Expat Update: Oct – Dec 2017

Oh hello again Expat Update! I can’t believe it’s the end of 2017!  Here I’ll be looking back on what I’ve been up to for the last 3 months, 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 5 months

Where I’ve Been

USA:

  • Iowa: Epworth, Farley, Dubuque, Iowa City, Monticello
  • Illinois: East Dubuque
  • Wisconsin: Kieler

The Highs

I released a book! That’s probably the biggest high of this month (well it will be if people buy it and like it)!  It seems strange to have it out there for people to read as it’s quite a personal account of what it’s like to live so far from home!  Thank you to everyone that has bought it so far ❤

Between England & Iowa: A Year In The Life Of An Emigrating Wife Book!

Between England and Iowa MY Book!

…and then I was in the local paper BACK HOME, 4000 miles away on another continent, all about my book release!  In the actual paper copy they have a picture of me at Altun Ha in Belize but the digital version uses the picture above! You can read the full article on their website! Braintree and Witham Times Newspaper

I went on a press trip to Iowa City with some of the lovely Midwest Travel Bloggers! I love being part of this group and we had an awesome time being spoilt by Kinseth Hospitality and the Hilton Garden Inn!

Vue Rooftop Firepit Iowa City

Hilton Garden Inn Iowa City, IA

Iowa City Restaurants: Vue Rooftop Bar & Restaurant

Home Of The Hawkeyes: University of Iowa Athletics Hall Of Fame & Museum

I bought a drone!  I’m excited to fly it around when the weather gets warmer again!  I gave it a couple of test flights because the weather got too cold to fly it and it’s so much fun! I’m hoping I can get some great aerial photos and video with it!

DJI Spark Aerial Photography

Flying a DJI Spark Drone Without A Controller

I booked flights to Australia and Japan!  It’ll be my 3rd time in Australia and Japan is a new country for me!  My Sis will be flying in from England and I’ll be meeting her in Sydney! It’ll be fun to show her the sites and some of my favourite places to visit 🙂

The Lows

I thought I had smashed my butt/back to pieces while on a visit to a pumpkin patch with work! I fell over in a human hamster wheel and was starting to wonder if I had done some serious damage, man it hurt!

Shock horror. I actually went through a stage of hating my blog this month.  I seemed to hit a plateau, no matter what I would do, I just didn’t seem to improve my stats.  Of course I blamed my location and my lack of travel as my European posts always get traffic.  I spent a lot of money (maybe too much) signing up to courses and groups that may help me get my stories out in front of more eyes!

In The News

There are some amazingly cheap flights between Chicago and London that are starting next year! Norwegian are flying direct from Chicago O’hare to London Gatwick but EVEN CHEAPER, Wow Air are flying from O’hare to London bases via Reykjavik, Iceland!  Putting it into perspective, I could fly return to London FOUR TIMES for the price of my flight to Australia!

Blog News

Then it clicked.  The lightbulb came on and I’ve thought of a huge focus for my blog which I should have seen all along, it’s even technically in my name…BETWEEN England and Iowa….BETWEEN ENGLAND….AND USA! I’m now focusing on a section of my site that I’m aiming at Brits in America or Americans wanting to visit the UK.  I plan to make this huge, adding information on how to find the cheapest flights and routes home.  Offering advice on layovers, travelling light to avoid baggage fees etc.  The routes may not always be direct but if it’s an option in your budget, surely that’s the best thing!  The link is below!  Feel free to check it out, pin it, bookmark it, share it with friends, email me with routes you want to watch, this is for YOUR benefit!

USA > UK Flight Price Watch

USA to UK flight price watch

These are some of the collaborations I have been a part of in the last few months:

Expat Experiences: Kylie, Iowa – USA

European Travel Tips From Expats, Writers and Travelers

Books for travel & books for the holiday, pick your choice!

Bloggers’ Top 3: Lessons Learnt As A New Expat

Top Resorts in Maldives – Advice From Top Travel Experts

20 Best Lighthouses in the World

Travel Item of the Month

Crystal Ball Photography

Crystal Ball 80mm Prop for Photography – $14.99

I’m OBSESSED with my lens ball! It weighs a ton but I’m loving the shots that I’m taking with it!  Probably not my most travel friendly item but it’s great for photography lovers!  (If you want small travel accessories, I recently wrote a whole post about the things I take when I pack light! 11 Backpacking Essentials)

My Reading List

Here are the books I’ve read this ‘quarter’!

Books read = SEVEN

Tiger Prince – Sandra Brown

Journey From Cornwall – May T. Carison

Summer People – Elin Hilderbrand

Savannah Breeze – Mary Kay Andrews

An Ocean Apart – Robin Pilcher

Seaview Inn – Sherryl Woods

True Believer – Nicholas Sparks

2017 TOTAL Books read: 38

Book of the Month:

MINE!

Between England and Iowa: A Year In The Life Of An Emigrating Wife

Paperback: $9.99/Kindle: $5.29

The link is to the Amazon.com US store but it is available on the worldwide Amazon shops in both paperback and digital, obviously the prices vary depending on currency but they all work out roughly the same with the exchange rates.

What’s Coming up in the next few months

I’m actually lacking for things that are happening in the first 3 months of the year! If truth be told, I’m scared to make arrangements in case snow hits! I am collaborating with a company in Dubuque, IA in January, where I’ll be taking part in an art class!  I’d like to learn how to ski at some point.  February, I believe I’m going to Des Moines for the weekend…I’m veryyyyy verryyyyyy tempted to book a trip somewhere in the first week of March as I have a few days off work…we shall see!

I did start a 30 Before 30 Bucket List so hopefully I’ll get a couple of things ticked off on that, or at least make a start on some of them!

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

FACEBOOK – INSTAGRAM – TWITTER – PINTEREST

Phew! Have a great new year 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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