3 Month Expat Checkup

I'm taking an idea from Selena at Oh, the places we will go (a fabulous blog) and going to do an expat wellness check on Van and myself every so often. Since we arrived in England about 3 weeks apart in September of this year, I think its safe to say we are at the 3 month mark. It's crazy to think its only been 3 months! I feel like it has been so much longer and not in a bad way! We have been to sooooo many places already that it seems like we have been here for about 6 months. Which is why we are taking it easy for Christmas....

This Christmas will be our first Christmas EVER to not travel. We have always lived away from family due to Van's job and our holiday vacations have always been spent in the air or on the road on our way to be with our families. I honestly can't even imagine waking up in my own bed on Christmas. It will be so strange! And we will be alone... And that brings me to our wellness check....

This holiday season is definitely a "tuffy" in a sense. In the sense that we have no family to celebrate it with. It will be odd to wake up Christmas morning with no plans to see our parents, brothers and sisters or grandparents and cousins. It will be different for sure. And unfortunately (or maybe fortunately ;)) I haven't decorated the house with the beautiful Christmas colors and sparkle. And there aren't any wrapped gifts or Christmas cards to get us in the spirit. But, we know the real reason for the season and I know it will get us through.
My one and only Christmas card....its from my grocery delivery drivers. How funny!!!
ANYWAY, I have come up with a list of our "misses" from home and our "loves" of the UK at our 3 month mark. And, you may see some contradictory misses and loves, like I miss stoplights but I also love roundabouts (sometimes). You'll see.....

MISSES: (get ready for some whining)

  • Our Families: I miss knowing that I can hop in the car and be at least near one relative in a few hours. Lotsa $$ and hours are needed to do this now. Thank God for Skype and Magic Jack
    Missin my momma
  • My friends: Good gracious I miss my friends. I should be used to leaving friends by now, but this time it is especially hard. I don't have easy ways to make new friends. I know it can only get better though :)
  • REAL RANCH- ugh, I miss the good ole days with real ranch. The ranch here is barely tolerable. Luckily my mom is coming to the rescue with some Hidden Valley Ranch mixes for Christmas!!!
  • Stoplights: I just miss a big intersection that isn't confusing
  • Driving and my Lexus: We only have one car, and I can hardly drive it anyway (right side stick shift-just imagine that for a moment) So Van drives me everywhere. I'm sure he misses my driving too ;)
  • Free water at restaurants- self explanatory
  • TARGET- also self explanatory
  • My Job (or A job): I miss my work in NM, I miss all of those sweet faces and my coworkers. 
  • Knowing what brands to buy
  • US Metric system: I don't know what Celsius is or how many ml are in an ounce. 
  • The Sun: Right now the sun rises at 8am and sets at 3:45pm. And most days, there is only clouds. 
Ok, is that enough whining for you today? How about some happies!!

LOVES:
  • Walking EVERYWHERE! I feel like its a little bit impossible to not get your exersize around here, and public transportation is fab
  • Delivery: Ok, wait, there is a way around walking everywhere. I order my groceries online every week and have them delivered to my door. It is an absolute DREAM!!!!
  • British jargon: "Bits and pieces", "reckon", they say Aluminium correctly (al-u-MIN-i-um), "cheers", "mate", "I fancy him", "the telly","mum", and a million other funny words that I love to hear. And the different dialects. I love it!
  • Radio Stations: They have some good music here and I just love the radio personalities
  • Radiators: Never had them before and I like standing by them when I'm cold
  • The Green: the grass is still vividly green here and we are almost to Christmas, its lovely
    Greeeeennnn
  • The History: self explanatory
  • Roundabouts: I'd say this is more of a Love-Hate relationship, but they can be fun and they make you use your noggin.
  • Most people are so interested in "The Americans"
  • The simplicity of life
  • $100 roundtrip flights to Switzerland,or anywhere (ski trip in the works)
  • Amazing pints
  • CHEESE. I mean, WHOA
  • Markets: Twice weekly
  • The freshness of the food here. 
  • That we can find a bar showing Auburn games!! Yes, we watched the SEC Championship with a bar full of Americans in London. It was incredible. War Eagle!!

Ok, at least there is a decent list of "loves". I knew moving to another country wouldn't be easy but I think I was still a little naive. It has been challenging to say the least but an adventure worth taking. Thanks for putting up with the whining! But remember to cherish the moments with your families over the next two weeks. What precious moments.

Merry Week before Christmas from England!!

Jamie

5 comments

  1. Seriously amen to everything. Love this!

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  2. I just found your blog, and am so happy I did! We have similar stories- I just moved to Sweden with my husband in August, so we are both ex-pats on a relatively similar time schedule. I can relate to almost every one of your "miss" list, and in various ways most of your "love" list. Looking forward to following along with you!

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    1. Hi Samantha! I will certainly have to check out your blog...Sweden is on my to visit list! So, since you've been here for 6 months, do you feel like you have finally settled in a bit? I think it has taken every bit of 5 months to feel normal again!!

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  3. Just found your blog from Bristol in my Pocket! It's so interesting to see expats settling into UK!
    Also if you ask for tap water in restaurants they will give you a jug of free water :) Took me a while to figure that out and I'm British.... :)

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    1. Awesome!! Thanks for the tip...and welcome to the blog :)

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