travelstart survey discloses things South Africans home abroad

As a South African who has travelled abroad for a holiday, it was about keeping an open-mind. In essence travelling abroad is about the experience, visiting new places, different cultures and the people you meet.  In 2012, I travelled to Australia along with my family to attend a wedding which occurred in November. We decided to make it a 6 week holiday and stay for Christmas. But 3 weeks into our holiday, I became homesick. I had enough and wanted to go home. And although, Australia and its people were wonderful and I enjoyed my stay up to that point, it wasn’t home. It wasn’t South Africa and best of all it wasn’t beautiful Cape Town.

I missed Cape Town and its familiarity.  The things that I never imagined I would miss, I yearned for. Things that I often took for granted whilst back at home.

The language and the slang.  I remember clearly walking into Coles supermarket in search of a spanspek and airtime and the shop assistant gave me a weird look and asked what those things mean. It hit me that I was a foreigner and when I opened up my mouth I stood out like a sore thumb.

The public transport system is fantastic over there but yet I missed my independence. The fact that I couldn’t get into my car and drive to a particular destination of my choice.

I missed the food, ooh I missed everything about it.  The braais and the taste of real boerewors – anything made on gas is not a braai but a barbeque. A tasty pure flame grilled beef burger from Spur or Steers.  I missed Fritos, Niknaks, biltong, samoosas, koesisters, the spices we use to season food with, and the condiments like Mrs Ball’s chutney, Cross and Blackwell mayonnaise and All Gold tomato sauce. The convenience of getting most of these items at a corner shop in Cape Town; as well as bargains scored at the local street vendors selling fruit and vegetables. On a trip to the Sunshine Coast, we discovered a shop that sold a few South African brand products but the prices were exorbitant.

Amongst other things that I missed was the quality of wine South Africa produces. The alcohol is just not the same over there. I missed a good red wine, Hunter’s Dry and Savanna Light.

No matter where in Cape Town you are, you sure to see the mountain. I didn’t see any of that in Australia and it made me miss Table Mountain.

Then came December and I missed the vibe of the festive season. The parties, the concerts in the park – just the entire gees.

There were times during our trip that I became nostalgic and just saw all the things that Australia lacked. I became patriotic about my country and saw the good and forgot about all the bad things. Like the saying goes “absence makes the heart grow fonder.”

So what do other South Africans miss about home when abroad?

Travelstart, South Africa’s cheap flights provider, launched a survey across several social media platforms to find out what South Africans miss most about home while travelling or living abroad. The information gathered revealed some expected trends and a few unexpected ones.

South Africans Love Their Biltong and Rooibos Tea

travelstart survey discloses things South Africans home abroad

Unsurprisingly, over 50% of the respondents said they missed biltong, droëwors, and braais. Durban curry and boerewors rolls came in close behind at 20% and many people also said they missed how affordable dining out is in South Africa compared to other countries.

When it came to drinks, desserts, and unique South African products, 25% said they miss Rooibos Tea, 20% said SAB beers such as Castle Lite and Black Label, and 15% miss a good bottle of Pinotage. Peppermint Crisp tart was the favourite dessert with 24% and malva pudding and milk tart each got 20%. The beloved Mrs Balls Chutney was missed by 24% of respondents and Ouma Rusks by 17%.

Cape Town Wins the Hearts of Locals

travelstart survey discloses things South Africans home abroad

Places such as Cullinan, Sabie, Kruger National Park, and the Wild Coast made it onto the list, but Cape Town proved to be the undeniable winner with over 50% saying it was the place they missed the most.

South Africans Love Road Trips, Christmas Outside, and Each Other

Almost 50% of respondents said being able to get into their cars and drive along the coast on a Sunday afternoon or go on a long road trip to the small towns is something they miss most. Many also said that stopping at Wimpy or the padstals along the way are a highlight of road tripping anywhere in South Africa.

South Africans Love Road Trips, Christmas Outside, and Each Other

An overwhelming majority also said that being able to celebrate Christmas outside in the warm sunshine and the friendly people are two of the best things about the country. Many respondents also expressed a love for the great weather and diverse landscapes and cultures.

Roadside Shopping and Being Able to Say Things Like “Ag man!”

Surprisingly, a few respondents said the sound of hooting taxis was something they missed while abroad. A large majority also said they missed the petrol attendants, being able to buy everything from avos and newspapers to sunglasses and car chargers at the robots, and the South African accent and slang. Turns out you can take people out of South Africa, but you can’t take South Africa out of its people.

What do you miss about home when travelling abroad? I’d love to hear from you.

***Certain Information and Images Courtesy of Travelstart***


20 comments on “Travelstart survey discloses: The things that South Africans miss about home while abroad”

    • I always wonder why people find our accent so intriguing – probably because I can’t hear the difference myself. Well with 11 official languages in SA – he is sure to find a different English accent #globalblogging

    • I’m sure she does miss certain things about SA as this country is so diverse and everyone has their own heritage that they are proud of.

  1. I’ve just returned from 2 weeks in South Africa, I’m British but lived there for 4 years. I missed PG Tips, British tea the most. My recent trip involved shopping for peppermint crisps, cheese curls and peanut brittle among other things to send to my South African Friends living in Germany #triumphanttales

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