Expat Update: March 2017

I can’t believe it’s the end of March 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: 7 months and 3 weeks!

Where I’ve Been


  • Iowa: Epworth, Farley, Dubuque, Dyersville, Peosta
  • Wisconsin: Kieler

March Highs

I started swimming again!  Yay!  I used to go swimming every week with Mum when I was living in the UK and I can’t believe it’s taken me 7 months to start it up again!

Rooftop Pool Lisbon Portugal

Just look at my happy swimming pool face!  (OK so this isn’t my local pool, this was in a rooftop pool in Lisbon,Portugal…and one of my Sister’s speciality close up photos *roll eyes*).  The college in my town opens its pool for 90 minutes, twice a week for ‘family swim’.  I do an hour once a week and it costs $4!

I had my first 2 Distinctively Dubuque meetings!  It’s a free programme aimed at newcomers in Dubuque, Iowa.  It great fun and so informative, I can’t wait to share it with everyone in a full post once I’ve been to all 5 evenings!

I went on a field trip with my school to see a puppet version of “The Very Hungry Caterpillar Book”…it was EXACTLY the same theatre company I saw on a trip with my school in the UK!  What are the chances of seeing the same show 4000 miles apart?!  It’s a good production so I was happy to sit through it a second time!

March Lows

Since moving to the States, the inevitable happened.  I put on 9lbs in weight.  Not a happy bunny.  My clothes started getting tight and I refuse to buy more.  But what with the swimming and upping my daily steps from 10k to 13k, I’ve so far lost 4lb!

A certain airline that I keep saying I’ll never fly with again but always do, decided to make a change to my Belize booking.  They changed a fairly safe 3 hour international connection in Miami to a 1 hour one.  Now, I know what it’s like transferring in Miami and I once missed a flight there because of a small connection time and I don’t want history to repeat itself!  So once again I was on the phone to them telling them to change it back to the one I was originally on!

Me, being a silly fool, grabbed hold of a metal saucepan handle that had been IN the oven.  This resulted in me with my hand in a bowl of water for an hour and then covering it in burn spray and wrapping it up in cling film like a ham sandwich.  HOPEFULLY lesson learned!  The blister is a kind reminder!

In The News

I am SO excited that FINALLY a budget European airline carrier is coming to the Midwest, specifically CHICAGO!  Wow Air will start flying out of Chicago in July with connections to Europe through Iceland.  I flew with Wow when I went to Iceland a few years back, they are definitely no thrills but to be able to fly home for cheap, it’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make!  Plus it means I get to see Iceland again!

Wow Air 'Cool Kids' Cabin

Blog Progress

This month I’ve been trying really hard to grow some of my social media networks!

I’ve become slightly addicted to Instagram!  While I’m not travelling at the moment, I’ve been throwing back to some of my old trips!  This month have been mainly San Francisco and Hawaii!

Hawaiian Sunset Waikiki Beach

I won a free annual membership to sheswanderful.com, thanks to a competition run by Katie at Stories My Suitcase Could Tell.  It’s a network run by the same people that organise the Women in Travel Summit and focuses on a new home stay network, local meet ups (my nearest would be Chicago) and creating a community between global travellers!

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

April Blog Collaborations

It’s been a while since I’ve collaborated with other bloggers and this month I started up again!  Here are the posts I’ve contributed to this month!

How 6 Travel Bloggers Combine Work With Travel – The Tourist of Life

Travel Item of the Month

Lowepro Camera Cases!  I use Lowepro for both my regular camera and store my GoPro gear and I love them!  This is the Lowepro APEX 20:

Lowepro Apex 20 AW Compact Camera Bag – A Protective Camera Pouch For Your Point and Shoot Camera With All Weather Cover – $22.79

It has a secure velcro pocket inside to store a spare memory card, an elasticated net pocket for a spare battery and a waterproof cover that tucks up into the back of the case.  I tend to wear my camera across my body for easy access and the waterproof cover is great if you get caught in an unexpected rain shower!

Top of Kotor's City Walls

(Climbing the City Walls in Kotor, Montenegro was a prime example of when I used the rain cover!)

American Item of the Month

Betty Jane Candies Dubuque Iowa

Betty Jane Candies made right here in Dubuque, Iowa!  Their Gremlins are so ADDICTIVE!  My Mum is trying to get me to ship her some more over because she loves them too!

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

Mosquitoland – David Arnold

(Fiction – About a young girl with divorced parents who live in different States.  After finding a ‘cryptic’ letter from her Mum, she jumps on a Greyhound bus and makes her way across the country to find out if she’s OK!)

Committed: A Love Story – Elizabeth Gilbert

(Non Fiction – This book is a continuation of Elizabeth Gilbert’s book Eat Pray Love (which was also a film staring Julia Roberts!)  It follows her journey as she researches marriage in different cultures.)

The Expats – Chris Pavone

(Fiction – An American family relocate to Luxembourg for work.  Both the husband and wife have deep secrets about their careers, that they have been keeping from each for years.  Eventually everything starts coming to light!)

Book of the Month:

The Expats – Chris Pavone $7.73 (Kindle $9.99)

Being an expat myself, this book had come up in Kindle searches when searching for expat related stories.  It’s been on my reading list for months but I never actually got round to reading it!  It was on a visit to Galena, Illinois when I found a copy in a Little Free Library that I decided it was about time I gave it a try and I really enjoyed it!  There are so many twists and turns thought out the story that really keep you hooked until the end!

Little Free Library Galena Illinois

What’s Coming up in April

On April 1st, I’ll be attending an event in Dubuque, Iowa called ‘Taste of the World’.  It’s an event celebrating the cultural diversity of Dubuque.  Apparently 20 countries will be represented in the form of display stalls/cuisine tasting tables and performances!  It should be really fun and as a Brit living in Dubuque County, it’ll be nice to meet some other expats that call this area their home now!

I’ve got 3 more Distinctively Dubuque meet ups to go!

WITS! Yay!  My road trip to Milwaukee, Wisconsin for the Women in Travel Summit!  I can’t wait to connect with other bloggers, pick up some tips and take part in some awesome tours!

The day before WITS, I’ll be heading into Dubuque for a speaking event by the author Leon Logothetis…I actually have a blog all about him in my drafts box, what are the chances he’s  now coming to Iowa!?

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


Phew! Have a great April everyone!

Kylie Signature

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: March 2017

  1. I love reading your monthly updates! And I can’t believe your pool costs $4 a swim (here it’s more like $200 for a monthly membership!). I’m looking forward to seeing what you think of WITS 🙂 I’m so disappointed I can’t go this year!


    1. Thanks! 😮 that’s crazy! It’s the pool that’s in the college in my town so they open it up during school time to raise a bit of extra cash! I love it though because it’s usually fairly empty! I’m so excited about WITS! Would have been awesome if you could have come too!

      Liked by 1 person

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