They say the third year of expat life is the best, and by the fourth you’ll be ready for home. I’ve heard this from numerous people in our program, and it does seem like people tend to either leave after that fourth year or stay indefinitely, like they’ve fully committed to their new home. I can’t say how we will feel in a year, but at the moment I’m excited to begin year 3 of English living.
We’ve just gotten the news that every expat waits anxiously for, and our assignment has been extended! Another year of European travel, a new visa, lots of adventures and another rainy north England winter. On the down side, it’s another year of being a transatlantic flight away from loved ones and another year of watching friends gradually move home. (And on a less dramatic note another year without a full size fridge and dryer!)
It means another expat Thanksgiving, another summer in the lakes and a few more red eye flights. It will be an interesting year too, to watch the US elections unfold from a distance and to see how post-EU Britain begins.
It’s hard to believe I’ve been here 20 months, and that on a cruise boat full of Americans last month, we were told several times we didn’t quite speak like Americans anymore. Maybe it takes two years to get over the learning curve. I can drive through a roundabout with confidence now (which took the better part of a year!), I’m fully committed to the metric system (with the exception of miles of course!) and bacon butties are now my breakfast of choice on weekends. I’ve learned to take milk and sugar with my tea, can identify several breeds of sheep and have even been known to sign the occasional text with xx. I know that speaking loudly on public transport is an unforgivable sin, thoroughly enjoy British television and radio and have found myself quite often making conversation about the (generally damp) weather. I can even appropriately respond to ‘You alright?’
So here’s to another year of British adventures! And happy Independence Day to all my fellow Americans!