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!
11th August marks the day that I moved from the UK to America 1 year ago. What a rollercoaster ride it has been. Just call me a yoyo because I swear I have been up and down more times than a little…and I’m still partly living out of a suitcase…! Here’s a look at my first year living the expat life.
Visits home to the UK basically involve me just pigging out on all the food that I miss now that I live in the States. This is also a question I get asked a lot as an expat! Some things I CAN get in the USA, such as Marmite, scones (in the form of packet mix sent over in the mail) and Cadburys chocolate. However there are some things I can’t get (or I’m yet to find!).
There’s no hiding the fact that us Brits like to have a good moan. But sometimes you don’t always really realise how good you had it until it’s gone. This is definitely the case since emigrating to America, I took things in the UK for granted and now I’d do anything to get them back!
When it comes to emigrating overseas, one thing to consider is how do you plan on getting your belongings from A to B. There are 2 choices. Do you ship your items or just move with what you can carry in suitcases? I was in a position where I was able to keep a lot of my things in storage at my parents house in the UK, so when I moved I maxed out my luggage allowance with the airline I flew with (3 suitcases and 2 cabin bags!). Here are my 8 tips on how to pack a suitcase for moving overseas that you’ll be thanking me for! Organisation will definitely make life easier when you arrive in your new country!
I literally can’t say enough positive words about Distinctively Dubuque! As a new expat in America, discovering this course couldn’t have come at a better time! It is a completely FREE programme run by Greater Dubuque Development and the Northeast Iowa Community College and is aimed at people who have been living in the Dubuque district for 5 years or less.