Expat Update: September 2017

I can’t believe it’s the end of September 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: 1 year and 2 months!

Where I’ve Been


  • Iowa: Epworth, Farley, Dubuque, Bernard
  • Wisconsin: Mineral Point

September Highs

I was featured in the local newspaper, the Telegraph Herald!  I loved the article they wrote about my expat life and travels, my photo was even on display in the local petrol station!  I felt famous, loads of people that I’ve never met before told me how they’d seen my article!

Dubuque Telegraph Herald

Me and the other half had our 2nd wedding anniversary!  Not being ones to like doing normal stuff (last year we played Foot Golf), we celebrated by going stand-up paddle boarding and kayaking (followed by a meal at Texas Roadhouse)!

Downtown Dubuque has recently been transformed by loads of new Street Art pieces so this month I went to check them out!  Keep an eye out in the next few weeks for a full post about them!  For now, here’s a little peek!

Dubuque Iowa Street Art

We bought a hot tub (it was a compromise on me wanting a swimming pool)!  I’m in love with it!  It’s surprising how relaxing it is to come home every day from work and just have a 30 minute chill out!  The hot tub company even sent us our newspaper article in the mail and a tin of cookies!

I received my Ancestry DNA results!  I was fairly shocked to discover that I’m only 56% British!  To find out what regions make up the other 44%, you can see them in this post: A Tour of Europe Through my Ancestry DNA Results!

I met up with a fellow Brit and went out for dinner!  It’s crazy, we live literally 10 minutes from each other, have been in contact for almost a year and because of life being so busy we’ve never actually met up until now!  I had a really great evening and it was so nice to be able to spend time with someone ‘like me’, I didn’t feel like the odd one out for once!

I visited Mineral Point in Wisconsin which claims to be the ‘most Cornish town in the USA’!  It is twinned with Redruth in Cornwall, UK and each year they hold Cornish Fest.  I’ll be writing more about my visit in detail and I’m a happy bunny because I found shops that stock English food!

September Lows

I waited nearly a month for a package from home to arrive in the post.  When it did turn up it looked like someone had drop kicked it out of the airplane.  It was battered and bruised and everything inside had melted!  Normally parcels take just under 2 weeks to arrive so it definitely had an adventure SOMEWHERE.

Package from home

In The News

Oh man the airline, Ryanair, has had a lot of bad press in the news recently for cancelling 50 flights a day for the next 6 weeks.  I’m a huge fan of Ryanair as the fares are cheap and London Stansted is one of their major hubs, the amount of destinations on offer so close to my home town is amazing!  As part of a long distance couple, Ryanair was the first airline where we actually got on the plane together, rather than leaving one of us at the airport!  I’ve flown with them hundreds of times and yes I’ve had a few hiccups with them but for the most part they’ve always got me from A to B.  But due to their recent major slip up, over 400,000 people have been affected and had their trips ruined!

Blog News

I’ve got a bunch of ideas in my head and I just don’t seem to have the time to put them into writing!  I’m currently going back through The Blogger Course which I signed up to last year and it’s giving me a whole heap of inspiration again!

Now I’ve been in the USA for a year, I’m changing my Expat Update post to quarterly rather than monthly, the next one will be at the end of December!  I’ll see how I get on with this new arrangement!

Travel Item of the Month

Penny Passport – $5 on Amazon

One of my favourite travel souvenirs are pressed pennies! I managed to collect a few more over the summer (in Austria, Germany, Kenosha WI and Silver Lakes MI) and I’m fast running out of space! I now have 3 of these little albums full, I love them!

American Item of the Month

Inflatable Drink Holders, Inflatable Pool Floats (8-Pack) – $9.99

I have the pineapple and the watermelon that I use in the hot tub and they are awesome!  (Instagram props when travelling….?!)  They are good for standard size drinks cans and cups, if things are too top heavy it will make the float flip over!

My Reading List

Here are the books I’ve read this month!

Books read = THREE

Expat Women: Confessions – 50 Answers to Your Real-Life Questions about Living Abroad – Andrea Martins and Victoria Hepworth – $19.95

(Non Fiction – A collection of questions/problems from real life expats with possible suggested solutions.  Includes a huge list of expat resources in the back!)

Wonder – R.J. Palacio – $10.47

(Fiction – The life of a Middle Schooler with a facial disfigurement, told from the perspectives of several different people.  Now a film featuring Julia Roberts.)

Dakota Born: The Farmer Takes a Wife (The Dakota Series) – Debbie Macomber – $6.54

(Fiction – A story of a dying town in ‘Small Town’ America and the hardships of farming)

Book of the Month:

Expat Women: Confessions – 50 Answers to Your Real-Life Questions about Living Abroad – Andrea Martins and Victoria Hepworth $19.95 (Kindle: $8.99)

It’s a comfort to know that other people struggle with living away from home.  I often feel guilty and wonder if I made the right choice because sometimes I do feel ‘lost’.  Most of the questions are from expats in work based placements, many of which have an expat community around them for support, so being in a place like Iowa where there’s not a huge network, some of the advice isn’t really suitable for my situation!  The answers often suggest a couple of different options which helps to find ways to adapt rather than just give up and go home.

What’s Coming up in the next few months

October is fairly quiet at the moment, I’m going to a music gig in Iowa City for the other half’s birthday and then we have a wedding in Dubuque.

November has a couple of blogger events, including the Iowa Bloggers Conference in Mason City which should be fun!

Then dare I say it, it’s my birthday and then Christmas…how did that happen?!

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


Phew! Have a great October 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.


2 thoughts on “Expat Update: September 2017

    1. Thanks! I tend to change up some of the sections depending on what’s happened, for example if I’ve collaborated with other blogs I’ll link to the posts rather than just do my ‘blogging news’!

      No I’ve not been before but I’m really excited to see everyone and the schedule of talks looks awesome! I’ll be coming across from Dubuque, about 3 hours away. Maybe I’ll see you there!


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