After nearly three years in Atlanta, expat Heidi has found the perfect solution for homesickness...working in a British shop, where she enjoys unlimited access to tea and can proudly tell others about the 'real Jersey'.
In fact, so proud of her islander status is Heidi, that she's even had it popped on her badge.
Before delving into the five things she misses most, she shared a little of her experience since moving away from the island she loves so dearly in 2018.
"On 9 January, 2018, I joined my husband in Atlanta, Georgia, where we have moved on a temporary basis for his work. Two days later our dog Berry joined us, having endured three flights!
Pictured: Heidi and her husband, Adam.
I have to be honest and say that I didn’t know much about Atlanta and originally thought we were moving to Atlantic City! But here we are, over half way into our third year, having endured a few challenges along the way - having to take our American driving tests, learn to drive on the “wrong” side of the road, negotiate six lanes of traffic, understand a “different” language and culture, a broken ankle, the loss of Berry and, what we least expected, a global pandemic!
We now find ourselves out in the 'burbs', having moved from the city into a wonderful, friendly neighbourhood as the token Brits. I keep myself busy with two part-time jobs: one in an animal hospital, the other in a British shop where I have unlimited access to English Breakfast tea, decent chocolate and British accents.
However, despite these obvious perks, I do still miss my home and these are my top five...
Having grown up in Jersey, I often heard, “You must take it for granted”. Well, I never did. Especially the sea .
It could often stop me in my tracks and I’d have to stop and look at it, whether it be calm and Caribbean blue on a summer’s day or dark, grey and raging against the sea wall in mid-winter.
Pictured: Heidi enjoying a dip in the sea with her pup.
We have a summer family tradition of meeting at St. Ouen’s on a sunny Sunday and to me there is nothing better than being in amongst those waves with the sun beating down on you!
And I honestly DO miss the sound of the seagulls - but not them pinching your chips or the top off your ice-cream! Whatever time of the year it is when I can make it back, I’ll be taking off my shoes and socks and heading out for a paddle!
2. Fruits de mer
Whether you get it direct from a local fisherman, are eating in one of our many excellent restaurants or have ordered a platter to eat at home and share with friends, Jersey’s seafood is second to none.
Pictured: One of Heidi's most missed aspects of Jersey is its seafood.
Atlanta is land locked so fresh fish is frozen and flown in and is pretty expensive. I can’t wait to have fresh oysters followed by crab linguini at one of my favourite restaurants! An American friend is convinced British food is bland - and, no, he obviously hasn’t been to Jersey!
My sister WhatsApp’d me a photo of her dinner quite recently - it was a bowl of Jersey Royals and freshly picked Jersey crab (see below). I was so jealous!
Pictured: Salad Potatoes are no match for Jersey Royals in Heidi's eyes.
I do mine the way my Nan taught us: boiled with skins on, lashings of Jersey (of course) butter, salt and freshly homegrown mint.
I am having to make do with salad potatoes from Holland, which, although are not at all bad, are not a patch on our spuds. They are definitely called “Royals" for a reason!
We have some wonderful old pubs in Jersey, each in their own way unique, whether it be the pretty floral beer garden or the amazing pub grub.
The Smugglers had become our favourite in recent years, with its wooden beams and roaring fires in the winter and proximity to the beach in the summer. We would often pop in for a pint with the dog after a walk on the common. Unfortunately there is nothing like it here.
Pictured: The Smugglers Inn, a favourite of Heidi's.
Pre-covid we went to some great bars, but you cant beat a Jersey pub with it’s dart board, cheese ’n’ onion crisps, regulars and a landlord who remembers your usual!
I really thought I should have come up with something less obvious for my last choice, but I really do miss them.
With their deer-like features and orangey gold coats, they truly are beautiful. No wonder people want to paint them, myself included.
Pictured: The beautiful Jersey cows.
Whenever I am asked where I am from, New Jersey (as I am sure most Beans are familiar with) is the typical response from most Americans. However, occasionally, someone will surprise me by saying, “Oh yes, where the cows are from!” This always makes me proudly reply, “Yes, they are the prettiest cows in the world!” whilst searching for a photo on my phone to prove it.
...Well, that's my top five, which sums up what Jersey is famous for pretty much worldwide and quite rightly so.
They are the things that we should be proud of and what makes our little island unique and special. So, as soon as I am able, I’ll be running barefoot to the beach, stopping on the way to look at a field full of cows, before having my usual at the pub with a bowl full of moules. I can’t wait!"
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