Migrating, Moving and Mid-life Mayhem

Well, I have a updates for you.  Remember back, back, back in time when I warned you a website migration was coming?  This is the week it happens,  so if you log on to see if I’ve done anything productive this past week, you’ll be redirected to my new website.  Since this migration involves technology and a million moving parts, you can guarantee a few bumps in the road….broken links, bizarrely categorized posts and other weirdness.  I’m sorry and I promise it will all be sorted as soon as possible.

Beverly Hillbillies Moving Day

Beverly Hillbillies Moving Day

I’m moving to a new flat in London.  It’s a long story and starts with “You can’t fit seven people in a two bedroom flat the size of a closet even on a temporary basis.”  or  “As much as I love people-watching at the posh club across the street, the 3am drunken anthems under my window and late night cab vs. limo  wars are getting on my last damn nerve.”  More to follow.

It’s my birthday week and I’m looking forward to some Funfetti cake and a few cocktails to kick off a mid-life crisis.

Thanks so much for following me and I’ll see you on the other side.





The Tortoise and Hare Go Traveling

When our kids were little, really little, we traveled at a pretty slow pace.  If you’ve  traveled with a Little Person, you understand that everything takes longer than expected. You have to wrestle with car seats, nap time, bed time, hunger pangs, little legs and shorter attention spans.  Now that we occasionally travel without the kids, something is quite apparent.  The Mister and I suffer from TSI…Travel Style Incompatibility.

PicMonkey Collage

My  sweet husband is the Energizer Bunny of travel.  He is the only person I know who completed the entire British Museum collection in 90 minutes.  I am the Cecil Turtle of travel.  It takes me 90 minutes to work through one gallery at the V & A. We are officially the Tortoise and Hare of worldwide travel.

The Mister’s idea of a perfect day in a new city is 12 hours of sightseeing completed by lunch, which leaves enough time for 12 additional hours of sightseeing before dinner.  Twenty-four hours worth of activities squeezed into 8 hours.  With time for a walk before bed.  Rinse, lather, repeat.  My perfect day in a new city is a leisurely mix of wandering, sightseeing and multiple stops for food and photography.  His preferable breakfast is a banana in his backpack and a to-go coffee, mine involves a neighborhood cafe, endless cups of coffee and a lot of people-watching.   How do you plan happy travel for a box-checker and a “loose agenda, this-looks-cool-let’s-go-do-that-instead-after-a-coffee” person?

The Mister and Me

The Mister and Me

We’re trying to figure it out.  He is certainly wiser than he once was and knows it’s better to wake me up with a “Look!   I brought you coffee!” instead of  “Hey!  It’s already 7 o’clock! How much time do you need to get ready to go?”   I’ve learned not to plan sitting-on-the-beach vacations or endless afternoons poking through ancient, overgrown cemeteries.  It’s about compromise and learning from each other.  I think we can do that. How do you balance two different personalities while traveling?  Tell me your secrets!

Things to Know

*No feelings were harmed during the writing of this post.



Do you remember the scene from “Up” with the easily distracted dog(s)? You should watch it here before reading the rest of this post.  Go ahead, I’ll wait.

Good, we’re all on the same page.  In short, I’ve been feeling very “SQUIRREL!” this week.

I’m in the process of rereading, editing and moving old content to a new site, which means I’ve been forced to reread my own material and decide what, if anything, is worth saving/moving/editing. This is a good time to thank you for still following.  It’s all a learning process, amiright?   I have pending outlines for 11 new posts, which I’m pretty excited about, but… they remain just outlines.  I’ve had at least 2 prolonged moments of personal crisis this week in the form of “Why am I doing this?” and it’s only Monday.  I’m mastering the art of search engine optimization, facebook and twitter (not really). If you feel extra supportive today, you can head over to my facebook page a “like” it and/or follow me on twitter @apassportaffair.  If you just feel sorry for me, you can do the same. Thanks!

So, be prepared for seemingly random posts, potential missing content and…I forgot the third thing.  Squirrel.

Has it been a year?


This weekend marked the one year anniversary of our move to the UK.  365 days since we waved goodbye to friends and family and set up house in a tiny flat in London. I find landmark moments in time warrant a complete review of how that time was spent so I created a personal end-of-the-year report card of sorts.

1.Moving was a major undertaking.  I give myself an A in that category only because someone else did the packing and shipping. Anything is better than the 10+ previous US Navy military moves. No one tried to pack a bicycle inside a cherry armoire this time, so I’ll consider it a win. Perspective is everything.

2. Adjusting to my new home country is still a work in progress…I give myself a B to B- strictly because of the rage inducing encounters I had with BT, O2 and NatWest during the first few months of our London life.  I’m working on adjusting to a new level of customer service and am happy to report I pleasantly negotiated a non-hostile refund with Gatwick Express today. Progress.

3. Traveling.  Travel was a prime motivator for accepting an overseas move and we’ve maximized every opportunity.  We get an A- with a side of Needs Improvement. I had a moment in Hong Kong when I woke up in a dark room at 3:00am and had absolutely no idea where I was.  No. Idea.  This disquieting middle-of-the night, jet-lagged moment led to an epiphany…perhaps, just perhaps, we were traveling a bit too much. Mind you, I’ve enjoyed every single minute of every trip, but realize that running from one place to the next with a camera and notebook in hand left me little time to really reflect on where I’ve been.   I’m going to take some time this summer to sift through my 5000 photos (don’t worry, I won’t post them all) and my little notebook stuffed with semi-legible notes.  There are good memories in there to share.

4.  Learning.  It goes beyond learning not to over-shop at the grocery store when you have a 2km walk home and not saying “pants” when you mean trousers.  It’s learning how create a new work life from nothing, how to reach out to others and establish new relationships with complete strangers and trusting that just this once it might be ok to figure everything out as you go along.

5.  Being thankful.  We are incredibly grateful every day for the opportunity to live as expats.  It comes with its own set of worries, true.  We worry about our parents, our kids, sick relatives, not being home to celebrate and/or grieve with people we love. We worry about never finding a community to call home, but in the end, we hope the pros outweigh the cons.  We’ve been blessed with a nice neighborhood, a shorter commute, more time together and fabulous friends in Crossfit Central London and elsewhere. We  have  a non-stop stream of house guests who bring us love, a bit of home and the good kind of peanut butter. We are blessed.

Thanks for following along.


Planes, Trains and Automobiles…and Maybe a Boat.


It’s been a busy travel month and it’s about to get busier. If you’ve been following along (and thank you if you have), you know Rachel and I were in Jordan for a week…


before I was off to the Gulf Coast of Florida to visit family, soak up some much-needed sun and eat  pretty much everything I could get my hands on.


Now I’m back in rainy London, finishing up my Jordan posts and planning trips to Ireland, Scotland, Singapore, Malaysia,Hong Kong and Greece.  Just to keep things interesting, I decided this was also a good time to redesign and move my blog.  It’s a little crazy, but I’ll keep you posted on the blog move and my upcoming travels.  Thank you for reading and, hopefully, sticking with me through the bumpy parts of the transition.

Have you traveled to any of these places?  I’m always looking for great travel tips and advice!  Please share!