I’ve tried to write this blog a few times now, but I keep getting carried away in the details, and then it gets unmanageable-level long… so, this is what I have to say after officially reaching one month in the UK, all in bullet form to try to keep it as short as humanly possible for me:
- The Brits are some of the nicest people I’ve ever encountered. I can’t utter a single complaint about my time here, because basically everywhere I’ve been I’ve found a nice person to help me with what I needed. Whether it was my countless bank visits to try setting up my bank account, my apartment search, the people I encounter on a daily basis, etc. I feel truly welcome here. Thank you England! (writing this as an American expat on 4th of July just… the irony writes itself).
- Everyone that finds out I moved here from Miami asks “why?!” followed up by “how are you dealing with the weather?” and it’s hilarious to me. I HATE being hot, I hate sweating, I hate the heat, and I’m just not made for warm climates. I am living my best life in this British summer that took its sweet time to appear, where there’s lots of sun but a chill breeze. It’s my perfect, ideal climate. We’ll see how I feel in January/February when #WinterIsHere, but I think I’ll be fine.
- I’m so beyond proud of myself. I knew it was ballsy to move alone, but I just kept thinking of all the people that leave Venezuela or conflict areas, with no guarantees, no money, nothing. Yes, I left the comfort of my home, but to go to a place where I already had a job, knew the language, and would just have to settle in. I’m not saying it’s easy, but it also doesn’t qualify as unimaginable as what others have had to endure. But going through the motions of settling in quicker than most is not what I’m most proud of. I have gone out of my comfort zone and gone beyond the standard needs to not only get settled but try and build a life here. I’ve tried to make friends, I’ve gone to festivals, concerts, movies, plays, fitness groups, bars, etc. all alone. That hasn’t been easy, and it’s what gives me the most pride. I’m an introverted homebody with *some* extroverted party girl tendencies, but the former is stronger within, so it’s taken a LOT for me to keep doing it.
- I thought I knew more about London, but honestly I’m basically surprised on a daily basis with new areas I hadn’t heard of, places to see, phrases to learn, etc. I am learning so much about London, and I’m learning almost as much about myself. It’s been a really great learning experience so far, and I can’t wait for what’s to come.
- I’m not as homesick as I thought I would be. I miss my family, I miss my friends, but technology is a blessing that has helped me stay connected to all the people I love, managing the distance as well as could be. I can’t imagine how people moved decades ago when the best way to communicate was snail mail that took months to arrive. I love FaceTiming my family and receiving calls, texts, comments, even packages from my friends, all of which has kept me strong. The one thing I miss the most are hugs. I’m a huge touchy-feely person, and nothing feels like a good, genuine, heartfelt hug like so many of the ones I received when I left. My friends and family really filled up my hug-tank before leaving, so I’m thankful because truly it’s what I feel like I’m lacking in most here. Looking forward to building those friendships here that can feel like a hug from home soon enough.
- Support comes from where you least expect it. People have reached out to me upon seeing my posts on social media that I haven’t spoken to in years to encourage me and cheer me on, many of whom have also moved themselves. It’s been very eye-opening to see everyone who cares, and I appreciate it beyond what I can say with words ❤
And I think that’s about where I should end this. I’m so thankful to all of you who have reached out and stayed in touch and checked up on me throughout these past weeks. It’s meant the world. I’m so thankful for my job and my colleagues who have been so understanding with the move. I’m so fulfilled by all I’ve experienced, and excited for all that is to come. I’ll do another post with a summary of all the things I’ve done so far, what I’ve liked, what I haven’t, etc. just to keep things digestible. Love you all!