Expat Update: February 2017

I can’t believe it’s the end of February already!  There’s only 3 more months left of school (work) and then I have 3 months off!  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

Months living in the States: 6 months and 2 weeks!

Where I’ve Been


  • Iowa: Epworth, Farley, Dubuque, Cedar Rapids, Dyersville
  • Illinois: Chicago, Galena

February Highs

My Uncle from the UK came to visit me!  It may sound silly but having another English person to talk to for the whole weekend was awesome.  It was comforting to have one of my family members with me, plus it was SO NICE to have someone to talk about travel with.  We literally stood in front of my world map that’s on the wall at the top of my stairs for a whole hour talking about various countries and airlines etc.  It really does kill me inside that I can’t travel as much anymore now I’m living in America.

It reached 22c IN WINTER.  Say what?!  I actually wore shorts to work and sat outside in the garden when I Facetimed home!  Felt so nice to be warm again (although it was short lived!!)

Winter in Iowa

Personal win: On my recent stay in Chicago, I made use of the gym facilities.  I haven’t ran since I moved to America, jumped on the treadmill and done a workout that lasted an hour and totalled 5.4 miles.  I was pretty proud of myself!

February Lows

Taxes.  Boring snoring taxes.  I still don’t understand American taxes and I don’t think I ever will.  When I started at my job, I opted for them to take too much tax so at the end of the year I’d be getting money back rather than having to owe.  Well guess what, I ended up having to owe because apparently I didn’t pay the thieving government enough money?  If I had earned what I did last year during the few months of 2016 that I was living in America, in the UK instead, I WOULDN’T HAVE TO PAY ANY TAX AT ALL.

Blog Progress

I partnered with 3 companies this month!  You can check out my collaborations below!


Dubuque on Ice Brewfest 2017

Chevrolet Lego Batman

8 Cool Things to do at the Chicago Auto Show (2017)

The Little Care Package British Subscription Box Review

Review: The Little Care Package British Subscription Box

I also bought my tickets to the Women in Travel Summit in Milwaukee, Wisconsin (April)!  I signed up to 2 awesome trips as well during the weekend that I’m really looking forward to participating in!  I’ll be visiting various places in Kenosha on one day and taking part in ‘Yoga at the Museum’ on Saturday morning before a day jammed packed full of blogging talks!  If you’re going, let me know in the comments below, I’d love to meet up with as many people as possible!

Last summer I signed up for The Blogger Course, I rebranded my whole blog because of it and it taught me the value of my work as a blogger!  It’s now open for enrolment again!  It’s a 12 week programme and costs £125 (£99 for the first 50 people to enrol).  You can find out more about it HERE

British Item of the Month

The Little Care Package British Subscription Box

A MUST have for any British expat! A British care package from The Little Care Package!  Subscriptions start at $36 a month and are jammed packed with British food and gifts!

American Item of the Month

Garmin Nuvi GPS Navigator System – $97.80

In the UK I was a delivery driver.  I used to drive EVERYWHERE.  I’d happily stick on my SatNav and let it lead the way.  When I moved to the USA, I completely lost my driving confidence, on top of getting used to different rules and driving on the wrong side of the road, trying to find somewhere new just seemed exhausting.  I would panic at the thought of having to drive somewhere more than 20 minutes away by myself.  I have no idea why it’s taken me 6 months to buy a new SatNav.  I had 2 Garmins at home and they never let me down, so I opted for the same brand, knowing I feel comfortable with it.  I already feel more relaxed about a few upcoming ‘solo’ driving trips!

My Reading List

I love reading, I even signed up for a library card and I’m saving myself a ton of money!  (Fill up the travel fund!)  Here are the books I’ve read this month!

Books read = THREE

Deep South: Four Seasons On The Back Road – Paul Theroux

(Non Fiction – Travelling around a few of the lower USA states, looking at the poverty and the history of segregation.)

The Happiness Advantage – Shawn Achor

(Non Fiction – A look at how we can have a more happy, positive outlook on life.)

Once Upon a Town – Bob Greene

(Non Fiction – About a Canteen run by volunteers at a railway station in North Platte, Nebraska, providing free food and drink to World War II troops passing through on ‘troop trains’)

Book of the Month:

The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work – Shawn Achor $20.21 (Kindle $10.99)

Non Fiction – Shawn Achor has been studying for years how happiness and positive thinking can be a way of life.  He believes that success doesn’t make us happy, but in fact being happy makes us successful.  He writes about small changes we can make in our lives to become more happy and how we can implement them into our working life to become more successful.  I found it really helpful when it comes to how I view my blog and self motivation!

What’s Coming up in March

I signed up to a free programme called ‘Distinctively Dubuque’, aimed at newcomers in Dubuque, Iowa.  It runs for 3 hours on a Wednesday evening for 5 weeks and starts next month!  It’s a way of meeting other people that are new to the area as well as learning about Dubuque!

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


Phew! Have a great March 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.

2 thoughts on “Expat Update: February 2017

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