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.