My name is Camie and I am an American expat living in England for the second time. London 2.0 is what we call this adventure.
During London 1.0, I started a blog (not this one!) to keep friends and family informed on our travels and our personal struggles of being expats. Upon returning to the USA, I decided to shift the focus of my blog and strip the personal stuff and focus primarily on travel. Hang tight as I migrate the travel posts from my original blog to this blog – it’s a big (and boring) task!
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. In October 2010, a position leading our ex-colleague’s team opened up and he contacted my husband, Peter, via Facebook messenger.
Peter asked me if he should apply and I said, “Yes”.
We knew that Peter would be offered the position because he’s brilliant and we believed that the salary offered would not be grand enough to uproot us from our very comfortable lifestyle in Dallas, Texas.
The salary and relocation package met our requirements and our BIG journey across the pond with our two dogs began in December 2010. Peter moved to England in April 2011 and I arrived a few months later in July 2011 after the dogs had completed their mandatory six-month rabies-free quarantine and other requirements.
Do I like living in England?
Short answer: Yes, mostly.
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 exhausted and full of regret by the time I arrived in England. What had we just done? We had a comfortable life in Texas. Why would we put ourselves through this? Would it be worth it? Was I going to be able to adjust to being 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.
When did we move back to the USA?
We moved to Seattle, Washington in October 2015.
While in the UK, we found ourselves traveling further and further away abroad (i.e. Japan, Thailand) and realized that it was probably time to move and start a new adventure in the Pacific Northwest.
Additionally, I was becoming overwhelmed with the hustle and bustle of London. The city seemed to get busier and louder as time went on and there was no relief.
We left London with a bang – our flat was burgled two months before the moving trucks arrived.
When did we embark on London 2.0?
We moved back to London in July 2019, just in time for the covid pandemic!