There’s nothing that a British person loves more than to moan about the weather. It’s in our blood. So you can imagine my joy (using the term loosely) when I discovered that Iowa was going to be hit with wind chill temperatures of -50c. All those people back home on my Twitter and Facebook feeds going “It’s -6c/21f!! I’ve never been so cold in my whole life!!”…and I’m sat here like “…well…hold my tea, I’ve got news for you!”. Ladies and gentlemen I give you the Midwest Polar Vortex 2019.
It has been 2 years since I packed up my life in the UK and moved to America. The blogger in me was hoping that by this time I’d be writing posts like ‘how to cope with homesickness’, ‘5 ways to make new friends when living overseas’ etc etc. But the truth is, I suck at being an expat. In real life, I’m struggling and far from being able to offer anyone advice on how to live overseas because I don’t know how to fix it myself. I guess the most I can offer, is that if you are feeling homesick, you’re not alone.
I’m sure I’m not the only British person to have been excited by the American superstore Walmart…I remember when I was preparing for Camp America one of the pieces of advice from returning camp counsellors was “don’t worry about packing too much, the camp director takes everyone on a Walmart run in the first few days”. So Walmart was built up as being the best place ever because if they don’t sell it…then you probably don’t need it, whatever you need, you can get it! When planning our Route 66 itinerary, we even factored in a Walmart stop ‘supermarket sweep’ style…grab a trolley/cart, you have 45 minutes to grab everything in sight!
I recently attended a local ‘Immigration Simulation’ event where everyone was given a ‘character’ with a back story as to why they are trying to get into America. They then had to live out the frustrations of the USA immigration process, and believe me it was just as frustrating as my experience. We were told that the process can take 16 YEARS to go through the whole process and become a citizen.
How do you file a US tax return when your spouse lives overseas? I was asked this question by a reader the other day and I thought I would try my best to answer it in its own post! If you’re going through the USA spouse visa process, the chances are because of how long it takes, there’ll be a time when you need to file taxes when your husband or wife still isn’t living in the country. My reader was concerned about how the NVC (National Visa Centre) would view their marriage by the way they filed and if they’d need to apply for an ITIN number. This is how we filed ours in 2016 for the 2015 tax year and how we managed to satisfy both of these queries.
As an expat living overseas, sometimes all I want more than anything is British comfort food, the food from home that I love and miss! One thing I used to have regularly for dinner was ‘Pukka Pies’ (you can buy them in some Fish and Chip shops too!). Yes America have ‘pot pies’, maybe I’m buying the wrong ones because they are just nasty! Recently, Pouch Pies reached out to me about their meat pie online delivery service! They have flavours of pies inspired from all around the world, BUT most importantly they sell traditional British pies! I love discovering places to get British food in America!
Yes that’s right, not only is Between England & Iowa my travel and lifestyle blog, it is now a book! “Between England and Iowa: A Year In The Life Of An Emigrating Wife” is my story all about the realities of expat life. For a whole year I kept a journal. I wrote down my expat milestones, ALL my thoughts and feelings and documented each time I came across something that sent me into culture shock!
One thing I’ve noticed about living in Iowa is just how PROUD people are to come from this State! So I have trawled through Amazon punching in lots of different keywords to bring you my favourite finds for the Ultimate Iowa Gift Guide! If you’re looking for a last minute Iowa themed gift, I think I’ve got you covered 🙂