Living in England: Two Month Benchmark

Maybe this is something that I was always meant to do. Maybe it wasn’t. When you think of planning out your life, I think we have a limited scope of all the possibilities that could appear in our lives. Moving to another country is not something I ever thought would be a possibility in my life. Not that it was impossible, I just hadn’t considered it at all.

But now that I’ve been living in England for just under two months now, it’s starting to become more real to me. It’s weird to think about it still. I still feel like I’m in some sort of dream. I keep thinking that tomorrow I’ll be back in Cleveland, getting ready to go work. Or that I’ll be on my way to my parent’s house for dinner. It still feels unreal to think thatI’m now living a new life in a new country, with a new family.

When I first got here, it took me a few weeks to be fully adjusted to the time difference. Now, that I was five hours ahead of the U.S. I felt like I was tired at all the wrong times. I was surprised at the amount of walking that people do in London, and quickly learned that it was necessary. London is a very busy city. Driving and parking can be somewhat of a hassle. The portion sizes were the most surprising to me as they were much smaller here. But, now I realize how much you actually need to fuel yourself and how many extra calories I was consuming in the U.S. thinking this how much I needed to eat to be full. The smaller portions combined with all the extra walking I’ve been doing, I’ve already lost ten pounds.

Now that I’m finally getting into the car on the correct side, (most of the time) I’m starting to miss certain things from back home aside from my family and friends. I miss Starbucks. While you can find Starbucks here, they are not on every street corner like in the U.S. London does have ton of cozy coffeeshops, which I sometimes prefer to the standard look and feel of Starbucks. Probably the thing I miss the most is coffee creamer. It does exist in a powder form, but we all know that it’s not the same.

Although I do miss comforts of home there is something to be said for uprooting your life and starting over in a new place.  In my limited scope I had no idea how I would adapt and feel living in a new country. But I think this is the best thing I’ve done in my life. I think we get used to our daily routines and the general idea of how life should go. But it’s in the unknown and the unexpected where some of the biggest and most impactful changes can happen.

In just these two months I feel like I’ve grown as a person. I’ve met people from all sorts of backgrounds and ethnicities. I’ve had conversations with people about the United States and what people think about my home country. In short, no one is really impressed with the United States especially in its current state. On a lighter note, it is surprising how many people think we all eat like Man vs. Food. Compared to the portions here, they’re not far off.

I’m getting used to the portion sizes here and I notice I can walk longer distances before my legs are like “What are you doing?” I’m getting a handle on the slang and the different accents that I come across. I’ve gotten spoiled with having designs drawn in my lattes all the time. I’m also getting less car sick from all the roundabouts and everything in the cars being on opposite side. I’ve even gotten my provisional license, so I can start learning how to drive. (I’ll let you know how that turns out.)

When I first got here Londoners must have thought I was crazy. I would greet people I walked by on the street or in cafes. Seems like a normal thing, right? It took a serious intervention from my friends and family before I learned that in general people in London are not as friendly as I was used to in Cleveland. People would just stare at me if I greeted them like “Why is this crazy person talking to me?”

I took this super personal at first. I’m learning to accept it, and by accept it I mean I’m still forcing my pleasantries and conversations on workers at coffee shops and I’m still saying hello to people on the street.

I’m loving and growing into my new life here. I’m in no way telling everyone to move to a new country. But just maybe let’s all widen our scope of possibilities in life.

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