I believe home is where you make it. Bulgaria looks a goregous country and you are so lucky to be able to return for holidays! #sharingthebloglove

    • marinailieva says:

      Ah, thank you so much! I agree, home is where you make it. Yes, Bulgaria is a nice place but I return because of my family and friends there. ๐Ÿ™‚ xx

  3. Katy - Hot Pink Wellingtons says:

    I’m so pleased you had a lovely summer! And it’s so lovely to hear someone talk about the UK like that – I think as a nation we tend to be quite negative, but deep down we are fiercely proud of our country! It’s always lovely to find somewhere that you really feel is home – welcome back! Thanks so much for joining us again at #SharingtheBlogLove

  4. funkymrsknutts says:

    What a stunning country you’re able to call your Homeland Marina. I am very envious. I love the UK, but there is a part of me that wishes I was braver, that we could travel or find somewhere quieter to live. Maybe one day, when the kids are older, but for now, I think we are staying put.
    Lovely post.xx

    • marinailieva says:

      Oh, a quiet place near the sea (in combination with a mountain if possible lol) would suit me perfectly, but I’m not sure if kids would agree on adults’ dull choices! ๐Ÿ˜€ Thank you for the kind words, Gems! ๐Ÿ™‚ x

  5. dearbearandbeany says:

    I’m pleased you had a lovely summer with your family. It’s lovely to hear you talk about the UK like this, I think when you live somewhere all your life like I have, you can take it for granted and not appreciate it fully. Welcome home and thank you for joining us again for Sharing the Blog Love Laura x

  6. mackenzieglanville says:

    oh so beautiful and so touching. I haven’t been to London but I long to visit and have since I was a little girl. I still live where I grew up, in Melbourne Australia. I do adore Melbourne, the art, the coffee and the diversity of culture, but I stay because this is where my family is. My husband came from Queensland so tropical and warm, but he loves Melbourne and we have made our family here. It is a wonderful place to raise our children and we are lucky for that.

    • marinailieva says:

      Thank you, dear! I’ve always wanted to visit Australia. I’m so curious to feel its spirit. I think it would be far more different than Europe, and influenced by many cultures (I love many cultures in a single place ๐Ÿ™‚ ). As for your family, you should stay in Melbourne as long as you feel happy there. ๐Ÿ™‚ xx

    • marinailieva says:

      Thank you, Lucy! If you want to move, do it. If you are happy in your country, stay where you are. I guess, I belong to the first group. ๐Ÿ™‚ x

    • marinailieva says:

      Haha ๐Ÿ˜€ I used to hate rain in my country, it’s not that bad in the UK though. It’s funny when you see the sun shining and you’re in a hurry to go out enjoying it. Five minutes later, you’re putting your shoes on but the sun is already gone. ๐Ÿ˜€ x

  7. thefrenchiemummy says:

    I am an expat too but I don’t miss France at all! I think that is very interesting the way you talk about your country. It shows how much you love it. But you are also very happy to be in the UK. I hope you will still have lots of fun over here. I am sure your family understands. #SharingtheBlogLove

  8. Rebecca Taylor says:

    Oh this has made me cry! What a beautiful post. You write beautifully. It is so wonderful that you are so fond of your homeland yet love your new home so much too. I am not an expat but I do suffer with nostalgia terribly in every walk of life. We relocated counties not countries but even that brings huge nostalgia at times. Thank you for sharing. #Sharingthebloglove

  9. The Mum Reviews says:

    Oh this is lovely. I’m also an expat living in the UK (originally from the US), and I totally agree with all your reasons it’s great to live here. It is a wonderful, friendly (mostly), eccentric place! #sharingthebloglove

  10. tootingmama says:

    Oooh you’re making me homesick for London! I’m an expat living in Paris (originally from London) and every now and then I get real big doses of homesickness! But we’re back soon in September – can’t wait!

  11. topsyturvytribe says:

    We are in Spain at the minute but originally from the UK. I have to say I love being here and am so happy living in the moment that I hardly have a care for the UK, but I do miss the important people still there! Such a well written post, thank you #SharingtheBlogLove

  12. chocolateandwineandillbefine says:

    Aww I am glad you feel at home in London! I lived abroad for a few years as a temporary expat in France and I absolutely loved it, and I loved immersing myself in a new culture but I am not brave enough to take the plunge and do it forever. I am currently struggling to live in London as I miss Yorkshire so much! #sharingthebloglove

    • marinailieva says:

      Thank you so much! Yorkshire must be beautiful, so I’m sure you have your reasons to miss it. Besides, I’d also love to live is a smaller place one day, even though I like London so much. I’m getting older lol, this is why. ๐Ÿ˜€ x

  13. Kirsty - Motherhoodery says:

    Lovely to read your words about this country. I love going on holiday but I always love coming home too! The UK is a wonderful place and we are lucky to live here. So many things I love but some are: cream teas, the British seaside, national events (we know how to put on a show!), we always support the underdog and our great quality TV! x#SharingtheBlogLove

    • marinailieva says:

      Yes, there are thousands of reasons to like the UK if you’re not British, or to be proud of this country if you were born there. Thank you for stopping by. ๐Ÿ™‚ xx

  14. Taryn says:

    Home is definitely where family is, roots are so important but it’s fine to grow away from them and they are always there to return to. #sharingthebloglove

  15. Silly Mummy says:

    How lovely! Glad you like it here. I completely agree with you – home is where you make it & want it to be. I also agree with you about the joys of Christmas spirit! #twinklytuesday

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