Expat Update: November 2016

Another 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, life as a Brit in the States and other random things I’m finding interesting this month!

Expat Update

Days living in the States: 111

Where I’ve Been


  • Iowa: Epworth, Farley, Dubuque, Davenport, Dyersville

November Highs

The new Harry Potter film, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was AMAZING!  I can’t believe how cheap the cinema tickets are compared to the UK.  I paid $5 for the film ticket BUT $7 for a small popcorn!!!  CRAZY!  I would love to see it again!

For the first time in years, I now actually use a library card!  It gives me access to an online library where I can ‘borrow’ Kindle books which will save me so much money!  If you aren’t fussy with what title you want, it’s brilliant!  For example I wanted to get the Fantastic Beasts screenplay book…I’m currently 22nd in line for it.  If everyone in front of me keeps it for the whole 2 weeks you can borrow it for, it’ll be mine in roughly a years time!

I went for a Thanksgiving breakfast at my In-Laws church.  I love going out for breakfast, I’d rather go out for breakfast than a dinner!  For $8 I had scrambled eggs, 2 types of sausage, hash browns, pancakes, cinnamon rolls, toast, orange juice and coffee.  Not quite a full English but good enough!

November Lows

My other half broke his wrist and had to have an operation on it.  I got a first hand look at American health care in action.  It was ridiculously expensive but I did get lots of free (if you can call paying $300+ a month free) coffee.

Blog Progress

22nd November – A milestone: I made the first $1 on my blog!  I know it’s only a dollar but I believe that the small achievements should be celebrated!  I put so much time and effort into my blog and it makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside knowing that my readers trust my recommendations!

I also made myself a little promo video and I posted a mini Vlog on my Facebook page!  I try some different American chocolate bars and discover some of them are quite close in taste to some British chocolates!

It’s something I’d love to do more of!  If you have any ideas or something you’d like to see me do or talk about, feel free to leave me a comment below!

British Item of the Month

Busted – Night Driver

I’ve been waiting 11 odd years for this CD to be released.  Busted are my favourite British band.  They split up in 2005 and amazingly they have got back together again, I saw them live a few times this year before I emigrated to the States and now they are releasing a new album!  They’ve been leaking tracks all month long and it sounds AWESOME.  I can’t wait to stick it in my car CD player (yep this clever expat didn’t think to pack a music CD!)

American Item of the Month

Kurt Adler 3-1/2-Inch Noble Gems Glass “Bon Voyage” Suitcase Ornament

I am in LOVE with Kurt Adler Christmas decorations!  They are really lightweight and come in so many different ‘cartoony’ designs, including loads of travel themed ones such as: suitcases, cameras, aeroplanes etc!  It’s too nice to just get out at Christmas, I’ll probably leave mine out all year!

Book of the Month

So far I’m on target for my 2 books a month challenge!  You can check out my 2016 category challenge here!  I’ve been trying to make it my aim to make more time for reading, it’s still not as much as what I used to read but I’m getting better!

Books read = THREE

Beach Babylon – Imogen Edwards-Jones

Shoeless Joe – W.P. Kinsella

Eat Pray Love – Elizabeth Gilbert

Book of the Month: Beach Babylon

(Normally I would include a link to share the love but I bought it from the UK Kindle store before I emigrated! Beach Babylon (UK Amazon store))

My rating: 5/5- This book was awesome.  It consists of real experiences that happened to a manager of a 6 star island resort…the hotel name was kept secret and names were changed, but imagine somewhere like a Maldives water bungalow resort…one that famous or really rich people go to, how demanding they’d be, the type of money they’d spend, their silly complaints etc.  I was hooked.  The resort I visited in the Maldives was 3* but I felt awkward that there were people raking the sand each morning but some guests EXPECT things like this!!

Other Things That Have No Category!

I bought my flights home to England!  I paid $730 which is actually a pretty good price especially for June/July.  The Chicago – London route is normally at least $1000!  I found the price on Kayak, flying United to Dublin, Ireland and then Ryanair onto London Stansted, which is really handy as that’s the closest airport to home!  I’ll be there for 4 weeks, well 3, as I’ll be spending a week in Austria on a holiday with my Mum and Dad!  Don’t worry, Belize is still in the plans too!

There’s also a high chance I’ll be going to the Woman in Travel Summit in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in April.  I’ve been debating about it for so long but I definitely think it’s something I’m going to do now.  I’ve been looking at driving routes and accommodation so it’s in the pipeline!

What’s Coming up in December

It’s my birthday!  The ‘CP Holiday Train’ is passing through Dubuque…think the Christmas Coca Cola Truck but a train version!  I’m excited to see it!  I’m then planning to go into East Dubuque, Illinois for a brunch buffet at Timmermans Supper Club where I plan to pig out big time!

Then it’s obviously Christmas.  It’ll be my first Christmas away from my family which is going to be really weird.  I’m going to try and bring some British traditions to my American Christmas just to make me feel a little bit more at home!

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


Phew! Have a great December everyone!

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, which means I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking.  It comes at no extra cost to you but it helps me with the running of this site!  As always, opinions are my own.


4 thoughts on “Expat Update: November 2016

  1. Sounds like you’re having fun. And, yes, many congratulation on making your first dollar! I’m a couple of hours from Milwaukee so if you go to the conference, you’re welcome to stay here after – I return from a week in England on April 22nd. Good luck with it all!


  2. Wow! Good job on the $1 earned! Was it thanks to your affiliate links?
    Like the concept of your monthly updates full of interesting facts and findings 🙂


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