The 5 year itch?

This month marks five years of permanently living in the UK for me. Not a momentous milestone compared to the tenure of some other expats I know, but it feels big to me regardless.

When I came over in 2007, I remember our plan was for me to spend five years in the North East after which time Will and I would set sail for a new life in America. It didn't register to me then that I might not actually WANT to move back yet after five years. Surely there was no way I would stay in the UK longer than I had to, right?

The thing about me is that I am an extremely restless person by nature. I don't really sit still for more than five years at a time. I like new experiences more than new achievements. That's one reason why we moved to London last year - I was feeling overwhelmed by the need to have an adventure but at the same time I didn't want to do it without Will by my side. I still may give up cities and jobs easily, but when it comes to my family and friends, nowadays I generally prefer to keep the "good uns" around. (Against their will even if must be - thank goodness for Facebook eh?)

The last year or so living in London has been fantastic. I don't feel like I need to move on from this city just yet, but I have a feeling that the restlessness will settle back in eventually - sooner rather than later. It's inevitable really.

I think I was just born impatient. I have this (made up) memory of kicking the hell out of my mom from inside her uterus, shouting "are we there yet lady?" at the top of my prenatal lungs.

And yes, I realise impatience isn't glamorous nor attractive, but I wouldn't change myself too much in this area either. Despite the fact it can be a bit annoying, the internal drive I have for continually doing new things, learning more, finding new places...it's made me pretty damn brave over the years. I'm not afraid to make a fool of myself for the right reason. I'm not scared to risk everything for something I am passionate about. I don't really mind starting over as I've done it so many times already.

And most importantly, I am pretty sure the journey is more important than the destination in life, so as long as I get things more right than wrong, it will all be good in the end right? At least, that's what I always tell myself. ;)


Goodbye Mini!

When we realised this summer that we'd put less than a 1,000 miles on the Mini since moving to London, the decision was made to sell our sweet little car. Today we signed her over to her new owner, and it felt really weird.

Now, I haven't really driven much at all since moving here in 2007 so for me it isn't AS difficult to imagine not owning a car anymore, but at the same time I can't think of any long stretch in my entire 36-years where I was living in a household that DIDN'T have a car. Yeah sure, maybe we didn't have a WORKING car, but we still had a junker out front at all times nonetheless. So the realisation that we don't have an automobile any more feels a bit odd. And freeing, but mostly odd.

For Will it's even more disconcerting. He had a brief car-less stint during his RAF days 30 years ago, but that's about it. Back then he hitch-hiked everywhere, but sadly I don't think he'll be doing much of that these days as he lacks the uniform and youthful stupidity. He loved this car, or at least loved to moan about this car. Within minutes of signing her over, Will was enroling in a car club called ZipCar. Which is fine and a great concept, but I'm guessing we'll use it two or three times and that's it... we just genuinely don't need a vehicle anymore now that we live in one of the most accessible cities in the world. It's rather freaking cool.

PS I plan to start telling everyone we are car-free because we are doing our part to save the environment. Sure, it's more of an unintentional side effect of our car-free life than an active choice, but I might as well get props where I can.


I'm no role model - life lessons from Boston

On a business trip in Boston, had the following conversation about careers with a 20 year old uni student in Boston who is waiting tables at Legal Test Kitchen:

Him: 'So, how did you end up working in the UK? Did you go there after you got your MBA?'

(I should have answered: "lots of training & hard work plus the help of some very generous people along the way". )

Instead I gave him the full overview of my crazy life story including dropping out university to follow a boy to Colorado, my 'starter' marriage and the globe trotting I've done since.  All of which he has overtly romanticised. Am now afraid he's contemplating quitting uni & following my example.

Don't be daft kid!


Life is good, so go on and hate me... :)

It's been eons since I last wrote on this blog! So much has changed yet so much is the same.

We live quite happily in London now - moved here in August 2011. Shockingly, I am still with the same company. The other half and I are still in love and, quite sickeningly, seem to ACTUALLY like each other more and more with each passing day. To complete our family, we have adopted a "fur baby" cat named Maisie who only has three legs, half a tail and a rather hilarious personality.

Our life has sorta turned all perfect in a "dysfunctional romcom" way.  In the movie version of us, I fancy Anne Hathaway as me and George Clooney as Will, but I would settle for Paul Rudd if pressed. For either of us really.

A lot of our life has remained the same as it was two years ago. We both have some big regrets from our dark and distant pasts. I miss my family and friends in the US insanely. My accent has become a mid-Atlantic mess and apparently I'm sounding posher by the day since moving south. But honestly, we know we are fortunate and we are humbled by all the good we have in our lives. I hope one day to right past wrongs and strive to be the best person I am capable of being....in the mean time I am happy, healthy and on the right path. Life is good and I am not taking that fact for granted. Now go ahead and vomit if I'm making you sick with all this gushing... :P