My First Year in the UK

I have officially been in the UK for one year. Actually, I’m very late writing this as my one year was in September. But, life has a way of keeping you busy.

I still find it funny that I live in another country. I never imagined that I would ever live outside of the United States. But being here has been amazing. There are so many things that I have learned about myself and about the world by simply putting myself in a different space.

In just this past year, I’ve done more than I have in years of my life. Sometimes I think to myself, this is what living really feels like. There really is no timeline on when you should have accomplished different milestones in life and no timeline will be the same for two people. This is something I used to struggle with. I always thought by this point in my life I would have a certain number of goals ticked off and that since I didn’t, I was somehow failing.

Restarting my life in the UK has given me a new perspective and I have to say, I’m pretty happy I didn’t get all the things I thought I wanted, at the exact moment I wanted them. I’m so happy to be able to create a new timeline with a life I’m truly in love with.

When I sit back and think about everything we’ve done over the past year, I’m actually surprised we’ve squeezed so much in. I got a pretty amazing job working for FQ Magazine. We’ve been to plays, festivals, and iconic London tourist attractions. We spent a week in Wales, we moved into a bigger space and even planned a wedding. Most impressively, I mastered the underground system in London.

The UK has taught me portion control (forcibly), and that I can walk farther than the parking lot to the store. I didn’t realize how much I was overeating until I moved here. I remember our first time to going to a restaurant and thinking the waitress had only brought my dish out and then realizing that was food for two people. I remember being equally shocked at all the medium sized coffees that are masquerading around as larges.

But with smaller portions and no options other than trains and walking, I’m in better shape and much healthier so I can’t really complain.

I still feel like the same person I was a year ago. Although, if you ask my husband he’ll tell you London has changed me. That I’m now one of the impatient and aggressive people on the trains, that don’t have time for tourists wandering around…. that might be true.

Another huge event is that, we’ve been married for two years now. Marriage has taught me a lot. I’ve definitely learned to compromise, how to share a space with another person. After living on my own for years, that was an adjustment. I think most importantly, I’ve learned that people give and receive love differently than I do, and that’s okay. I’ve learned that there are different ways of communicating and that a marriage takes effort and patience…. sometimes a lot of patience. But it’s so worth it.

This past year has flown by and I cannot wait to see what the next year has in store.

Things I miss

It’s crazy to think that I’ve been in the UK for six months now. Sometimes it still feels like I got here yesterday. It’s unbelievable how fast time goes by.

We’ve been super busy since I got here. Afternoon teas, anniversary trips, wedding planning and as if that wasn’t enough we just moved into a new flat. That’s right, I said flat… I’m a British lady now. But even though my days are pretty busy either with work or just living my new life, there are definitely times I miss home.

Aside from my family and friends, it’s hard to say what I miss the most. I definitely miss flavored creamer in my coffee. If you guys haven’t heard me whine about this before, there is only powder creamer here and it only comes in plain. My mom sent me vanilla powder creamer and I had to restrain myself from drinking coffee all day long. On the lines of different flavored things, I also miss flavored cream cheese. I don’t mean this onion and herb nonsense, I mean strawberry, honey walnut, blueberry.. I could go on forever. I miss real pancakes. Not crepes that they are tryin to pass off as pancakes here. Fun fact, they call thick, fluffy pancakes “American pancakes,” in the UK. Lastly, I miss Chick-Fil-A.

If I had to go past just food items. I would say that I miss free parking. Everywhere charges you to park. It’s more hassle to drive in general here. Driving places, because of the traffic takes just as long if not longer than the train. Then when you finally arrive at your destination, you have to find somewhere to park your car which could be 10 or 15 minute walk from where you’re going and usually next to a train station. More than all of this, I miss Target.

Flat sheets.. you only get fitted sheets and I miss stores that stay open late. Sometimes you just want a late night snack. I also miss having screens on the windows. I’m just waiting for the day a bird flies into my house, makes a nest and I have to move out.

Even though home will always be home, I’m still so happy here in this new home of mine.