Saturday, September 29, 2012

My Great Expectations

I said a few posts back that I wanted to type out some expectations for my move to England. I've been constantly writing down random goals, generalizations, and predictions. I like doing these kinds of lists because it gives me something to look back to and see how incredibly off I was.

And seeing as this time next week I will be in England, I thought why not share them now!

Disclaimer: I know there will always surprises and bumps along the way, and I'm excited for that! I started this blog in the attempt to track every moment in this journey. I'm not trying to map out everything so perfect that I lose sight of what I'm doing to begin with. This list is for me, as a future expat and one hell of a list making goal setter, and also for you, whether you're a future expat like me or a seasoned pro with that awkward "not really American, not really English" accent. Or maybe you were just bored on the internet one day and came across this crazy anglophile lady.

So go make some popcorn or put the kettle on depending on what side of the pond you are on because I tend to get a bit wordy.

Ready anddddd GO!

Learn to drive on the other side of the road... and the other side of the car...

This was actually the 2nd photo I took when I got to England for the first time. Seeing this was SO EXCITING!

This concept isn't as terrifying as it was about 3 years ago, when I would wail every ten seconds in the car thinking we were going the wrong way. But I'm not an aggressive driver. And I don't plan on driving much in England. I would just like the option to drive. Like adding a super power to my resume or something. Hi I'm Taylor and I can tap dance, sing the entire Big Bang Theory theme song, and drive confidently on multiple continents.

Run more (and in colder weather). With my free time, I really want to improve my running performance and feel prepared to do a half marathon. And run in cold weather. Because seriously, everywhere is colder than Florida.

Race more. I ran my first race about a year ago and never felt so hooked to something. I'm already signed up for a race on October 20th!

Join a gym and/or running club. When I spent the entire summer of 2011 in England, I joined their local gym and it was one of the best things I've ever done. I really think both of these will keep me busy and help me make friends in the area.

Understand the London Underground. I can imitate the "mind the gap" voice like a champ, but when it comes to navigating the tube I'm pretty hopeless. In my defense, I've never had to learn any subway system. But I want to feel confident going to London and be able to know how to get from point A to point B without wanting to snap my Oyster Card in half.

Understand public transportation in general.

Stereotypical double decker bus picture. With a Harry Potter ad on the side!! I should frame this, it's so beautiful.

I understand public transportation just fine; maybe "utilize" is a better word to use here. I just want the ability to travel via train or coach and not feel like a tourist.

Spell words with u's and s's and y's and such.

Typical American taking pictures of signs that say Energise instead of Energize. It looks so silly to me! All those elementary school spelling bee's were for nothing now. Sidenote: don't know these people in the sign, but they look like they'd be okay with me spelling it with a Z.... ZED.... WTF sort of train of thought did I start?!?!

Flavour. Tyre. Organise. Favourite. I'm trying to fathom this and not want to throw a dictionary at the wall.

Also... Okay this is so random.... But one day while watching my new favoUrite show "Switched At Birth", I wondered how different American Sign Language (ASL) and British Sign Language (BSL) were. Because you never really think of other sign languages. You just know ASL in America, but obviously they don't use ASL everywhere, because then it would be called Earth Sign Language or something. As opposed to Mars Sign Language.

It turns out ASL and BSL are SO DIFFERENT!! So I taught myself the BSL alphabet in case I needed to spell out something whilst not getting lost on the London Underground with my dictionary of words I've been spelling wrong for my whole life.

Learn more about the Fiance. I like to think I know a lot about him. He loves red and despises blue because of football team rivalries (typical English guy) and always eats his chips (fries) before his burger (which I DO NOT UNDERSTAND ONE BIT). But sometimes at random moments, I find myself going "Hmm... I wonder if he likes blue cheese." I like knowing fun tidbits about people.

I know he LOVES when I make him play tourist with me. I make him take me to "see the Queen" every single time and I react like it's the first time ever.

Be a close knit family. All of the Fiance's family lives SO CLOSE to each other! This concept is amazing to me. I've never lived close to family. The fact that we can walk to his grandparents house just blows my mind. I really want to embrace the proximity since I've never had that.

Keep in touch with the other side of the pond as much as possible. Right now, I try to keep in touch with everyone in England as much as I can. Starting next week, the tables will completely be turned. And I want to do everything in my power to still remain in contact with my friends and family in America. England will be my new home, and I'm very excited that I can finally say that. But Florida is where I spent 22 years of my life and I can't forget that either.

Anddddd we're done. For now at least.

I can't wait to look back at this list in a few months and see what really happened.

I'm trying to keep an open mind. Lists like this are made to be changed or added to. I might decide that I hate driving or running or eating fish and chips. I know fish and chips wasn't part of the list, but I think it's an unstated fact that I'll eat a lot of fish and chips. And vinegar. I love vinegar probably a bit too much.

I feel like I have so much to say, but none of it really matters. Because no matter how many lists I make or how much I think I know about living in another country, I literally have no clue what I'm in for.

So I guess all I really can say is bring it on, England. I'm ready for you.

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