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!
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!