This week I'm happy to introduce Yaya from the blog Dream It, Darling 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.
As I write this I am sitting in my childhood bedroom with the ceiling fan on, and in very springy attire; a welcome contrast from sitting in my flat in the English countryside a week and a half ago and cozying up with a hot water bottle. I tell you what though - let's start from the beginning.
Over two and half years ago I met a boy who coincidentally was searching for God knows what online, and stumbled across a blog I used to write at the time. A few comments, IM's, emails, texts, and phone calls later we decided that we meshed pretty well and casually met up. All as friends. Just as in a rom-com one thing led to another and voila, we fell in love. After a year of having a long distance relationship and traveling back and forth between the US & UK we decided to take it all up a notch. Being the bold Aries that I am, I decided to be the one to take the leap and leave all I knew behind for the adventure, romance and opportunity to live abroad.
|The Mr. and I at an Olympic event last year|
Cornyness aside, moving to the UK was always something that I welcomed with open arms. For as long as I can remember I have longed for something more. To see more, feel more, do more; and I knew that traveling and namely living abroad would help give me that cultural enrichment I so longed for. When I came to England I falsely believed that being in an English speaking country would mean that all I would be leaving behind in America was family, friends, and job; not so much of the culture that made me who I was. I now realize after being back in the States for a few short weeks, that I gave up the aspects of my culture that didn't fully suit my personality. The capitalist mentality, the hustle and bustle lifestyle, among others. I have adopted so many European customs and attitudes and meshed them with what I find positive about the American lifestyle and voila, have a new way of living that works for me.
|big roads and wide open spaces of being home overwhelmed me a bit|
One of the things that I have missed the most and that has affected me the most about living abroad was the weather. I am a Texas girl who is used to sun and heat and let's face it - not wearing so much clothes! In England, I have had to adapt to the weather and the effects it has on my mood. All of the other things that have come out of living abroad, such as the culture, humour, food, etc. has all been a very welcome addition.
After being abroad and coming home, even for short holiday, I have seen so many differences and am amazed about how much I have learned from my own country being on the outside looking in. I love being an American - the customs, the traditions, the patriotism; but there are so many things about our lifestyle that I now see from the outside and realize is a bit bonkers. In England I can walk anywhere. I can walk for miles to run my errands in town, and it doesn't feel like a chore. No one looks at you funny for walking on the side of the road. In America they do, at least in the big southwest (probably not NYC or Boston). In England, and I'm sure in all of Europe the lifestyle is so relaxed and slow. When I first moved here I felt everyone was lazy for taking it easy, but now that I have returned to America and see everyone in such a hurry all the time, I know that at least at this point, living in the USA is not for me. I used to joke my family and friends that being in England was like going back in time, it kind of was; and you know what, I like it. People are much more appreciative of each other and the things that really matter as opposed to being obsessed with material possessions and technological advancement whilst forgetting the human element. My European adventure started in jolly ol England, and will soon be taking me to a sunnier (yet, very European) destination. For now, Europe is the place for me.