My name is Camie and I am an American expat living in England for a second time. London 2.0 is what we call this adventure.
Whilst expatting during London 1.0, I started a blog (not this one!) to keep friends and family up-to-date with our travels and our personal struggles of being expats. Upon returning to the USA, I decided to shift the focus of my blog, strip the personal stuff and focus primarily on travel. That’s where this blog comes into play so hang tight as I migrate the travel posts from my original blog to this blog – it’s a big job!
Feel free to contact me with any queries at: yawninggetsyoueverywhere [at] gmail [dot] com.
How did we end up in England?
Short answer: Facebook.
Long answer: An ex-colleague of ours took a job with a big American company and was transferred to their London office. One fateful day in October 2010, a position leading our ex-colleague’s team opened up and he contacted my husband, Peter, via Facebook message. Peter asked me if he should apply and I said, “Yes”. Both of us knew he would be offered the position because he’s brilliant and both of us believed that the salary offered would not be grand enough to uproot us from our very comfortable lifestyle in Dallas, Texas, USA. As things would have it, the salary and relocation package were indeed grand enough and our BIG journey across the pond with our two dogs began in December 2010 and I ultimately landed on UK soil in July 2011.
Do I like living in England?
Short answer: Yes? No? I don’t know.
Long answer: Living in a foreign country is difficult, even in a country where the spoken language is the same as your native language. Any expat will tell you that. For me, living abroad as part of London 1.0 was my most challenging life experience but it was also the most rewarding. Peter and I grappled with the logistics of moving abroad for 10 months before I permanently stepped foot on English soil (resigning from jobs, selling our house, processing the dogs for UK acceptance, physically moving, drinking heavily, etc.).
I was beat down, exhausted and full of regret by the time I arrived in England. What the hell had we just done? We had a comfortable life in Texas. Why would we put ourselves through this stressful test? Would it be worth it? Was I going to be able to adjust to be a full-time stay-at-home dog mum? How much would I miss my friends and family?
The answers to those questions would come nearly five years later when we decided to relocate back to the USA. Every moment of stress, every penny spent, every laugh, and every tear was worth it. Ten fold.
When we did we move back to the US?
We moved to Seattle, Washington, USA in October 2015. While in the UK, we found ourselves travelling further and further away abroad (i.e. Japan, Jordan, Thailand, etc.) and realized that it was probably time to move and start a new adventure in the Pacific Northwest. Additionally, I was starting to get overwhelmed with the hustle and bustle of London which may seem backwards because, with time, you’d think you’d get used to it. London was loud and busy all the time; I couldn’t take it anymore. I needed to get away and decompress.
By the way, Seattle is as loud and busy as London. Possibly even more loud.
When did we embark on London 2.0?
We moved back to England in July 2019.
Do I regret moving back to the US after London 1.0?
Short answer: Mostly yes.
Long answer: I very much miss being able to get on a plane and be in a different culture a couple of hours later. Facebook does not help matters with their prompting of “photo memory reminders”. Early in 2016 and for 22 days in a row, Facebook displayed photo memories of our trips that occurred every day in that time period – Turkey, Ireland, Greece, and Kenya. It was depressing.
On the flip side, I enjoyed being back in my home country, having a car, living in a kick-ass house, and being around all things American (current political climate excluded).