Thoughts and Clichés

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The extreme highs and lows of expat life are a cliché that for me holds very true.  What were once simple daily tasks in the states are now projects (both small and large) requiring research and yielding mixed results. It is not a given that the local shop will have the ingredients you require to make your favorite recipes, nor will your oven/stove necessarily cooperate with your dinner plans.  It took a while to determine which shops I needed to visit to purchase certain items, since there was no local Target I could make a quick run to. (Yes, there is an Argos/Asda/Tesco but it’s a half hour drive!)  It is a huge disappointment when the washing gets rained on while it is out on the line (we have no dryer, which is something I do miss quite a bit) and I’m not sure I’ll ever consistently remember to turn on the switches next to the wall sockets.  These small things, though minor, do make me homesick and frustrated at times.

Of course the converse of all this is that the wins are so much sweeter!  When we made quesadillas, and they tasted just like they would have at home in the states I was ecstatic!  When I found the brand of body wash I like to use and it wasn’t sold for some ridiculous import price, it was pretty awesome.

It has now been over a month since I moved to my new home in the UK. Sometimes I still can’t believe we really are here and that this is our new life, not some bizarre never ending vacation.  When we were first considering the move, I researched and read as much as I could, blogs, the UKBA website, protocol for bringing pets over, job descriptions and prospects… I wanted to learn as much as I could to make the best decision possible.  Most things though, you need to learn by doing them yourself.  What is best for other people, or what other people have been doing for years may not be the most effective way for you.

The thing I’ve found hardest to accept is that I can’t expect my life here to pick up where my American life left off.  I need to work hard to make new friends, and I can’t expect the next step in my career to fall in my lap.  It’s more of an effort to stay in touch with friends and family back home.  The handful of job rejections I’ve received has been painful, but the successful interviews (and hopefully offers!) outweigh them and feel like a real triumph.  So it’s getting there, slowly but surely.

What did you struggle with when adjusting to expat life?  What things from home are the hardest to live without?

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12 Comments Add yours

  1. eleanorrosem says:

    Great read! I might live outside the UK next year, and to be a complete and utter cliche, I’m definitely going to miss the tea!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks! The tea is something I’ve definitely grown to like, especially with the weather getting colder. 🙂

    Like

  3. Your post makes me feel a bit depressed. I’ll move to the UK next June, and all the stuff I’m afraid of, they happened to you. Difficult to keep in touch, not finding a job, struggling with making new friends. Do you regret it ?

    Like

    1. I don’t regret it at all! Sorry the post sounded depressing, it wasn’t intended. I think what I meant to get across is that I need to be more patient, the job and friends will come in time, and it takes effort to get out and meet people in a new place. And I have only been here a month, so I’m really surprised that I’ve gotten as far as I have with a job search, in the states it can take a lot longer to hear back. Good luck with your move 🙂

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      1. Ok, I understand what you mean 🙂 I suppose it’s normal to wish to have a “normal” life as soon as possible. I hope everything will sort out for you

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Welcome to the UK! You’ll soon get used to us!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I am adapting! 🙂

      Like

  5. RUTHless says:

    Highs and lows. Ain’t that the truth? I’m in Korea. I reallyy struggle with the food. I’m eating the same foods day in and day out.. and even more difficult, distinct breakfast foods aren’t common here. I REALLY miss diners.
    Add these mundane things to the whole migrant-worker / cultural-differences-associated-with-gender things… It’s nightmarish sometimes.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. RUTHless says:

    You’re super brave for making such a commitment. I’m just here for a year.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think you are brave for going to Korea, quite a bit more of a challenge than relocating to the UK! So many more cultural/language differences. The differences here are much more subtle so I haven’t had too much of a culture shock. I miss the food too. Especially Mexican food, it just isn’t the same here. I keep a running list of things to eat when I go back for a visit. 🙂

      Like

  7. Flav_Holman says:

    You put it very well on your post. Whatever was simple and easy in our home country will not be the same when you move away. It’s part of growing and adjusting to a new life elsewhere. Thanks for liking my post. I look forward in reading your adventures.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! The learning curve is tough, but worth it I think!

      Liked by 1 person

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