One Year in England!!

Wow. What. A. Year. Seriously. I chuckle thinking back on my first few days in England. It seems like so long ago now. So many things have happened in a year. Amazing travel moments, overcoming my fears of being in the spotlight as an American, and basically falling in love with this new country. England has captured my heart and I feel so incredibly blessed to have spent a year in this amazing place!

There have been many experiences, good and bad. I've experienced the brisk fall, the wet, windy and cold winter, the absolutely gorgeous British springtime and the mild and sometimes sweaty summer. I've learned how to communicate effectively in a sometimes foreign British language. I've learned how to navigate foreign countries, airports, train stations, and the tube. I've learned how to successfully drive a manual....on the other side of the road (yes, Dad, I've gotten much better!)

I've experienced extreme happiness and extreme sadness. I've missed my family but enjoyed the adventure. I've learned a TON about blogging and still really enjoy it. I've had one amazing year. We've had an amazing year.

I'm becoming accustomed to many things that I never thought I would when I first arrived in England. For example (and funny), I never thought I would be able to master some of the toilets around here. I just can't seem to flush some of them! Another thing that I am getting accustomed to is not having a car. I really had a hard time with this at first. But now, its nice to take a walk into town on a pretty day. And when it's yucky outside, I love having my groceries delivered right to my door! One of my most favorite things!

I am learning to live on a smaller scale and to really think about our "things". Having less space means I really have to think every purchase through. I have ONE, yes ONE closet in my house. So it really has been a great change for us. Less things, more life experience.

I love the food here and I have become much more aware of what I am putting into my body. But it's really easy to be healthy in England. No drive-thru fast food places, no parking lots in front of restaurants.....you walk everywhere! I absolutely love it.

There are things I still miss about home, such as watching college football at a decent hour. Staying up until midnight is starting to become difficult for this soon to be 31-year-old. I also miss my family but am so grateful for technology and to be able to see their faces on my screen. And I miss my friends. I have friends all over the States and I am so thankful for their continued friendship! 

Ok, and now for my American 'misses'. I miss Target....oh how I miss Target. I miss good Mexican food. I miss the drive thru at the bank. I miss wide roads. I miss American television (but thank you Amazon, Netflix and a VPN!). I miss using US Dollars, although the exchange rate has really improved lately. I miss Waffle House and Taco Bell. There. I said it.

But not to worry.....all of those things I can live without.

And so I have created a little "Top 10 List" of my favorites over the past year. It was hard to narrow them down...we've had some pretty amazing travels over the past year. But these are ones that stick out in my mind and make my heart do a little dance. (Click the links for more on these favorites)



9. Walking amongst these gorgeous yellow fields



6. 10 Cool Castles around the UK






I can't believe all of this has happened within one year. Pure amazement.


With one year down, that means we are closer to leaving this amazing place. While the options for our next destination are still floating up in the air, I secretly (well not a secret now) don't want to go back to the States. And it's not that I don't miss it. It's just that we are able to experience so many new things abroad. So many different people, many different cultures, new ways to look at life. One of our destination options is foreign and the other option is to return stateside. So, I'm keeping fingers crossed but who knows where our home will be this time next year! 

I have so much planned for the year to come and I can't wait to keep sharing it with everyone who reads Gunters Abroad. This has been an incredible year in England and I feel so blessed to have called England my home!

Hooray for one year!


For previous expat 'updates', click here.

Travel Tuesday

46 comments

  1. Congrats on a year!! May your second year be just as amazing!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh man, I miss Target and Taco Bell too! But looks like you've had a full and amazing year! Congrats!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Congrats on your first year! Here's to (hopefully) more time! I'm jealous of your one closet- we don't have any! I miss Target and Taco Bell too. But mostly I miss Chickfila x

    ReplyDelete
  4. What an amazing first year you've had!! Congrats! And I'm looking forward to finding out where life takes you guys next :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Wow! What an amazing year! I'm dying to visit Santorini, I'll be reading that post next! Then Amsterdam, then Downton Abbey....all places I'd love to see as well!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Happy 1 Year! I miss Target as well. My fast food of choice that I really miss is Chick-fil-A. It looks like you had a wonderful year!

    ReplyDelete
  7. It's the best. Especially the breakfast chicken biscuit...mmm.... x

    ReplyDelete
  8. Ok...I miss it too!! I was just trying not to think about it too much or I might cry haha!! I miss their diet lemonade too...oh and their ice cream and their waffle fries :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. I rarely eat Taco Bell....but now that I can't have it I want it!!! I bet Target is just beautiful this time of year :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. They are all amazing!! I love watching Downton Abbey and knowing that I have walked through all of the rooms! It was sooo cool :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. I miss Chick fila too!! Fish and chips just dont cut it for me :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. Gah! I can only imagine!!! Now I want to go binge watch the show!!!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Happy one year! What a wonderful year it has been. Even though I miss living back in the states when I think of moving back I instantly think of all the experiences that come with living abroad I would really miss. But Target, I will always miss Target!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Yours is coming up soon too right?!?! I always would head over to Target on my lunch breaks and pick something cute up for the house or my closet.....ugh I miss those days but would trade this experience for anything!!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Happy England-aversary! Living abroad certainly accelerates travel possibilities-- biggest perk!
    Also, inside I let out a squeal when I saw the photo of you in front of Downton frickin' Abbey! Swoon!! (Do they let you tour the interior?)

    ReplyDelete
  16. Yes!! I went inside although no photography was allowed.....go check out this post...you will love!! http://guntersabroad.blogspot.com/2013/12/oh-mydownton-abbey.html

    ReplyDelete
  17. Happy One Year. I am with you, if I had the chance to explore the world, I wouldn't want to come back stateside either. Can't wait to see more of your adventures.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Thank you dear! I would stay forever if I could!!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Ah yes, bittersweet isn't it? I had to laugh because I too had the most difficult time with some of the flipping toilets over there! Arrgh! The height of embarrassment is when you have to ask someone to help you flush it...oh yeah, and the time my Mom BROKE the toilet handle at our wedding. Yup. Don't miss those loos.

    🚽

    Beautiful post that brings back a lot of memories for me.

    Kudos on learning to drive. It was the single biggest accomplishment during my time in the UK. I STILL carry my UK license in my wallet as a token of pride. I worked hard for that MOFO!

    🚘

    V
    Life+1

    ReplyDelete
  20. Congratulations on your one year! You have some lovely photos here from the year - isn't it crazy how sometimes so much can occur in just a small amount of time?

    ReplyDelete
  21. I am so happy I'm not the only one who had to ask for help haha!! So embarrassing!! It feels nice to feel so much more comfortable here now! I love it and am going to cry like a baby when we have to leave!!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Thanks! Yes, I am always so amazed when I look back on such a short amount of time and think of all of the crazy adventures that fit into that time frame! Its pretty amazing!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Happy anniversary!!! What an amazing year you have had, can't wait to keep up with your new adventures

    ReplyDelete
  24. Happy one year! I've only been abroad about two months but I miss Target so much! Haha. Looks like you had a fabulous year and Target will be waiting when we go back to visit, am I right? :)

    ReplyDelete
  25. congrats on your expat-iversary :) you certainly have been able to have some amazing adventures!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Thanks! Definitely have been blessed this year!

    ReplyDelete
  27. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  28. congratulations! that one year mark is so fulfilling and exciting! looks like you've made some amazing memories already in just one year!

    ReplyDelete
  29. Congrats!!! It's crazy how time flies!

    ReplyDelete
  30. What an amazing year! Congrats on making it this far :)

    ReplyDelete
  31. Congrats on 1 year! I just hit my 1 year mark as well and it is amazing to think about what has happened.

    ReplyDelete
  32. I have made some amazing memories. This probably is one of the biggest milestones...I'm so happy to be here!!

    ReplyDelete
  33. It's so insane....it's almost like I don't even believe it!

    ReplyDelete
  34. Congrats to you as well!! I can't wait to see what year 2 holds!

    ReplyDelete
  35. Congrats on your 1 year anniversary! I hope you do get to keep adventuring and having wonderful new experiences abroad. The States will still be there if ever you start to yearn for them :)

    ReplyDelete
  36. Oh i hope we get to keep travelling abroad! It's been an amazing year and I just want to keep exploring!

    ReplyDelete
  37. Congrats for one year abroad! As I write this, probably some more months passed by! I completely understand your wanderlust to live abroad. It reminded me of how my mum always asks me when I am gonna come home and visit, and I am always like "soon mum, soon" while thinking there are so many places to explore. Enjoy your expat life! :)

    ReplyDelete