Girl's Weekend in California.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

I recently went on a girl's weekend to San Francisco with my aunts & a few cousins on my mom's side. My mom has a lot of siblings/sisters and it's become a bit of a tradition that when one of the sisters turns *a certain age which I will get in trouble for specifying*, they go on a trip together and cousins are invited as well. Although we've learned that we get the invite purely so we can take photos of them and handle ordering Ubers. 

The time I walked from Wales to England.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

When I found out that a bridge linking Wales to England less than an hour's journey from my flat in Bristol, I knew it had to be accomplished before my time there came to an end. How's that for a cheeky ice breaker? "I once walked from Wales to England" (which will be particularly handy for people who are terrible at geography).

What NOT to say to a former expat.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

"Welcome to the real world!"

Parisian Snapshots.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

In January, I went to Paris for work. I've been to the City of Lights twice before, both times in the summer so I wasn't sure what winter would have in store for me.

Grass is greener where you water it.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

I was warned about reverse culture shock. Other former expats approach me with knowing eyes, gently asking how I am, saying how long it took for them to get over the post-Europe hangover.

Hello from...

Saturday, February 6, 2016

...the ooootherrr siiiiiiddeee!!
Promise I'll chill out with the Adele references soon (never).  Anyway...

Hello from Austin, TX!

New Year, New...Everything.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Happy 2016!'s me... Is that joke old yet? Nah.

I've been busy enjoying being home for the first time in nearly a year, thus the blog took a bit of a backseat. On the side I've been brainstorming how to turn all of the things that are swarming around my head into something legible, because a whole lot of stuff has happened recently...

Lots of expat stories end in tears. Frustration. Heartache. Weariness. I've witnessed several of them first hand and it's the worst because there is literally nothing you can do to help other than bring a bottle of wine and let them rant it out. 

So, like many expats before me and what will be the case for many after me – I'm going home. 

...or something like that. I'm very much a "home is wherever you are" person.

When I first moved here, the realist in me knew it wasn't going to be forever. Visas have expiry dates and I have friends and family back home who I'm not planning on chatting with via a screen for the rest of my life. I've lived 7+ hours away from home for over 6 years, and while I've loved (nearly) every minute of my adventures stateside and abroad and have no intentions of moving back to my hometown (soz), sometimes you just want to be within reasonable distance of going home for someone's birthday/wedding/baby/party/just because.

After months of uhmm-ing and ahh-ing over what direction I wanted my life to go in, coupled with staring at the ceiling when people would ask what my plans were after my visa expired in January – I can finally breathe a little.

First order of business: I'm officially the proud owner of a Master's Degree! You know, the reason I moved to England in the first place. I received the confirmation email mid-way through a bite of chicken on some random Tuesday and it. felt. amazing. I won't be able to attend my graduation unfortunately, due to the university's *cough* incapacity for arranging the ceremony on a date that is plausible for international students to attend, and partially because of my next bit of news...

I got a job. A jobby job. A jobby job with benefits and grown up things. *hallelujah choir rings out* 

For a long time I gave up on the idea of a "dream job" and having worked in about every industry under the sun: food, customer service, retail, law firms, medical office – you name it, I'm pinching myself that I've landed a spot with a company that I am genuinely excited and passionate about. 

Aaaaand that job is in a city that I love! I'm not going to say where exactly I'm moving quite yet because A) This is the internet, but mostly B) I want to wait until I'm there and settled and can ramble all about it. But I will say that it's in the United States – really narrows it down, yeah?

All of this got set in motion the last two weeks of November. I always joke that I have absolutely nothing going on or about 500 different things at once and in this case it's definitely the latter! My planner for the next few weeks is insane, but in the best way. I'll be bouncing between 3 different countries in the next 4 weeks, so I won't have a ton of downtime to type away on the blog – follow me on Twitter or Instagram to tag along! 

With my move around the corner, lots of people have approached me about my leaving England walking on eggshells. 

And you know what? I'm feeling okay. 
(Which is saying a lot because I'm a pretty sarcastic human being.)
I admit that if I had no idea what I was doing when I got back to the other side of the pond, my attitude would be a lot mopier.

Don't get me wrong here – I'm going to miss things horrendously. I might take this whole post back and say I didn't mean any of it the second my feet hit American soil and reverse culture shock begins to set in.

I'll miss taking long walks through the countryside or a quintessentially British park.
I'll miss hopping on a train and winding up somewhere steeped in history with streets plucked out of a fairytale.
I'll miss fresh hot scones accompanied by clotted cream and a steaming pot of proper English tea.
I'll miss spending too much money at Topshop, Space NK, and Boots.
I'll miss the wonderful accents that change every 100 kilometres.
I'll miss galavanting around London whenever I feel like it and ticking off little accomplishments like conquering the bus routes. 
I'll miss having a Nandos takeaway and catching up on the Great British Bake Off.
I'll miss the cool, fresh English air.

I am sad to be leaving England. So incredibly sad to say goodbye to the cities, the culture, and of course the wonderful people I met along the way. It's a horrendous cliché but England helped bring me back to life and I've grown more in the past year and a half than I have in a long, long time. Living here has boosted my sense of adventure, confidence in my own abilities, and the relationships I have with other people from all corners of the world. 

And I'm looking forward to what's next. 


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