Expat Update: June 2017

I can’t believe it’s the end of June 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!

Disclosure: This post contains some affiliate links.

Expat Update

Months living in the States: 10 months and 3 weeks! (Well I only had 4 days in the States so far this month!)

Where I’ve Been

USA:

  • Iowa: Epworth, Farley, Dubuque
  • Illinois: Rockford, Chicago
  • Texas: Dallas

Belize:

  • Caye Caulker
  • Belize City

UK:

  • England: Braintree, Cressing, Colchester, London, Harlow, Weeley

June Highs

You have no idea how happy I am to have got back on the road!

I got to try out a new water slide at the ‘Magic Waters’ waterpark in Rockford, Illinois, the day it opened!  It’s one of those slides where you stand on a trap door and then the floor disappears underneath you!  It also has a loop the loop that you go up feet first, which is a really strange experience as you are almost upside down!

I finally ticked Belize off the bucket list!! I spent 5 nights on the island of Caye Caulker and I loved it, I can’t wait to share my tips and tricks with you!

Belize has the 2nd biggest barrier reef in the world, after the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.  I went on a snorkelling trip and saw SO much!  I got to swim alongside manatees, green turtles, loggerhead turtles, sharks and rays.  AMAZING!

Swimming with Manatees Belize

Travel shows you that there are still kind people in the world.  I was given a ride from the water taxi dock in Belize to my guest house and the driver (who was my tour guide for a trip the following day) wanted no money for taking me.  My guest house owners were amazing.  The lady came and checked on me each night, just to make sure I was in for the night and was safe.  I didn’t feel like I was being babied or anything.  I appreciated it because I had been slightly worried about the safety of staying in Belize City. I had nothing to worry about.

I’m getting to spend much needed time at home with my family!  I got to spend Father’s Day with my Dad, go on a trip to London for my Sister’s birthday (only 2 weeks late, which is good going for an expat!) where I stayed in a Yacht Hotel and saw School of Rock the Musical, had a cream tea with my Mum, the 4 of us worked together as a team and escaped a Panic Room in 56mins and 24 seconds, we took part in a 5k/3mile bubble colour run (and all beat our personal bests while raising a ton of money for charity) and I’ve ate all the food I’ve been missing!

Sunborn London Yacht Hotel

June Lows

Now I’m not a fussy traveller, I’ve stayed in some right dumps but my night in Dallas, Texas I can honestly say was my worst hotel stay EVER.

It started off on a bad note when I stood around waiting for an hour for a shuttle bus which was never going to come.  Despite being an airport hotel, the shuttle bus stopped at 5pm.  I then waited a further hour and jumped on another hotels bus just to save me the taxi fare.

Plus I just didn’t feel safe.  I had a boarded up window, there were cigarette burns all over the bed cover, I questioned the reliability of the door, there was a guy with a pitbull in the hallway, I thought I heard gun shots in the night, everyone looked drunk or on drugs…it very much looked like a resident hotel rather than a traveller hotel.

I had a bug bite that swelled up into a water blister the size of half a ping pong ball.  It was disgusting and currently I’m left with a red circle the size of a 10p/quarter.  Hopefully it’ll disappear soon.

Mosquito bite

In The News

The UK has been getting hit good and proper with the terrorist attacks 😦  First the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester and then the car running into people on London Bridge. Still, I’m not afraid of going home to the UK and it’s certainly never going to stop me from travelling.  I just wish their sad little brain washed minds would just quit it.

June Blog Collaborations

Spreading the love to other blogs I have contributed to this month!  Take a look!

Getting to Know a Travel Blogger Series – Kylie From Between England & Iowa – Travel To Recovery

The Coolest Ice Cream in the World – Nomad by Trade

Jamaica Me Crazy – The Travel Ledgers

Travel Item of the Month

Aaptiv Guided Fitness App

This month I’ve been testing out the Aaptiv Audio Fitness App!  It’s a subscription service that has a whole bunch of different guided workouts.  They can be filtered by difficultly level or length of workout and there are ones that are aimed at travellers who just want something quick to squish in while they are on the road.  So far I’ve tested out a yoga session…they do a pretty good job of describing the poses considering you can’t see them and a 20 minute run to a George Michael soundtrack!

It was the first time I’ve done a guided workout and it was really good!  It’s like having a little cheerleader in your ear that makes the time FLY by!  They encourage you to focus on your breathing, keep pace and tell you when to speed up and slow down.  I can’t wait to try out some more!

American Item of the Month

Banana Boat Sunscreen Kids Ultra Mist Tear-Free Sting Free Broad Spectrum Sun Care Sunscreen Spray – SPF 50, 6 Ounce – $6.97

Yes, yes I know it’s a kids suncream and I’m almost 30, but when I was looking for SPF50 suncream for my trip to Belize, all I could find was a kids one!  I love the way it sprays out though, almost like a foam!  It also sprays upside down too, which is handy when you are travelling solo and attempting to spray it on hard to reach places!

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 = FOUR

The Yellow Envelope: One Gift, Three Rules, and A Life-Changing Journey Around the World – Kim Dinan

(Non Fiction – The travel memoir of a couple who were travelling the world with a yellow envelope with a $1000 cash gift.  The idea was to use the money to help change the lives or spread happiness to the people they met on their travels.)

Very British Problems Abroad – Rob Temple

(Non Fiction – The 2nd book made up of ‘tweets’ about the awkward problems British people face when they are travelling.)

Taking Off – Ty F. Clemens

(Non Fiction – A travel memoir with little stories from a bunch of places that Ty had travelled to on a round the world trip.)

Busker – D.B. Rouse

(Non Fiction – A guy busking his way around the USA)

Book of the Month:


Very British Problems Abroad – Rob Temple $9.79 (Kindle: $3.99)

Last month Very British Problems was my book of the month, when I discovered there was a 2nd book about Brits travelling, I knew it was going to be brilliant.  I was reading this while at the airport and I had to try so hard not to cry with laughter!  Both books are a very quick read but are hilarious!

What’s Coming up in July

Holiday number 2!  I’m off to Austria for a week with my parents!  Country number 39!  It’s one of their favourite countries so I’m excited to explore it myself!  It will be slightly different from being on an island in the middle of the Caribbean!

I then have one more week left in the UK before returning to the States where I’ll be going to the Dubuque County Fair at the end of the month!

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

FACEBOOK – INSTAGRAM – TWITTER – PINTEREST

Phew! Have a great July everyone!

Kylie Signature

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links (or products which I received in exchange for a review), 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.

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