About Me

Welcome to Between England and Iowa!

Who am I?

Hi, I’m Kylie!  Born and raised in Essex, England!  Lover of all things travel and adrenaline related with a side of sea, sunsets, VW Camper Vans, reading, photography…and ice cream!

Budapest Ice Cream

And as well as a blogger, I’m now an author! (Between England & Iowa: A Year In The Life Of An Emigrating Wife)

My childhood consisted of trotting all round the UK doing the whole typical British caravan holiday thing and I wouldn’t have changed it for the world!  It pushed me in the direction of wanting to be a kids club rep, so I signed up to a Travel and Tourism course at College in 2005, where I fell in-love with foreign travel and have been trying to see as much of the world as humanly possible since, all while holding down a full-time job!

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Queenstown, New Zealand

…and now I’VE EMIGRATED!

In January 2014 I met Jesse, an American guy, while on holiday in Jamaica (Read about how we met here: How our story begun) and well the rest is history!  We got married in September 2015 (had an awesome Travel Themed Wedding!) and I’ve now given up my life in the UK to emigrate to the States to live with him!

When most people relocate, they choose a place that they know or have researched into and like the sound of, so what happens when you move to be WITH someone rather than move to be in a new location?  To be honest, before I met Jesse, all my Iowa knowledge came from Bill Bryson…strangely enough, Iowa was one of the few states where I knew it’s state capital (Des Moines! Even though I had no idea on how to pronounce it…”Dez Mon-Ez?”) and the only other fact was that their summers are so humid “even flies drop out of the sky”.  Cue grabbing the local tourism guide and planning lots of future adventures!

Six Flags Great America Illinois

My Aim

One of the hardest things about this situation is that no one else really understands exactly what you are going through!  It can often make you feel pretty alone!  It definitely helps being able to read other people’s stories online.  I aim to document our visa process and the roller coaster ride that is upping sticks and moving to another country.  For a while it’ll feel like I’m playing tourist in the country I’ll now be living in and I can’t wait to explore a whole heap of new places and well as travelling back home to visit family and continue around the world on my crazy adventures!

So just like my blog name, join me on my travels in…

ENGLAND, IOWA & EVERYWHERE IN BETWEEN!

I also want to show people that it’s possible to travel if you make it a priority.  In the UK, people automatically get give 5 weeks of holiday/vacation in a year.  In the USA they don’t even have to give you one week.  So by day I work in a school and in the school breaks…well…I could be anywhere in the world!  My aim is to inspire you on how to maximise your time in a destination with my tried and tested travel itineraries!  It’s my passion and even though you may not be able to hit up EVERY ‘must see’, you’ll be surprised at just how much you can experience!

Goat Yoga

So what are you waiting for?  You can search by country, or by adrenaline activity, or maybe you’re after my visa resources?!  If you’re a business and would like to partner with me you can find out a little more on my work with me page. Either way, have a click around and if you can’t find what you’re looking for, drop me a message on here, by email (below) or on my social media!

Happy travels!

Contact Me

betweenenglandandiowa [AT] gmail [DOT] com

Find Me On Social Media

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube | Pinterest

Kylie Signature

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40 thoughts on “About Me

  1. Thanks for sharing your story! Love “meeting” other British and American couples. Especially those who met in a third country. We met in South Korea 10 years ago this year! Crazy. We actually lived back in the UK for a few years and got married there too. We both had the chance to take our jobs to Beijing for a couple of years then we moved to Justin’s home town in California last year. I love it. It is funny moving somewhere permantly but people always think I’m a tourist on holiday because of my accent. I don’t know if we’ll ever move back to the UK now because the changes in visa rules there make it so hard to bring a non-EU spouse back if you’ve been living overseas (even though we previously lived there with no problems). Oh well, I can’t complain about living in California! Looking forward to following along with your move. Oh and I know Iowa from Bill Bryson too. And also now because of the Presidential Caucuses. It’s quite fun being here for an election year.

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    1. Thanks! That was part of the aim of my blog to meet others in a similar situation! Oh it’s just silly now, they upped the finance requirement so even though I work full time (doing 10 hour days) I don’t earn enough to even attempt to get my other half into the UK! My fingers are crossed that I get in before anything in the government changes, I need to get in before the vote!

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  2. I live in Iowa! I Just stumbled across your blog while Googling “Iowa to Prague” travel. Best of luck to you and your husband, hope you’re cleared to move to Iowa soon!

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    1. Wow! What part are you in? I’ll be near Dubuque! Thanks for stopping by! Shouldn’t be much longer now, just submitted the last lot of American paperwork and then it gets sent to London for the last part! Hope you make it to Prague! It’s lovely there!

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  3. I live just outside of Iowa City, so just a couple hours from Dubuque. You need to check out Potosi Brewery if you haven’t already (just across the Wisconsin boarder). I saw you like a good beer 😉 So excited for you and your hubs, hope you’re a full time Iowan soon!

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    1. Awesome thank you, I’ll make a note of it! I’m looking forward to exploring everywhere! You guys have crazy winters though, we rarely get below 32f and it hardly ever snows here! 🙂

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      1. Brace yourself, the winters are cold and the summers are hot! But the seasons are beautiful and we’re lucky to be within a days drive of a lot of cool places.

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    1. Hey! Thanks for the follow! Always great to hear from other expats! There’s so many thoughts going through my head during the lead up to when I take the leap so it’s nice to hear other people’s experiences!

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  4. Hello,

    I’m from Iowa and married an Englishman. We live near Des Moines now, but I’ve lived several years in England too. We did all that immigrating stuff and my husband and kids are duel citizens. Not me yet, but someday maybe! My husband was pretty shocked by the very extreme weather climates….i was shocked that summer never seemed to come in England( as i was used to anyway). But i do appreciate that moderate climate. Hope your plans all go well.

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    1. Hi! Great to hear from you! That’s so cool! I plan to maybe dual myself in the future and then if we can afford it, move back to the UK for a bit! I love the heat so I can’t wait for the Iowan summers, all the times I’ve visited have been during the winter and the temperature is shocking! Haha! Yeah we haven’t really had a summer this year, it’s been cloudy and rain showers nearly every day 😦 ! Thank you!

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  5. I’m so glad I found your blog! I am a fellow Essex person (Harlow), and today I received my passport with enclosed IR-1 visa back from the US embassy, and will be emigrating from London to the USA (though quite where is still up in the air!) with my wife early next year, after a short December trip to New York to activate the green card.

    I love your tales of travelling around the midwest. I’ve visited the United States dozens of times before and after meeting my Texan wife, and I know the midwest well, particularly Missouri and Illinois. You made me pine for proper Chicago deep dish pizza (impossible to get here, so I’ve taken to making my own in London) and other American delights that I will soon get to enjoy all the time.

    I kind of wish I’d discovered your blog back when I was still stressing about the whole application process and interview, but in the end it went completely smoothly. Anyhow, thanks for the blog and I hope you are still enjoying your time in the States with your husband!

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    1. Hi Sam! Thanks for the kind words! It’s always nice to hear from another fellow Essex person! The process was awful…well it all went well but it was so much waiting around and paperwork!

      Haha, now I’m here I pine for fish and chips! I miss that so much!

      Wow, do you have a short list of places or do you still have the whole of America to possibly choose from?!

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      1. Oh gosh, I hadn’t even thought about not having access to decent fish and chips! I love that British care package service you mentioned on one of your other posts though, that looks like a lifesaver. Now I won’t have to annoy friends & family with endless requests for Paxo stuffing and proper Cadbury chocolate! One British tradition I am absolutely bringing with me is celebrating Boxing Day. There’s no way that I’ll be showing up for work bright and eager on the 26th December, that day is sacrosanct. Christmas Part 2, as I explain to my wife’s family (I also make them watch the Queen’s Speech with me on Christmas Day…)

        Our situation was a little different to yours, my wife & I have been living in London for a few years now, she’s actually just about to get British citizenship before we leave, which is great. It’s amazing that you did the long distance thing for so long, I know all about that too. But I’m now applying for law school in the USA, so where we end up depends entirely on where I get accepted! As you can imagine, this makes any kind of planning virtually impossible, which is not ideal. We may end up anywhere from New York, Boston, Washington DC, Chicago, Austin or even out west in California. Dealing with US immigration while also studying for the law school entrance exam has also not been the greatest!

        Still, today is the second happiest day of my life (after my wedding day). After dreaming of moving to the United States since my early teens I now have a visa in hand and it’s actually gonna happen. All the waiting and stress has been totally worth it, the dream is in sight.

        I have never yet had the pleasure of seeing Iowa (though as a political junkie I pay close attention to what happens there every four years), but one of my favourite authors (Bill Bryson) is from Des Moines and I intend to visit before long!

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      2. Yay Bill Bryson is one of my favourites too! I’d never been to Iowa either before meeting my husband so it’s been kinda fun exploring somewhere I probably would have never have travelled to if it wasn’t for this situation!

        I’ve heard from other expats that they often manage to find British products in the supermarkets but in Iowa there’s not really much call for it I’d imagine! I know some of the bigger cities have British pubs etc! Cadburys is about the only thing I can get here in East Iowa, Walmart and Mernards (like B&Q) sell the big bars! I brought over the Christmas cracker tradition and advent calendars!

        Awh I’m really happy for you! You must be over the moon! That’s what our original plan was to do, I get citizenship here and then we do the same in the UK but my Husband has chickened out of moving for now so I don’t know what will happen in the end!

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  6. Hello,
    I am also from Essex and live in Ames Iowa, been here 38 years. My son is a pilot so I’m lucky enough to be able to go back to the UK at a reduced fare quite often.

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  7. Hi, Kylie,
    Fun to come across your blog – we are one of the many “mixed couples” in the midwest, living in Wisconsin and there is another just a couple of miles away! We’ve been back in this area for more than twenty years, and my husband is still getting used to it; he’s a London boy, and we’re living on the farm I grew up on. We spent large chunks of our married life in Haverfordwest, Wales and London, as well as the D.C./Northern Virginia area. Looking forward to reading about more of your adventures!

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  8. Bon jour Kylie
    Just stumbled across your blog and found it intriguing………….I’m English, my wife American. She’s from Guttenberg Iowa but spent most of her working life in Des Moines for Meredith Corporation. We met in Chicago in 2007, married in Guttenberg on a cold, snowy/sunny day in March 2008 and then spent our first two years living in my little old cottage in the Cotswolds.
    We were planning to move back to Iowa and live in Windsor Heights, Des Moines but after a weekend away in France (and probably a little too much van-rouge) we both decided we wanted to live in rural France. Sold the small cottage and bought a grande maison not too far from Cognac in 2010 and have been here ever since (almost 10 years). We both would like to move to the States (probably back to Guttenberg, right on the Mississippi) but having taken early retirement to live in France it’s difficult trying to justify moving to USA to have to work to pay for health insurance! Maybe one day but unlikely at the moment with the present incumbent in charge!
    I’m always suprised by how many UK ex-pats have made a home in Iowa. I even met an ex UK bus driver in Dubuque who actually used to be the bus driver on my local bus route in Lancashire.
    We still travel back to Iowa every year or so to visit my wife’s mother and family members but avoid November-March for obvious reasons, having been there through the polar vortex of a few years ago.
    Great that you’re settled there……maybe our paths will cross sometime in the future.

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    1. Thanks for getting in contact Barry! You’ve got quite the story! I’ve been up to Guttenberg several times, it’s lovely there! I think I know the bus driving you’re on about? Does he drive coaches in Dubuque now? I sometimes meet up with another Brit that lives in Dubuque County too, so there are a few of us! The winters are so harsh here, the polar vortex this year was awful!!

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  9. Hi Kylie
    Not sure whether the guy still drives buses in Dubuque? There is also an English girl married to an Americian, living just outside Guttenberg and running a landscape gardening business. Our paths haven’t crossed as yet but she is friends with my wife’s niece.
    Sorry Kylie, I mis-read some earlier blogs and thought we were living in Des Moines…..now realise you’re in Dubuque. When we were visiting last September/October 2018 we took Celebration Belle day cruise down Mississippi from Prairie du Chein to Dubuque. Far too much food, think they fed us 3 times in 6 hour trip!!
    One of our favourite restaurants in Dubuque is the Pepper Sprout on Main Street (??)……….at least it’s menu is slightly more varied than the standard deep fried offerings everywhere else!!
    Next time you’re in Guttenberg you’ll have to visit ‘Moxies’ bar on River Park Drive (don’t expect sophistication, or even a friendly welcome!)……..but if Tracy is working behind the bar then you know you can expect some intelligent conversation.
    Hope the Iowa winter isn’t too bad this year………..

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    1. Cool! We did the American Lady cruise when my parents came to visit, that one is only a short cruise though! I haven’t been to that restaurant yet, I’ve been to a few of the others along Main Street.
      Oh I’ll have to check it out! Yeah I hope it’s better this year!

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