Expat Update: February 2016

Expat UpdateAnother month gone already!  Here I’ll be looking back on what I’ve been up to this month, the places I’ve been, the highs and lows, how the endless visa process is going and other random things I’m finding interesting this month!  *Little Side Note* I’m still not quite an Expat yet…preparing myself for when I am!

Visa Update

Days since the first visa correspondence = 161

PROGRESS!

8/2/16 (141 days) – USCIS approved our I130 application (email notification)

11/2/16 – NOA1 received in the mail

18/3/16 – USCIS sent application to the National Visa Centre (NVC)

The NVC is now dealing with the rest of the visa process, we need to wait for a case number and then we’ll have finance checks, there are a couple more forms to fill in, medicals, police checks and then the interview at the embassy!

Where I’ve Been

England: London, Tiptree (Essex)

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February Highs

Me and my mum went for Afternoon Tea in Tiptree!  Tiptree is famous for it’s Jam Factory…their jam can be bought worldwide (I’ve seen it in America)!  Afternoon Tea is a step up from a Cream Tea…I ate: 4 cakes, 2 scones with cream and apricot jam, 2 sandwiches and 4 cups of vanilla tea.  Pigged out big time!

English Afternoon Tea scones

February Lows

The awful-ness of UK train travel.  My closest ‘London line’ has engineering works for 10 weekends so it means hours sitting on replacement buses.  I thought I’d be smart and get a lift to my next nearest line, only to have the trains cancelled because over line cables had been stolen during the night.  I ended up being dropped off at the edge of the London Underground network with the intention of getting the mainline train home in the evening, ended up costing a fortune as I was unable to buy a combined travel card.

Blog Progress

I am seriously debating the move to self-hosting my site.  Eek! So there could be some changes coming to my site soon!

Blogs I’ve Contributed to This Month

Sharing some love for other blogs I’ve contributed to!  Go check them out! 🙂

Travel Blogger Tips on Mindful Travelling – The sea is my cup of tea.  I contributed my thoughts on people that don’t respect coral reefs.  LOOK BUT DON’T TOUCH

5 Stories to Prove That Travelling With Family Can Lead to Amazing Relationships – The Bonfire Dream.  I love travelling with my family, we’ve been on so many trips together, I couldn’t not contribute to this post!

Legends From Around The World That Bring You Good Luck – Europe Diaries.  I rung a wishing bell in Bled, Slovenia!  What’s life without a little bit of magic and positivity!?

The Ultimate List of the Best Adventure Towns in the World – The Roaming Renegades.  Part of the reason I love travelling!  I loved Whistler in Canada.  There are some great sounding places on here that I want to now put on my bucket list!

Songs For The Playlist

The Sound by The 1975

Apps I’m Enjoying

Take a Break – A meditation app, I find it works really well to get me to sleep!  I use the free version that have 7 minutes of speaking, making you concentrate on relaxing and empty your mind of thoughts.  I then choose to have music playing in the background (there are other options such as waves), that then continues after the speaking finishes.  I’m usually asleep by the time the music switches itself off!

2016 Reading Challenge

So far I’m on target for my 2 books a month challenge!  This month I have also completed ONE category on my category challenge!

  • A book about somewhere I’ve been

Gatecrashing Paradise: Misadventures in the Real Maldives – Tom Chesshyre

My Rating: 5/5 – I LOVED this book.  I visited the Maldives but as I was staying on a resort island, the hotel sent a boat to the airport and we were whisked off to our paradise island.  We passed Male and other islands and we did wonder what we may have been missing out on.  Tom travels around the local islands, giving a little insight to the life outside of the tourist resorts.  I found it really interesting!

The Carpet People – Terry Pratchett

My Rating: 2/5 – I struggled with this one.  I had recently read Wee Free Men and loved it so thought I’d try another Terry Pratchett book.  This was the first book he wrote and I didn’t really get the storyline, it was quite hard to follow along.

Other Things That Have No Category!

I quit my job!  Friday was my last day, I’m taking (maybe) 6 months off to spend time with the people I love, concentrate on visa paperwork, sort out my belongings, work on my blog and travel a little bit!  I’m looking forward to just enjoying my last few months in the UK.

What’s Coming up in MARCH

On Thursday I’m off to Mexico!  Meeting up with the Husband for a few days while the Visa still keeps us apart!  We’ve got a day trip planned to Xplor park for some zip lining and other adventurous activities…hoping the weather holds up for us so we can enjoy it without it pouring with rain!

Don’t forget to follow me on my Social Media Channels!

FACEBOOK – INSTAGRAM – TWITTER – PINTEREST

Phew! Have a great March everyone!

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