Showing posts with label gypsy life. Show all posts

Beach Bum Life

Ahh Florida. I really don't have much to say in words because the pictures do all of the talkin' for me.

Ex-expat Catch Up!

Hello there! Well, we have officially been in the United States for 42 days! I still can't believe it and I almost just keep expecting to pack up and return to Ely. When I force reality into my brain, I feel such a let down but I just remind myself of how lucky I am to have called Ely my home. We have been surviving 'gypsy' life for some time now here in Atlanta, packing up all of our junk and moving from place to place. We are a sight to see when arriving at a new hotel haha!! But alas, we are now finally in our last 'home' for our time in Atlanta. And we are actually staying in our first American AirBnb! It's extremely nice, much larger than any AirBnb we encountered in Europe, and will be a comfortable last spot in Atlanta before moving down to the beach at the end of October! I honestly can't wait to get to the beach. Sun, sand, family and PUPPIES!! Sunshine/puppy emoji! :) are we coping?

Missing 'home'
Van and I have often found ourselves in conversations about how much we miss England. And Europe in general. The way of life that we were so privileged to experience for two years was something that we grew quite comfortable with. And right now, I would give anything to hop in the car and drive through the British countryside. While the North Georgia mountains are pretty, nothing compares to passing by the hedge lined farmland and quaint villages in the United Kingdom. Or even to just be able to walk into town and grab a coffee and peruse the daily market. I walked a mile to Publix today and people probably thought I was crazy....or homeless! It's just been a total change in daily life and is taking some getting used to for sure.

So, truth be told, while I am so excited about the next couple of years around family....I'm homesick for England. Like the heartbroken kind of homesick. Anywho.

While we have had said "missing home" talks, our conversations usually turn to what's next travel wise for us. While I would be up for jumping on a long haul flight every month to go back to Europe, Van brings me back to reality. We will have, at most, 2 weeks to spend travelling next year...well plus long weekends and such. But as far as flying somewhere more than 4 hours away by plane, it's going to be tricky. But let me back up.

While we will be in Florida for some time, there will always be opportunities popping up for us to once again be expats. And while I hope this opportunity comes sooner than later, I have to remind myself to let life flow as it should and to not get in a hurry to plan it all.

Ok, so back to travel. We have tossed around ideas of a major trip to Thailand, or maybe even a week on the Adriatic in Eastern Europe. But we've somewhat decided to try and stay in this hemisphere for now. Since there is always hope for another opportunity to live abroad, we think that travelling 'locally' may be our best option. While the thought of not touching the ground in England or Europe for two years makes my heart want to break in two, I also know that visiting for one week will not completely fulfill my need! So while this is just a thought at the moment, I've learned to keep my mouth shut and let life happen!

Living in America is surely different and I almost feel like it moved and grew too fast while we were gone. Every body is busy. Traffic is horrendous. All there is to do is shop and eat. Ok, that last statement is a little dramatic but sometimes that is how it feels. But, we have found a few little cozy restaurants and wine bars that are growing on us and we do try and get outside quite often. We actually attended the Atlanta Boxer Rescue "Boxerstock" yesterday. And even though it wasn't British crowds at the market, at least we were around all of the cool know, the boxer owners :)

Eating in America is a whole other topic that I will get too soon enough...

We are slowly surrendering to American life however we both are incredibly thankful for our new, more Euro outlook on life. I think that living at the beach will be a much better place for us to readjust than busy Atlanta. And I can't wait to get there.

So, in a nutshell, that's about where I am at with this whole repatriation thing. Slowly settling but with a new perspective.

Hope you are having a fantastic Monday!

Jamie xx

Repatriation | What I'm Excited About

Well hello there!! Remember me? It's know, I used to be a pretty active blogger, haha!! It's been a hectic few weeks...getting the pups all geared up to make the trip back to the States (more on that later) and just life in general! But now that they are gone and settled, I am hoping to get back into the swing of things. And plan our last few trips in Europe. Sad Face.

My ABCs of Travel

So I've seen these ABC posts floating around for awhile now and I thought I should put one together of my own! Living in England has brought so many new experiences into my life and I am just so happy to actually have some interesting stories to tell!

18 Months in England

Well, I'm sitting here today on this rainy British Sunday, coffee cup in hand, reminiscing on the past 18 months. Wow. I can't believe it's been 18 months! Oh England, you've stolen my heart. I had to take a look back at my previous expat posts (again), and reread the struggles I was facing having just moved across the pond. While some days were hard at first, I knew I would get through them with time. But what I didn't realize was how much I would change in the process.

Living in England has changed Van and I in many ways. Knowing that our move back home is on the horizon, its hard for us to imagine returning to normal American life. Our daily habits and routines have been shaped into a more European way of living and I know we will once again have to readjust to a new way of life with the next move. But, living here has opened our eyes to so many things and I know we will hold onto these new views wherever we live. 

Lately | & A Walk Through Wretham Heath

Life lately in Gunterland

Upcoming Trip
With our impending move on the horizon, we have had to face reality. A move back to the States means we will be purchasing and paying for some major expenses. Like shipping the pups, purchasing two cars, and possibly buying a new house. I mean talk about anxiety! So I have had to drastically scale back our upcoming travels. Pout face.

One place that I knew I had to visit was Aushcwitz. I have been drawn to the history of the Holocaust and WWII since I first learned of it in school. So instead of a happy little weekend away, we are going to pay our respects to the victims and to see first hand what the most notorious concentration camp is like. Of course, Krakow will be a great experience but this trip is definitely different than our other happy little vacays.

But in a good note...y'all. The Euro and the Pound....seriously taking a dive! Which is amazing for us Dollar makers! When I booked our incredibly fabulous and low priced hotel a few months ago, the price was running about $110 a night. Now that the Euro is tanking, the hotel is only going to be costing about $88 a night! Talk about a win! So any tips for Krakow? Let me know!!

Have you ever taken a look at my fitness blog? It's not much, but is a place where I like to ramble on about my workouts, healthy recipes (some incredible smoothies lately) and maybe finally seeing some abs!! I have really been on a roll with my health and fitness. So much so that I signed up for a 10k in April! I am super excited and super nervous. I don't think I have ever run over 5 miles before. But I am finally to a point where 4 miles is fairly I just got to push a little further! I feel confident and I think this may be the start of a new love for running. To my runner girls.....what's your favorite running shoe?

Job Search
I'm starting to get serious about the job search. Even though we still don't have the 100% answer saying 'you are moving to ____' we are pretty confident that we can go ahead and start making plans in our new home city. I mean we literally were given the 100% your moving to England a MONTH before we left. But I promise I will write about our new home when we are 100%! Anyway, I have seen some amazing jobs posted that I am going to apply for. If I have to move back home early, so be it. If the right opportunity came along, I would just have to do it. Ugh the struggles. But hey, what a dilemma!

Needing to Spring Clean
With said move upon the horizon, I am desperately needing to get on the ball and get rid of some things in our house. It's amazing how many things we accumulate. Having only been given a 10x20 shipping container to move over to England, there were some purchases that had to be made upon arrival. And of course, due to voltage differences, some items were necessary to buy over here. Such as a new TV, fridge, dryer, living room furniture, etc, etc. There is no way it will all fit back in the container! So my question to my English readers....what site have you found most effective to sell your items on? 

Wretham Heath
So where is this little walk that I have taken you on with my pups? It's Wretham Heath in Suffolk. I picked up a cute little book at a charity shop called the 100 Best Walks of East England. I am trying to get Van to go with me on nature walks and I figured this book would help. So for our first walk we chose Wretham Heath because of it's WWII history and it was only about 45 minutes away.

It was about a 3 mile walk around a nature reserve that is drenched in history. Not only has an abundance of Mesolithic tools, and Roman pots been found, there is also an abandoned WWII airfield. At the back of the trail, we were able to see the remnants of the taxi areas of the runway. I'm sure Bruno and Willis had no idea what they were walking around but they sure had a great time. As did we. Plus, there were about 4 million bunnies running about and the pups little noses were in heaven!

This is what I love about England and what I will miss. Just a normal walk around some little lakes. But due to the history, your imagination can run wild. Just think of the WWII aircraft flying overhead back in the day, or the Romans marching through and setting up camp. Or even back to 7000BC, during the Mesolithic period. Pretty darn incredible.

Happy Monday and happy week!! 

Catching up on Expat Life

So my last 'expat' post was at my one year mark....and I have totally missed the mark for our 15 months catch up post! Oh well, let's just go from how many days I have lived in England now....which would be 506 days! Wow. That's a little crazy.

We have truly begun to acclimate to the quirks that come along with British life. Like remembering to bag your own groceries at the checkout line (or queue as I now call it). Or knowing which coins to use. I have started to replace my 'American' words with my new British terminology which is going to be pretty comical whenever we move back Stateside! But speaking the different terminology just makes it easier to communicate and it makes me sound a little bit like Lady Mary, so it works. Ha!

I have learned to love the slower pace of life living in Ely. I LOVE this city. And yes, it is a city. Apparently, Ely is the smallest city in Britain. It meets all the criteria that deems a town a 'city in England'. So there is some knowledge for your day :)  But yes, I love it here. I love driving up the A142 and seeing the Cathedral sitting high upon the hill it is stunning. So stunning, I wish I had a picture for you but they just don't do it justice. Sigh. I love the slowness of it, I love the community, I love the architecture. I love it all.

We are dreading the day when we have to move back to the GMO 'land of the free'. The food here is so fresh and real. I love that I can't even find any caged chicken products in more store.....everything is free range. I love seeing the cattle and pigs living in excellent conditions. Makes me feel better to know that my food lived a good life. I am going to miss this food. I am going to miss the CHEEEESSSE. Makes me sad. And I am a terrible gardener, so I guess I am going to have to find a farmer friend wherever we live next!

And it will soon be Spring again here and again, my heart will melt when the rapeseed fields start to bloom. Do you remember this post from last year? Omg. It was just too gorgeous. And we are now in that sweet little time between winter and spring in England where the days are slowly getting brighter and we know that perfectly mild British summer is on the way.

Post from last Spring
Once again, I have moved to a new place and made incredible friends. This is where our 'travel' life starts to be a little bit of a hard thing. It is so hard to leave good friends....but it is starting to become just a part of our normal life. I am seriously dreading the day....Van may have to drag me away from England. But enough about the sad stuff.

Which brings me to what's coming next. What the future looks like for us....

It is looking like we will most likely be moving Stateside in about 6 months. We aren't sure exactly where just yet, but we have two great options and whichever one we go to, we have plenty of friends and family nearby! Which is exciting. And there is a possibility that one of the locations will be a permanent move for us. Which is also exciting and also a little bit terrifying. We haven't been 'settled' for a long time. It boggles my mind to live in the same house for 5 years or so. But, all of life is a challenge and a learning experience and I am up for whatever happens!

And in other news, we just returned from Prague, again. And we are still just in love with the city as we were last time! So more on that to come!!

So I guess you could say we are fully settled into our expat life! We are going to try and soak up these last few months and experience what we can. And thinking about leaving makes me all the more grateful that I have this blog. It will be such a fantastic way to relive all of these memories that we have made! 

Linking up for Travel Tuesday

Previous Expat CatchUps/British Life Posts:

Expat Life:
British Life:

USA Part 2 | The 'South' South

| Dec 27-Jan 2 Perdido Key, FL |

This crazy bunch had a pretty good time down on the coast. Football games, Flora-Bama and seafood...I sure felt like I was back home.

Van, my brother Daniel, his girlfriend Shanda and I all stayed in my little cousin Shelby's apartment for the week after Christmas and we got to catch up on some bonding time. I felt a little guilty for not travelling around and seeing other family members and friends but I knew this time with my family was much needed.

And with this view everyday....sigh.

I was a terrible photo capturer for our time down in Florida. I just enjoyed soaking in everybody through my own two eyes! I got to see my Grandmother, who drove all the way from Arkansas and I also got to see my sweet cousin Kelli! The time was too short but I'm thinking that we will all meet again sooner than later. 

And check out this sunset from one of my favorite Perdido Key restaurants....

Our days were spent outside when the weather wasn't yucky. And when it was yucky, we watched a lot of football at the tiki bar!

And you can't make a trip to the Gulf Coast without a visit to the Flora-Bama. We had our favorite Bushwhackers, and my sweet friend Bridget came by to say hello!

It was hard to say goodbye to family but I know I will be seeing them soon. Florida may be an option for us as a home base in the future and this trip back home made me realise that it might just be the best option. Who knows where the wind will blow us to this year?!

And as for coming back to England, it was so nice to go and pick up my puppies and get settled back into to our British life. However, the jetlag has been absolutely brutal. We messed up by not setting an alarm for our first morning and we slept until 5pm. Talk about confusion waking up and it's dark outside! So I think we may be back on track today but goodness, this has been the worst jetlag so far. 

But, the jetlag lazies are giving me some time to catch up on posts from Germany and Paris (which seems so long ago now) so stay tuned for those coming up! 

USA Part 1 | The 'North' South

| Dec 20-27, 2014/Georgia & Mississippi |

We are back from our trip home to the States and we had such an amazing time spent with family and friends! But on the flip side, we are having a super hard time with jet woke up at 5pm yesterday kinda bad. Ugh. But I have had a blast staying up and going through all of these wonderful moments spent with our loved ones. 

The first part of our journey started in Georgia. Van and I flew our first long haul flight together into Atlanta and it was looonng. With the high jet stream winds, our flight took 9.5 hours!! And it turned into a 17 hour travel day for us and we were exhausted by the time we arrived. But soon as we got settled in our rental car, we headed straight to Chick-fila. I have been craving it forever! But sadly, to tell you the truth, it was not as good as I remembered. I think our bodies have adjusted to eating so extremely healthy in England that the fast food just sent our bodies into "what the heck was that" mode!

After the stop to eat, we finally made it to our first stop in Adairsville, Georgia. Uncle Van was the hit of the week to say the least. With Van's brother Bryant deployed to Africa, these little sweet babies were happy to see their daddy's look alike :) And he was happy to love on our sweet little Cheyenne and Zane!

I love this shot of Zane taken by Cheyenne! I think she may turn out to be a little artist!

Zane pooped after all the playing with Uncle Van! Sweet baby...

Van and I snuck away to his Mamaw and Papaw's house on the 23rd to get some special spoiling before the rest of the family came for Christmas Eve. We always enjoy our time with these two special people. And they always cook us some yummy food, special just for us!

And I had to get a shot of the living room....our British friends think our house in Ely is big. I think our entire house could fit in this living room! Maybe twice! Only in America....

While at Mamaw and Papaw's, Van desperately needed to feel American. This was his first trip back to the States since September 2013. So what did he do to feel American? Work on this monstrosity of a vehicle (I was hoping it might have burned in a fire) and play around with his guns.....neither of which we could bring to England. 

Christmas day rolled around and it was a blessing to spend it with our niece and nephew. I just love watching their faces as they open all of their gifts! We were all more than spoiled by 'Santa Claus'....Charla, tell him thank you for me :)

These two: Giving me their model faces. 

Little German girl! Cheyenne in her German hat and scarf set from us.

Santa should have just brought boxes for Zane. That's all he cared about!

Well, I take that back....he cared about the wooden sword that Uncle Van and Aunt Jamie bought him. Wow. How obvious is it that we don't have children?! We bought a 2 year old a sword. LOL.

And how can you get through a Southern Christmas without teaching someone about a scope. Don't's a .22 made to look like a scarier gun. And of course safety is always first!

Finally got the boy to sit still! There may have been a candy bribe involved.....

Christmas in Georgia was a great first week back in the US. Trips to Target and Hobby Lobby, lots of coffee, lots of Southern food, and lots of sweet family moments. What more can you ask for?

After Christmas in Georgia, we headed further south to Mississippi to see the rest of Van's family. We got to see lots of family and had lots of laughs. While the time was short, we so enjoyed it! 

Folks, this is just the first part of our trip. We are so blessed to have been able to spend two full weeks with our families. The second half is coming soon!

Our Christmas was was yours?