Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween: Across The Pond Style

I'm going to say something.... And please don't judge me or think differently of me because of this... Because we are all entitled to our opinions....

I'm not a big fan of Halloween.

I know, I'm a rare breed. I'm sorry.

I think I liked it when I was little. Each year I dressed as a different Disney Princess and went trick or treating with friends. And then I went home, changed costumes, and went trick or treating again and got more candy.

(Sadly, all of my cute princess pictures are in America. I know you're devastated.)

And then you get older and it becomes socially less acceptable to trick or treat. You either get invited to cool Halloween parties or screw the norm and still go trick or treating and say "I DON'T CARE HOW OLD I AM! I WILL ALWAYS GO TRICK OR TREATING!" (me).

High school consisted of marching band Halloween parties since our last major competition/evaluation always fell around Halloween.

Yes, I said "marching band Halloween parties". No, that is not the next American Pie movie.

Sadly, this is the best picture of me as an awesome 80s workout girl. Because you know, I know soooo much about the 80s because I definitely lived it. (I was born in 1990...) I was such a cool senior (NOT). 

Still never got invited to those cool kid parties.

And then came college! Which did me no favors either...

I was the yellow Ninja Turtle.... There is no yellow Ninja Turtle. We were a group of 5 and I got shafted because I went "I love the color yellow!"

Sadly, this Halloween pictured above started the worst month of my life. I'm not even joking. That night I ended up in the ER with an allergic reaction to something I still don't know, then I got tonsillitis, then I got ANOTHER allergic reaction to the medicine they put me on for the tonsillitis. October 31st and all of November 2009 was spent in bed and on the Benadryl diet.

Multiple trips to the hospital, doctor, and allergist + my entire bank accounts worth of medical bills = I'm still alive.

Maybe that's when I started not liking Halloween.

The last two years I didn't celebrate at all. Or you could say I dressed up as a "studying college student whose evil professors scheduled multiple exams the day after Halloween" which was entirely true.

This year, I have made ZERO plans for Halloween. Again, I'm not a fan. But I think it's because of my genuinely lackluster Halloween's for the past few years.

I have decided though, if I do dress up tonight, I will dress up in true nerd form like her....


This is Kathy Beth Terry, from Katy Perry's music video for Last Friday Night.

It all started when the music video came out. My ever so charming Fiance said "Hey, that looks like you!" He just seems to think any brown haired nerd with glasses "looks like me". I also apparently look like that girl from The Big Bang Theory (no, not the hot blonde one) but that's another story.

So I've come to terms with my nerd status. Clearly you must know by now that I'm not your typical 20-something. While everyone is dressing up in animal ears or some slutty version of the Village People, I long to be Kathy Beth Terry.

The thing is, I'm not too sure how big Halloween is here in England....

Everyone I speak to says something different, like that it's not very big at all or it's more about witches and wizards and scary stuff and less about dressing up as anything and eating candy.

I don't know how I feel about that, because for the first time I kind of anticipated a good Halloween! I don't have any tests tomorrow (or ever.... I graduated....) and *fingers crossed* I don't get any allergic reactions later! I'm not planning on going to a marching band party (I wonder if those exist anywhere other than my high school), but I'll survive!

So what do 20-something adults do in England for Halloween?? Or rather, what does anyone do in England for Halloween??
What are you guys dressing up as? Any fun Halloween plans on either side of the pond??

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Dealing With Football

Hope everyone had a lovely weekend! (I know I know, it's Tuesday already... sue me.)

And I hope everyone is staying safe during Hurricane Sandy AKA Frankenstorm.

I mean really, 22 years in SoFla and we never got quirky names for our hurricanes... Just a day off of school with extra AP Biology homework (Thanks Mr. Morone), understocked shelves at Walmart, and overly panicked old people grabbed as many canned vegetables as possible.


This weekend while Frankenstorm was brewing, I went to a football game (soccer for the yanks).

And we lost.

Sammy Saint says "It's Okay, we still love you, Southampton!"

I kind of delayed this post. I couldn't be all "Yayyyy Football!" and then be like "Oh by the way, we lost..." I think that would be too soon. And the Fiance wouldn't have been too pleased.

Seriously, nothing puts a damper on your whole weekend more than losing in football. Yeah it sucks, your team lost. But going home to die-hard football fans after a loss SUCKS EVEN MORE.

Please just score another goal! I can't put up with another weekend ending with angry grunts and cursing the manager.

My reaction to football losses around the Fiance and his family is to just stay quiet and occasionally say "Well they [the other team] are ugly and stupid..."

I still had a good time, though! I sat with the Fiance's dad and uncle in the "quiet" section. They don't mind when I ask them what "WEEEESHOOOOOWHEEEENNNEEEEWAAAA" means. (Apparently it goes with the song "we are Southampton, WE SHOOT WHEN WE WANT".)

I'm usually pretty good at interpreting drunken football guy chants! This weekend I've gotten a little rusty I guess...  I'll blame it on the hurricane that we totally aren't getting here in England.

How did your teams do this weekend? Any good football stories to share?

Friday, October 26, 2012

Friday Fails and Friday Funnies Episode 2

TGIF seems to be the phrase of today!

(insert totally natural segway into the topic at hand)

I tried to do an Essex accent the other day. Apparently it sounds exactly the same (and exactly as terrible) as my regular English accent, my Northern English accent, my Posh English accent, and my little English kid accent (you know exactly which one I'm talking about... the little school kids in Tescos going "mumm-ayyy").

Hashtag Friday Fail.

I would like to brag that I have indeed mastered the Southampton drunken football English accent. With my superb imitations, I am quite the hoot at parties, by the way! 

On the topic of accents, I will leave you with a Friday Funny.

This is what America thinks of you, England.

 

Clearly this e-card writer means REAL British accents and not expatriate failed attempts at recreating one.

But I think I've hit that point where I don't notice British accents anymore (as compared to my first ever visit to England where everything sounded like a Harry Potter film).


Spontaneous change of topic to the American accent thanks to Selena via Twitter!  

As bad as I am at British accents, I think the Brits are equally as bad at the American accent!


The Fiance is 100% guilty of the nasally American accent. He also adds this noise that sounds like gurgling to his imitation of me......

I don't think I gurgle when I speak, but good effort, Mr. Fiance! I like your enthusiasm!

I've also found that many American imitations sound just a tad (read: REALLY REALLY) flamboyant, as well. You know, because I tote-ullllly have to emphasis weird parts of the word like to-MAYYY-toes and such.

Hashtag Friday Fail, again.

(Disclaimer: Just so we're clear, not meaning to offend anyone by imitating accents or imitating imitations of accents. No hate here, I promise. )

Have a great weekend! (Read that in whatever accent you desire. Posh English, hint of Italiano, Alien speak, don't care!)

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Times When My New Home Frustrates Me

I love England!

Have I mentioned that enough lately?

I'm literally running around places shouting "I LOVE ENGLAND!" No, I kid. This is just a shameless plug of my first nice running photo EVER from this past Saturday.

I like being somewhat familiar with my surroundings, and I like calling this my home. Sometimes I slip up and I'll refer to Florida as "home", but it's probably because it's been home for over two decades. Old habits die hard.

But sometimes, not going to lie, I get frustrated here.

So here's my list of times when England frustrates me. (Don't worry, I'm a lighthearted blogger, so this is a lighthearted list. I promise.)

When I want to just call a friend from back home. Yeah, Whatsapp is pretty cool. It's the year 2012 and I like texting. But when I want to rant to my best friend about my wedding dress dilemma while I'm stood frazzled on the high street, I can't!

(While we're on the subject of wedding dresses....)

When I'm wedding dress shopping. I have my dress, and it wasn't too painful of a process. But I wish I had my friends there when I was trying stuff on to give me the A-Okay on whether it makes me look like a lovely bride or whatever I'm supposed to look like.

When I really miss Target.


Target is like my mother ship. Anything I needed back in America, I just went to Target. Socks? Go to Target. Toiletries? Go to Target. Clearance sunglasses? Go to Target. Cute stuff I don't need? Go to Target.

Do you see a trend forming?

If I need something here, my first reaction is "go to Targ-ahhhhhdamnit!!"

When I Skype my parents and they are making spicy chicken wings. I'm sorry, my step-mom makes the best chicken wings. I'm salivating just thinking about it.

When I want to speak to someone but can't because of the time difference. Sorry for waking you up at 6 AM, sister!

When I'm in a store specifically looking for something. Well if I had just gone to Target I'd know EXACTLY where it is located! Seriously, it takes me an hour just to find shampoo here.

When I'm forced to respond to HIYA, YOU ALRIGHT?!? Which is like, ten times a day at least. I just feel so unnatural responding to it the way other British people do. Because when I do reply with "Yeah, you alright?", they either don't respond at all or laugh because it sounds so strange coming from me.

When I get an e-mail that one of my favorite American stores is having a massive sale. This whole week I've been unsubscribing myself from all those store emails that just get deleted anyway. But sometimes I'll read one and just cry on the inside because my favorite scarf just got marked down to $5.99 and I wish it didn't cost an extra $90 to ship to me here! Screw you, sales! 

As you can see, expat problems really do exist. But then I just douse some chips in vinegar and eat my feelings, so it's okay!

This guy makes it better, too.

What are some things about your "new home" that frustrate you? What are some familiar things that you wish you had when you're not at home?

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Guide To Being An Expat... The Taylor Method

So you want to be an expat.

Great! We're always looking for more members for our expat support group! We meet Sunday evenings right after Strictly Come Dancing.

(I kid.... there's no support group... not that I've been invited to, anyways.)

Hello everyone. My name is Taylor and I've got a problem. I like standing on random patches of snow in English zoos and eat Marmite on toast for breakfast.

In order to be an expat in England, you must:
1. Learn the difference between a cookie and a biscuit.
2. Know ALL the rules of cricket.
3. Sing inaudible songs at a football game. (RAAAUHHHMAYYY roughly translates to "red army". Learn it and live it.)
4. Eat and enjoy pickled onion crisps.

I'm kidding again. Jeez, I can't take anything seriously, can I?

I guess what I should be saying is that there is no straight cut method to being an expat. I wish there was though; that would have made my process a lot easier.

I get asked all the time by hopeful expats: "How did you do it?!"

In short: I fell in love with a lovely man with an accent and moved the legal way.   

Simple algorithm to being an expat: work at a summer camp + date an English bloke = INSTANT EXPAT!

It took a lot of patience, a lot of money, and a lot of long distance relationshiping. So when I said "instant expat", I was kidding again. Sorry, that's the last time. I promise.

I am on the Fiance(e) Visa, which basically means we're engaged and are planning to get married. DUH. The catch is, we have to get married within 6 months of when my visa was approved. And I can't work until we are married. And we had to PROVE our relationship existed.

"What do you mean prove your relationship?!"

Besides the actual application (which I'll get to in a second), I had to send lots of fun stuff to the UK Embassy in New York which included: Skype records, Facebook records, my previous flight details to see him, his previous flight details to see me, details of us traveling together, letters from our family members saying they've met me/him, photos, photocopies of cards/letters to each other, my bank statements, his bank statements, my previous pay slips, his previous pay slips, picture of engagement ring with receipt (to prove we're actually engaged), information of our prospective wedding venue, his employment contract, his work history, my work history, copy of my birth certificate, copy of his birth certificate, copy of my drivers license, copy of my social security card, copy of my passport ID page, 2 recent passport pictures, and that's just what's off the top of my head.

Look, we exist! If this doesn't prove our relationship, I don't know what does! I'm willing to look like a fool in front of this guy. Let me in your country, please.

The application itself was just a time consuming and information prying fun sucker. By the time I had to print it out it was about 12 pages long (no exaggeration). It asks lots of information about you, your parents, and your "sponsor" (basically the person you are moving for. In my case, my sponsor is the Fiance).

Also, I had to drive to an immigration office and get my biometrics done before I could send off my visa package. That means that I just had to make an appointment to get lots of fingerprints taken. They used these fingerprints when I entered the UK to make sure it was me entering on the correct passport and visa. UK Border Control really means no funny business!

No really, please let me in your country! I have a date with Robbie Williams!

So the Taylor Method to being an expat is to fall in love, get engaged, and be fully willing to marry someone from another country. Easy enough! (Kind of.)

To be honest, that's the only way I know how to be an expat. Unfortunately, a lot of countries don't let you just move for the sake of moving. You need a substantial reason, like work or studying.

But there are lots of ways to do it! You just need to find out whats best for you. Try studying abroad or looking into different opportunities your citizenship provides for you (for example, commonwealth visas for the commonwealth countries). Although I can't give you a detail by detail description of every possible way to make the move to another country, there are lots of places around the internet that can!

Try looking at different expat websites for articles, forums, and other blogs that can help you out! The sidebar on the right hand side provides some Taylor approved expat websites, all of which have first-hand experiences from expats all over the world.

Good luck with all of your adventures no matter what side of the pond you're on! 

 
One happy expat!

Any hopeful expats out there? How are you preparing to make the move? Anyone already an expat? What advice do you have? Share your stories!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Pathetic Race Recap And More Racing News

In case you didn't hear my rant on twitter, Saturday's Big Fun Run didn't go exactly as planned.

I did it and finished! That's always a good thing!

But there was no clock/stopwatch at the end to see my time. If I would have known that earlier I would have timed myself, but of course I wasn't so lucky.

And of course, this on the website was a bit misleading....


Not sure about you, but I thought that meant I would receive a text message from the organizers after the race......

I'm like 99.9% certain I PR-ed too. I made sure to run my little heart out for 3.1 miles.

Oh Well.  My hefty new PR will forever be unknown.

Shouldn't really complain too much, though. It was for charity, and I got a medal! 

See? A shiny new medal and I only had to run 3.1 miles to get it. I had to run twice that amount last December to get a medal!

(End rant)

I have more important things to focus on now.

Besides having a winter wedding to plan (eeeeeeekkk!), I also have a half marathon to train for!

And I'm saying this out loud (well, out loud in blog form) for everyone to see so that it's official and I am forced to stick to it: Training starts this week for my half marathon on February 17, 2013!

I'll try not to bore anyone to death with daily training posts, but I would like to post a "sum up" at the end of the week, kind of in the style that Meghan from Little Girl in the Big World does it. 

I think this will always be first and foremost and expatriate blog. But to be honest, I like running! And I love running blogs. And I'm not trying to be someone I'm not by saying "hey, I run, I'm cool, blah blah blah..." because I will always get excited about sheep in the road and drowning my chips in vinegar. I will also get excited over my slow running accomplishments, as well. 
 
(Thanks for sticking by to hear everything I have to gawk about!)

So tonight, I'm trying something new. I'm going to run with a local running club (which I wanted to do in my expectations list. Hopefully, I'll enjoy it and want to join! If not, well at least I tried! I kept saying to the membership woman that I don't want to slow anyone down. But I've read that joining a running club is the best way to improve your running despite your preconceived notions about yourself. So I'm going out of my comfort zone (that's saying a lot coming from the girl that just moved to another continent) and going to join them in their group run tonight.

Wish me luck! 

Do you ever get worried about joining new groups even though you know it will be for the best? Tell me about a time when you left your comfort zone to do something you ended up loving (or hating!).

Friday, October 19, 2012

5K-ing Across The Pond

Remember that weekend when I registered for a race here in England? My first race as an expat and somewhere NOT in south Florida heat?

Well that race is this weekend! TOMORROW to be more specific.

And even though it's only a 5k, I am beyond excited! Probably because my first (and only) 5k went a little something like this....

That's me and my friend and yes those are our real faces. No that's a lie. But those are our real facial expressions. I'd rather look like not impressed McKayla Maroney . That's how bad it is. And just look at that massive sweat stain. Thanks, Florida. WTF is my arm doing flailing around like that? 
(Photo from thephotoguys.net, the watermark got a little cut off)

This time around, I'm going to put on my game face for the finish instead of looking like a sweaty Derpina.

I remember completely falling in love with racing. Even if I probably was the slowest one out there, it was more than just running. It's a feeling you can't get anywhere else, and I'm excited to feel that way again this Saturday.

Plus, this is a race for many firsts!

First race...
1. In nearly a year! That's too long if you ask me.
2. In England/Europe/not in Florida.
3. In the cold.
4. Where I can actually work towards a personal record (PR) since I've run this distance before.
5. Where I feel as confident as ever. 

Hopefully, I'll have an automatic PR since the 5K (3.1 mile) distance has become incredibly normal for me. Between 3-5 miles has been my go-to distance daily. I'm still not looking to break 30 minutes or anything; I'm unfortunately still too slow for that. But the cold air here has been doing me wonders so who knows what's in store for the upcoming months!

My bib number. Look how fun it looks! I'm a BIG FUN runner!!! It just needs some sparkles and jazz hands I think. 

And of course, in true Taylor nature, my race day outfit has been picked out probably since I registered back in September. Sadly, I left part of my race day outfit in America. COOL. So I have to run (no pun intended) into town to pick up a spare pair of shorts and wash them before tomorrow. Screw my apparently terrible packing skills!

Anyone else racing this weekend on either side of the pond? Or maybe you're kicking back and watching the football on the telly? What are you guys up to this weekend?

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Lighthouses and License Plates

Monday night the Fiance and I went to this American style restaurant for a birthday dinner for one of his best friends.

Cue the American expat taking embarrassing, lame, tourist-y pictures underneath some license plates while everyone else chows down on massive hamburgers.

American license plates! No I'm not a tourist, I live here.

I'm sorry my camera is so crap. It takes photos underwater though, and THAT'S what's most important. Am I right??


This is what I'm standing under. Not one, but TWO Florida license plates in a restaurant.

Even though I get the mickey taken out of me (British way of saying to get made fun of) for being American, no one seemed too upset by their platters of BBQ ribs, chicken wings, bacon burgers, and "death by chocolate" fudge cake. YOU'RE WELCOME, ENGLAND.

Today was less of a food coma kind of day (I lie... I demolished a pack of McVities chocolate covered biscuits in the car).

I went to Portland!

No, not the American Portland. I didn't make a mad dash to Oregon.

This Portland:

Quite the lovely view!

It's a small island off the coast of Weymouth in Dorset and the place where the Olympic sailing took place this summer!

And I can see why! It was pretty windy and the waves were choppy!

I was supposed to get dropped off at a shopping center in Weymouth so I could wander aimlessly, but it actually closed! You'd think they put that bit of vital information on the Visit Weymouth website....

So instead, while the Fiance did his businessman thing, I took pictures of lighthouses and stuff.

See? Lighthouses and stuff. I'm so descriptive. Oh look, it's also sunny and stuff, too!

Any new places you've been recently? New towns? New restaurants with a coma inducing food selection?

Monday, October 15, 2012

So Apparently I'm Canadian, Eh?!

(Spoiler alert for anyone who hasn't read this blog for more than 5 seconds: I'm not Canadian.) 

People ask me all the time where I'm from. I think it's really cool! It makes me feel interesting.... even though I fully accept that I am the opposite of interesting.

Lot's of people guess that I'm American. Without even opening my mouth, my first name kind of gives it away.

"Ohhh, like Taylor Swift! You must be American!"

And then I talk.........

And sometimes people get excited, especially if I'm talking to girls around my age or if there's alcohol involved.

"You're from Miami?! I love your accent!! Have you met the Kardashians?!" 

I promise I did not make that quote up. It happened.

And then, more often than not, people ask if I'm Canadian.

The epitome of Canada right there. And then just smother this picture in poutine.

I always understood the confusion. Sure, Americans and Canadians sound quite alike. We are neighbors, after all.

I never thought anything of the mix up except "Oh cool, I can pass as a Canadian! I should put that on my resume! I really like Canada! And Caesars! And poutine! I'm hungry...."

And I do genuinely love Canada! I've been to Calgary, Vancouver, Victoria, and little towns in between. I've also seen the inside of Toronto's airport. Does that count??

The Fiance and I in Vancouver this past May. See, we love Canada!

But then on Saturday, someone asked the Fiance if I was Canadian. He obviously replied no, she's American, which the other person then followed with this:

"Well I was going to say American! But I didn't want to offend them in case they were Canadian!"

Say whatttttt?! You didn't want to offend a Canadian by calling them American?

Obviously, I could care less about that statement or any way of making fun of Americans for that matter. I love a good laugh. And I just epitomized Canada with a picture of a moose. I can be a cultural ass, too.

I may not be a cultural ass in this picture, but I just look like an ass anyway. Maybe this could be offensive to other giraffes. I don't know... I just needed a picture to break up the seriousness and keep things funny.

It makes me wonder..... Does everyone just ask if I'm Canadian out of politeness to other Canadians? Do they just revert to that in the off chance that they meet a Canadian? Or have they met Canadians mistaken for Americans before and just reluctantly lived to tell the tale? Should that guy just have kept that statement in his inner monologue?

But again, I'm making this very clear.
1. Not offended.
2. Not trying to be an American jerk.
3. Just curious.

But I did want to hear YOUR opinions on the matter. 

So what do you think? Is this normal? Are Americans allowed to be called Canadian, but not the other way around? 

Friday, October 12, 2012

Friday Fails And Friday Funnies

Happy Friday, everyone!

I got genuinely excited today, not because it's Friday, but because I managed to walk somewhere new by myself and I didn't get lost!

And then I realized how incredibly dull I sound for getting excited over that.

So I'll spare you the details of my morning and go straight to the Friday Fail.

You'd think after 22 years in Florida where the weather is as bipolar as ever I would have learned to carry a stinkin' umbrella with me everywhere. Or maybe moving to the rainiest country in the world would do me some good.

Nope.

Note to self: Start using a big girl purse and carry an umbrella with you; you're in England now for heaven's sake! Otherwise, you'll be stuck creeping around a Toys R Us for 30 minutes while it downpours on your walk home.

Hashtag Friday Fail.

On a lighter note, I shall leave you with a Friday Funny. Unlike my preparedness skills, Pinterest never lets me down.


I would like to contact whoever made this ecard and tell them that they haven't seen a challenge until they've shaved their legs in an English shower. It's like yoga mixed with gymnastics mixed with interpretive dance just to get your leg in the right position.

(Seriously, everything here is like a shrunken version of what I'm used to.)

Have a great weekend! Anyone have anything fun planned??

Thursday, October 11, 2012

My Trip To The North

In case you didn't get the memo covered in Marmite and HP Sauce, I finally moved to England!

Overly excited/incredibly touristy picture of the flight details from Newark. Ready to touchdown in London town!
I haven't even been here a week and I've already traveled the length of the entire country! I've seen enough sheep on the side of the road to last me a lifetime. As excited as I was about that, I didn't take any pictures. Apparently that's not what the locals do. Noted.

The Fiance is lucky enough to have a job that requires lots of traveling around England. More importantly, the job also allows me to tag along on these journeys!

Monday we went to London. While the Fiance met with his important peeps, I walked from the London Eye to Big Ben to Buckingham Palace.... By myself.... WITHOUT crying to stranger about my poor sense of direction!

I know I get about zero bragging rights for that. Baby steps.

Yesterday, we drove all the way to Blackpool for more work related business.

Look it's the beach! Kind of.

I've never been that far north before in England, so it was kind of cool!


Blackpool Tower. Looks kind of like an illegitimate Eiffel Tower.

And then I saw this shop.....

Oh lookie! Just what I need!
I've seen these shops in lots of cities around England. This one had a hefty selection, all of which was overpriced. They even had Vanilla Coke! That's freakin' hard to find even in America! If it wasn't about £3 per can I would have stocked up.

Then another sweets store had my name engraved in some rock candy!

Look! I exist finally!! It's a miracle! 

You don't know how hard it is to find my first name in anything here. Jane, Charlotte, Sarah... Those are acceptable first names. Taylor? Not so  much. Oh dear, I will never be able to buy those rinky dink little pre-personalized pencils or princess stickers ever again. What a tragedy.

All in all, it's been a lovely few days here in rainy England. My wellies and new umbrella (which hasn't fallen apart yet... that's record breaking considering it's from Primark) have definitely gotten lots of use! But no Seasonal Affect Disorder has kicked in due to lack of sunshine. Wahey!

To my fellow expats: Is there any candy or food that you desperately miss from home?? Do you see an American Candy store and just swoon?
To everyone else: Is there any foreign candy or food that you miss from your travels abroad??

Monday, October 8, 2012

Hello From The Other Side!

Welcome to the first ever edition of Running Across the Pond where I am officially and quite literally across the pond in England! And I'm here to stay!

Before taking off in Newark. All that's between me and my new life is the Atlantic Ocean.


I left on Thursday from Palm Beach, Florida. Two planes later, I finally landed in London on Friday.

Plane #1 to Newark! Anyone see their house from here??

I don't know about you, but I love flying and I especially love airports! I could spend hours roaming around airports, which was convenient because I had lots of time to kill in airports on Thursday. Although, I do get strange looks sometimes in the duty free shops. I guess I look like that kid that accidentally got put at the adult table.

Yeah... That happened... I was told I misspelled "colour"... I'm sorry, England. Don't deport me just yet!

I also got prime seating on the plane. No, I didn't sit first class. I sat right above where all the suitcases come out from underneath the plane.

I watched both of my suitcases creep their way out on the conveyor belt and make it onto the truck. Then, in full creeper mode, I took a photo to prove it. Yes, that pink bag is mine. Fun fact: I hate the color pink.


But I'm here and settled. So far so good!

I promised that I'd give myself the weekend to be lazy and spend time with the Fiance before getting into a routine. And when I say "routine" I mean going on the internet and running while he's at work.

So this morning, instead of complaining of jet lag (that technically I've gotten over by now) I got up early and ran. And I'm not going to indulge any more because I honestly have no clue how far I ran or for how long. We will just blame it on the nonexistent jet lag. In reality, I didn't know which route to take in the local park so that the distance markings on the ground corresponded with my laps. Good job, Tay.

Other than that, this expat is safe and happy in her new home! 

What did you guys do this weekend? A bit of traveling? Lots of running? Hope it was a great weekend no matter what side of the pond you're on!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Time To Say Goodbye

You know the part where Uncle Ben dies in Spider Man (the Toby Maguire one obviously) and Peter Parker ugly cries for a good minute?

Cute.

That's basically been my facial expression for the past two days.

Yes... I am an ugly, blubbering crier.... who can't say goodbye.

I've visited England 4 times. I went to a university 7 hours away from home. I haven't spent any decent amount of time in one place since I was 17. And I still have not mastered "the goodbye".

People always try to make it better by saying "Oh, it's not goodbye, it's see ya later!" I'm sorry, but that doesn't make me feel any better!

I don't think about the positive things. I don't think about "how the time will fly" and how "happy I'll be once I'm in England." Instead, I think about how this sucks right now to say goodbye to my home, my best friends, and my whole life.

And don't get me wrong, I'm excited. I repeat. I. AM. EXCITED! And once all the goodbyes are done, I'm golden! You can't get me on that plane fast enough! It's all that anticipation that's the hardest.

I used to do this pattern of spontaneous ugly crying before leaving the Fiance and his family. Seriously, I was always a mess my last few days in England. Little things like walking to ASDA or pouring (read: drowning) vinegar on my chips just sent me into an emotional, crying wreck.

I warned you. I'm a crier.

Now the roles are reversed. I don't know the next time I'll be here, and that makes me sad. So what do I do? I spontaneously ugly cry while riding my bike or eating dinner.

THIS IS SO NOT NORMAL!

Last night my three best friends threw me a small going away party.

Surprise! We're going to feed you enough junk food and margaritas until you can't get on the plane!

The second I walked into their house and saw this I burst into tears. Seriously, one of them even asked "How the hell do you just start crying instantly?!" What can I say, it's a gift!

How am I supposed to not cry at this?!


I'm so lucky to have such great friends, which makes leaving that much harder.

But I have such a great Fiance and family in England, which makes going that much easier.

I guess I will see you all on the other side.... Literally! The other side of the pond! Unless I drown the east coast with my tears, which is quite the possibility at the rate I'm going...

Any last words before I officially become an expatriate?? Bring extra wellies? Say to-MAY-toes as many times as possible? Put endless amounts of ice in my drinks before that dream is crushed? And tell me I'm not the only one that's bad at goodbyes!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Packing 101 For Beginners

Everyone keeps talking about October. Probably because it's October 1st. Didn't you know?! Yay for pumpkins. Yay for riding boots. Yay for being one month closer to Christmas.

But for the first time, October means MORE to me than candy and fall fashion. I KNOW RIGHT?? Shocker!

This month.... well actually this week.... I move to England!

And if I could go back in time and tell the 12 year old Taylor that this was really going to happen ten years later, I so would, just to see my reaction. This has been my dream for as long as I can remember.

So let's get to the important stuff.

I'm kinda sorta not done packing, but in all seriousness I've had my airplane outfit picked out for about a month. And THAT'S what's important, right?? Screw packing for the rest of my life, those 14+ traveling hours are more crucial! 

In my defense, this is 99% of the reason I can't pack. Because ask anyone with a cat, you can't just move them! It doesn't work like that...

After the airplane outfit, the second most important thing is stuffing my face with as much American food as possible. Yes, I'm excited to order a curry, get pub food, and go to Nando's. But right now I need to eat my body weight in frozen yogurt.

English junk food, you're a close second to the American variety. But you're not quite there yet.

And finally, I'd rather complain about how much stuff I own to anyone willing to listen. That is more important than the actual packing part. You really don't know all of the pointless things you've accumulated until you have to squeeze it into 2 suitcases. Needless to say my Disney pins and my entire bookcase aren't necessities. Damn.

What are your favorite things to do before a long trip, or in my case a long move? Do you pick out your airplane outfit and eat like crazy or do you actually get down to business?