Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Adjusting Overseas - the Pros and Cons

There's a period of adjustment with any move, it's just slightly longer when you move from one culture to another. Fortunately, this isn't my first move far from home (Michigan) and I'm certain it won't be our last move. When I married a Frenchman, I knew we wouldn't stay put for long as he had already lived in 4 or 5 different countries before his 28th birthday. We met, married and moved to Singapore within a span of 9 months! But that's a story for another day...

This time around, we've left much behind to make a better life for ourselves and our children, but we're thrilled to be here and to have this experience. Still, you have to take the good and the bad together and  I have the right to rant as much as anyone. So, here goes:

The bits I don't like (in no particular order):

  • The ice cream tastes weird. Nature Girl won't even eat it. 
  • Clothes Dryers, or the lack there of. N'uff said.
  • The roads are the width of a 2-car garage and the edges are crumbling away.

This one's more like a single-car garage.
I took that pic while hubby drove.

  • Roundabouts
  • People drive down the center of those roads, 50mph, around curves where they can't see me on the other side.
  • I can't find my favorite pickles (Vlasic Kosher Dill, if you want to send some my way)
  • Downey isn't Downey its L-something and doesn't smell the same
  • Sorry, but the beef is expensive and tasteless
  • Parents smoke right next to their babies!
  • I like rainy days, but seriously...
  • I miss my mom and dad. And my cats.
  • The only outlets in the bathrooms are for electric razors... WTH?

The better bits:

  • My groceries are delivered right to my doorstep!
  • Wine is more affordable
  • Self-expression is totally acceptable
  • School uniforms ROCK
  • Public transportation - even without a car you can always get where you need to go! It just might take a while. 
  • The only big school break is in August
  • My 3-year-old will have 15 FREE hours of preschool a week beginning in January!
  • My iPhone was free with my very affordable plan
  • I live just minutes from Roman ruins, less than an hour from Stonehenge, castles, Manor houses, London...
Ancient  Roman town of Calleva Atrebatum
National Gallery;Trafalgar Square, London

  • I can take a train to France
  • There is a true sense of personal freedom here.
  • People are so polite and helpful (at least in and around my area). 
  • You can turn electrical outlets off and on. I just love that!
  • The countryside is stunning
  • Faeries (more on that another time)

There's so much more. I miss a lot of things from the US, but overall, I simply love it here. I think I'll be happy to stay awhile. I just need a dryer. And a hairdryer. And a visit from my mom.

What do you think?


  1. Besides an extended vacation, I think I would get too homesick despite the pro's. Pickles for Christmas?

  2. I'd send you a clothes dryer but I think the shipping would be more than the dryer itself! Other than that the pros seem to far out way the cons! & less than an hour from Stonehenge?????? I'm coming for a visit!

    1. The pros do outweigh the cons, by far. The cons are minor annoyances, really. Stonehenge - I know!!! I can hardly wait to get there!

  3. Oh how I love reading every single one of your posts and adventures!!
    The hardest thing for me living in another country is definitely missing my family. And culture; I'm still trying to 'fit in' after all these years.....
    You're right the english country side is stunning (really enjoyed this when I was there), and going to paris by train is amazing! :-)
    Now you just need to get your hands on some of them pickles girl; they'll taste amazing!!


Go on, tell me what you think!