Woah, long time no see expat update! I can’t believe we’re already half way through 2019 and to be honest, I spent most of time ‘wishing this year away’. I know it’s bad to do that, but it’s been rough. I’m in a slightly better place now, mainly thanks to the distraction that travel brings! So lets try and summarise the first 6 months of this year!
Months living in the USA: 34 (3 years in August!)
Where I’ve Been
England x3 (Essex, London, Sheffield)
USA (Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, Missouri)
I started the year at home in England (I saw Harry Potter and the Cursed Child…AMAZING!), I then flew to London for a weekend to see my favourite band and in June I came back as part of a 9 week trip while it was the school holidays in the USA! I always appreciate my time at home.
My June summer travels! I started with a week in Wales with my family and we went to Zip World which is home to the fastest and longest zip line in the world!
I finally visited the abandoned 1984 Olympic bobsleigh track in Sarajevo Bosnia. It’s been at the top of my bucket list for around 10 years and it didn’t disappoint! I was like a kid at Christmas and loved exploring this unique place! It was great being back in Bosnia too, such a lovely country!
The day before I flew back to England for the summer, me and the other half went to Six Flags just outside of Chicago. I love theme parks and they had some really awesome roller coasters!
My goodness, are you ready for this?
As mentioned, I started off the year back in England as I came back to spend Christmas with my family. I then got hit with the flu or something and spent 1 week out of the 2 I was back for, laid up on the sofa barely being able to move or eat anything (I then gave it to my mum and dad too…we were a bit of a sorry sight)! Happy Christmas!
Gatwick airport then told me that I couldn’t fly as my ‘Green Card had expired’ so I had to try and explain to them that my travel authorisation was indeed not a fake letter.
It was in that same week that my hair started falling out. Over the next 3 MONTHS I was losing clumps of hair every day. I had bald patches all over my head and lost around 50% of my hair. As you can imagine, I didn’t cope very well. I couldn’t sleep for months, I didn’t want to wash or brush my hair, I panicked myself over how bad it was going to get and was generally in a pretty low place. I do plan on writing about this more in detail. I have been doing vlog style videos about it on my Youtube channel if you wanted to learn more.
I went to the doctor and I was diagnosed with Alopecia Areata which can be triggered by stress. Usually from an event that happened 3 months before the hair starts falling out. It stopped falling out after 5 months and it is now starting to grow back in most places…although I look a little like I’ve been dragged through a bush backwards.
We then experienced a ridiculously cold winter in Iowa, with temperatures getting down to -56c. I struggle with winter at the best of times and this was just awful.
And just because I can’t seem to get a break at the moment, over a year ago I applied to remove the 2 year conditions on my Green Card and since I’ve been back home, every. single. piece. of. evidence. has been rejected. Every piece. So I have until September to try and scrape together more non existent evidence.
On The Blog
Back onto the positives! June was my best month yet on the blog and I hit a milestone amount of views that I’ve been aiming for! This was an achievement in itself because I didn’t really do anything while I’ve been travelling!
Back in May I had a hosted stay at Spook Cave in McGregor IA. I stayed in a cute little glamping cabin which you can read more about here: A Glamping & Cave Exploration Adventure at Spook Cave Iowa!
My top post continues to be Real Life Disney ‘Cars’ Movie Locations on US Route 66! which not only is one of my favourite posts but it was recently picked up by the La Quinta Museum in California and features in their temporary Route 66 exhibition which is cool!
(Photo Credit: La Quinta Museum, California)
Coming Up From July
Spoiler alert, I went to Santorini in Greece at the beginning of July! That was the last of the international summer travels, so just like all the other trips, there’ll be appearing on the blog over the next couple of months while I catch up.
I’m in England until the middle of August, so I still have some more time to catch up with family and friends. I’m seeing my favourite band again and I’m going to the Bear Grylls Experience at the NEC in Birmingham with my sis.
I plan on releasing a 2nd book. Well it’s mainly all my visa posts but put in one place so they are easy to read for those that are going through the Green Card process. I started formatting it before I went to Greece so it’s a work in progress that I’ll hopefully have available on Amazon by the end of the year.
Other than that, I have no idea what’s coming up next (other than returning to work at the end of August). My future is literally down to the mercy of the immigration system. For all I know I could be kicked out by Christmas so it’s not like I can even book flights to visit home, or book travel. Part of me thought about going to Women In Travel Summit in Kansas City next year (I went to the one in Milwaukee a couple years back), but again, I feel like I can’t even buy a ticket in case I then can’t use it and I hate that feeling. I like to have things planned and I hate feeling like I’m trapped or restricted.
Hey, we all go through rough patches in our lives and I guess this is mine. Hopefully my future updates will be a bit more positive!