Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Perspective Series- In the UK

This week I'm happy to introduce Belinda from the blog Found Love. Now What? for the next installment of the Perspective Series. This is a series about expats sharing their experience of living and traveling abroad and how it inevitably changed their outlook and perspective on life. I have immense respect for this woman right here. Uprooting her life to follow to love of her life across an entire ocean? Hardcore. But I can definitely relate to being with the one you love and the ease of traveling the world sometimes being worth the heartache of missing home and things familiar. 
Hello Lost in Travels readers!  My name is Belinda and I blog over at Found Love. Now What? I am so thrilled to be a part of  Chelsea’s expat series.  I am excited to share why I decided to become an expat and my life in the UK.
I have always loved studying maps and globes.  I remember being little studying World Atlases for hours. Yeah, from a young age I was sort of a geek but I have always had a passion to travel and see the world.  Now,  31 years later, I am living my dream of seeing the sights of the world as an expat in the United Kingdom, specifically Northern Wales.

I pulled up my roots in Washington State (Seattle specifically) to move to the UK to be with my British husband.  Our wedding was on May 26th and in just ten short days we were bound for the United Kingdom and it has been an adventure ever since.  (Oh, did I mention that prior to our wedding my husband and I were in a 18 month long distance relationship?  Yeah, I blog about that sometimes too.)
The decision for me to move from the US to the UK, was based on a long, long list of pros and cons.  One of the major pros was the accessibility to be able to travel throughout the United Kingdom and Europe beyond.   One of the cons was that for me to leave, I essentially had to uproot my life to start all over.  But after all is said and done, I know that we made the right decision for me to live in the UK.

But it hasn’t been easy, or a walk in the park. I  was lulled into a false sense of security about living in the United Kingdom.Moving to the UK to a land of same language and similar cultures, I thought I would adjust no problem, easy breezy.   (Especially since there are so many expats who handle it in countries where the same language isn’t spoken.  Say, like South Korea?!) This false sense of security would knock me over at the slightest difference or homesick moment, primarily because I wasn’t mentally prepared for it. Surprisingly, I was wrong. The British culture is different than the American culture that I am used to.  From food to holidays, humor to high street I find that day-to-day life is just a bit different than America.  I find myself in constant adjustment in my new life and culture.  I’ll be honest with you: My first six months in the UK I would find myself riding waves of homesickness because I wasn’t aware or ready for emotional outbursts caused by change.  Now, I think I have a better handle on it.... but trust me, I am not perfect.

My favorite part of living abroad is the sense of adventure and “newness”. Everything is fresh and new to me, making each day exciting.  On the weekends, Neal and I head out to see castles, country parks, ruins or estate homes.  With my camera slung over my shoulder, I am a very happy shutterbug!   We have plans to visit Paris at the end of March (exciting!) and other parts of Europe come summer time.  Weekend trip to Dublin?  Don’t mind if I do.  Long weekend trip to Rome or Berlin?  Yes, please.
The access to travel, and the ability to experience so many incredible places makes the homesick heartache all worth it.

Since living aboard, we have been able to return back to Seattle for a two week trip in December.  To be honest, the trip was overwhelming.  Pop culture and news, fashion and food....I couldn’t absorb everything.  I walked through Target in an daze.  I was overwhelmed by the bullseye.  (In the end, I brought home bags and bags of M&M’s!)

For now, I am looking to be in the UK for at least the immediate future for up to 3-5 years.   Knowing how long I will be living abroad, has me trying not to dwell on the American We are looking to establish a semi-permanent life so it’s important to pace ourselves to create that picture.

Thanks so much for writing Belinda! Be sure to stop by her blog and show her some love! 

If you have lived abroad and would like to be featured please email me at lostintravelsblog@gmail.com. I would love to hear from you!

You can read more of the Perspective Series here.

Linking up with Rolled Up Pretty and Shanna, Rekita