Expat Update: July 2017

I can’t believe it’s the end of July 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: 11 months and 3 weeks! August will be my 1st year anniversary…what?!

Where I’ve Been

UK:

  • England: Braintree, Rayne, Maldon

Ireland:

  • Swords

Austria:

  • Mayrhofen, Fugen, Zell am Ziller, Hintertux

Germany:

  • Schwangau, Oberammergau

USA:

  • Iowa: Epworth, Farley, Dubuque, Guttenberg, McGregor, Dyersville

July Highs

Another new country for me, I visited Austria!  I went with my parents, it’s their favourite country and they were looking forward to seeing my reaction!

We had a packed out week, exploring the Zillertal Valley in the Tirol region.  One of my highlights was the Zillertal Arena Coaster in Zell am Ziller.  I think it’s one of the longest alpine toboggans I’ve been on!  Here’s a 30 second snippet of the 6 minute journey!

After coming from the ridiculously hot temperatures of Belize (41c) last month, it was strange to then be on top of a mountain in the snow!  We planned our whole week around when we thought the Hintertux Glacier would have the best visibility.  At an altitude of 3250 metres it would sometimes be engulfed in clouds while the other lower peaks would be clear!

Hintertux Glacier Austria

We also stayed in the Hotel Neuhaus…those that know me in real life/from Facebook/from emails, will know that my last name is in fact Neuhaus!  I even asked the bar tender if I could keep a glass because it had my name on it!

I also had a day trip in Germany!  I last visited 11 years ago and only went to Berlin, it was really nice to explore the smaller villages that had character to them!

Back in the UK, me and the Sis visited a ‘new’ mini golf course in Maldon, Essex.  I LOVE Maldon, it’s a small town on a river estuary, it was a good enough substitute to giving me my British coast fix on this trip!

In the USA, I went out with some friends from work on the Mississippi River.  I got to wake board again for the first time in 3 years!  Just like riding a bike, it’s something you don’t forget how to do…but all the different muscles scream at you for days afterwards!

July Lows

Of course, I was expecting this…after the joys of visiting back home, it had to come to an end and it was harder then ever.  Each time feels like my heart has been ripped out and stamped on…multiple times.  I can’t ever see it getting any easier and believe me, it hurts.

In The News

*Best. Thing. EVER.  In the UK some of the mobile phone providers now offer FREE European data roaming.  This is a game changer!  My USA contract doesn’t even work outside of America, so I bought a pay as you go EE sim card to use for my month back home.

I paid £1 A WEEK for 10 minutes of calls, 10 texts and a little bit of data.  While I was in Austria, I could use this same plan with no extra charges.  Before, it used to be ridiculously expensive.  I could access Facebook (live videos!), use Google translate, Google maps, research things to do while we were out and about!  I used to have to plan in advance what maps I thought I may need, research EVERYTHING before leaving the hotel etc.

I would highly recommend anyone that visits the UK/Europe from America to do it this way.  Even USA phone contracts that do work abroad, the fees to use it are stupid.  Get a pay as you go sim and add a data bundle.  With EE they run in day, week or 30 day packages.  I simply text STOP PACK before the next £1 was due to come out of my credit just before I left.  Larger packs are available if you think you may need a bigger data allowance.

*Uber has also announced that it will now allow tipping on its app!  I wrote this post this month about Why I Love Uber as a Solo Female Traveller.

*Universal Studios have announced that they are closing down Dragon Challenge at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter!  They plan on replacing it with a brand new rollercoaster…I’m going to have to go back again!

Dragon Challenge Universal Islands of Adventure

July Blog Collaborations

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

Incredible Places To See Stunning Holiday Lights – Buddy The Traveling Monkey

Gaga for Graffiti: Around the World v. 19 – Atlas Adrift

I was also nominated by I Spy Pretty Places as part of The Blogger Recognition Award!

Travel Item of the Month

BUFF UV Multifunctional Headband, One Size – $11 – $16

BUFFS!  They were everywhere in Austria.  I bought one, wore it up the Hintertux Glacier, loved it so much, I went back and bought a second!  My Dad swears on his one too! They are stretchy scarfs that can be worn in multiple ways.  The main way being round your neck.  It’s lightweight and folds up tiny.  I love the way when wearing it as a scarf it’s possible to stretch it right up over your ears and nose.  Despite how thin they are, they are really warm!

While I was up one of the lower mountains (where it was shorts and t-shirt weather), I rolled it up and wore it as a head band so the top of my forehead didn’t get burnt!

American Item of the Month

Animal Swish Logo Women’s Flip Flop – Black-UK 6 -$21

I am so fussy when it comes to flip flops.  I know it’s not good for you but I like to be able to walk for a long time in flip flops.  I HATE ones with a plastic toe bar.  I had a pair by a well known flip flop brand and after just a 15 minute walk, it looked as if my foot had been massacred, I’ve never seen so much blood.  I then bought a pair from Walmart that looked comfy but the strap that goes on top of my foot rubbed so much it made me bled again.

Animal flip flops are AMAZING.  You can literally walk for miles and miles and miles and miles and they don’t rub at all!

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 = TWO (I know, it’s bad, I’m almost finished with a 3rd but I’m not quite there yet!)

The Bucket List to Mend a Broken Heart – Anna Bell

(Fiction – A girl has recently split up with her boyfriend and finds his bucket list when he returns her belongings.  She thinks that by completing HIS list, she’ll be able to win him back.)

The Blue Jay– Michelle Schlicher

(Fiction – About an Iowan girl who mentors a boy that’s in foster care and her journey into gaining his trust etc.)

Book of the Month:


The Blue Jay – Michelle Schlicher $12.99 (Kindle: $3.99)

What’s Coming up in August

The first week of August, I’m heading out on a mini Wisconsin road trip!  Heading back to Kenosha and then onto Janesville!

A day in Kenosha, Wisconsin

The Iowa State Fair is also in August so I plan on eating my body weight in deep fried food on a stick!

And then it’s back to the day job at the end of the month after 11 weeks of school holidays!

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

FACEBOOK – INSTAGRAM – TWITTER – PINTEREST

Phew! Have a great August 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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