Yep, I’ve decided that after almost 4 years in America I’m going to return/repatriate back to the UK. It’s not a decision I’ve made lightly, in fact it was a harder decision than the one I first made when I decided to start the US visa process and I’ve agonised over it for a long time. But I need to put my happiness and mental health first and I believe going home will increase those massively.
Here we are, coming into the 8th week of lockdown and I thought I’d share an update of what life is like in Iowa, USA during this time. The last time I did a post was very close to the start of it all. Obviously I’m an expat, a Brit living in America and it was all about how it felt being cut off from my home. I can confirm that the crying has stopped. Well at the moment it has. For a while I was crying most days. But I’ve been lucky, my flight route is one of a handful of long haul flights that have survived the worldwide cutbacks. Knowing that it IS there still, gives me comfort. If it gets taken away all of a sudden, I guess the crying will start back up. This post is looking more at what day to day life is like, rather than the expat travel side of things.
Food shopping is a little bit of a chore. Recently in one of the Facebook groups I belong to, a member asked if others thought they’d be able to survive going food shopping less. For example, if we could go grocery shopping once every 2 weeks, instead of every week. Especially in the current climate, it would lessen the time we spend around other people. I only go food shopping every 2 and a half weeks and have done for the last 4 years. To me it’s no different!
Now before you continue to read this post, I want to put it out there and say that it’s not another one that goes on about how to deal with the C-word, if we should still be travelling while it’s going on, offering advice or any of that. It’s purely to share my experience of being an expat living overseas while the C-word temporarily takes over the world. More so the mental health aspect of things and yes, how I did end up having an emotional breakdown over it.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not being nasty, this is a light hearted post about some of the observations I’ve had as an expat over things that are said and done that make me cringe because they mean something different in the UK! We’ve all heard of cultural faux pas, they are bound to happen regardless of how well you know a culture, there’ll always be little things that mean something else in a different country/language. I know myself of a few words that I’ve said while in the States that mean nothing bad in British English but in the US, I’ve been met with gasps. It happens! We’re all humans after all!
Almost 1 year ago to the day, my hair started falling out. Now some of you that have been around for a while, will know that I’ve not coped well with being an expat and then my body decided it wanted to make sure that I knew that too. In this post I’ll be talking about why my hair fell out, how it affected me mentally, the ways I tried to cope with my hair loss, how long my hair was falling out for and how I tried to help assist with its regrowth.
When you’re an expat, there’s an awful lot of things to think about. One thing that’s crossed my mind a few times is “if I was to have children while living in America, there may come a day when I may have to travel alone with them when visiting home”. It’s not quick and simple. Living in Iowa, that’s a 3 hour drive to Chicago, followed by an 8 and a half hour flight on to England…and that’s if you fly direct!