Most of you know by now that Mitch was offered an exciting role with his company in the UK, so we have moved just outside London to our favorite town of Richmond for the next three years. It’s been a whirlwind six months and we are all filled with joyful anticipation mixed with sadness. We do not like saying goodbye, so for now it’s “See you later!”
We hope if you have plans to visit London you will reach out to us so we can meet up. And, of course, we’d love to have visitors to Richmond anytime! It’s a hidden gem right on the Thames with a beautiful town and magnificent park.
We’ll be keeping the blog updated with our travels and musings on adjusting to the British way of life. You can also reach us via text, FaceTime or email. Thankfully in this day and age, it’s easy to stay in touch, and we hope you do!
From our first few weeks, here are some hurdles, aspects we already love and a few things that still feel like home.
As I anticipated, Brits just don’t believe in dryers. Makes no sense to me, considering the normally cold and wet weather is not conducive to line drying (in tiny houses, no less!) I just can’t find comfort in a stiff, air-dried towel, so I’m schlepping our wet clothing to the laundromat a few times a week. It’s humbling and time consuming, but I think it makes a whole lot more sense than hanging my lingerie in the living room!
Thank heavens for the internet, because banking in the UK is stuck in the Middle Ages. After securing the myriad of papers required to prove myself worthy of being added to Mitch’s Barclays bank account (he thoughtfully kept it open for 15 years since the last time we lived here), we both arrived at the branch ready for a quick transaction. Oh wait, they didn’t tell us we needed an appointment (even though 5 employees were aimlessly standing around). Fine, can we please have an appointment today? Sorry, we don’t have an opening until NEXT SATURDAY. OMG. Mitch confidently walked right out and opened an account for me with one of the up and coming online banks, who are rightly advertising their ease and convenience. Take that, Barclays.
What We Love
When the finicky ways of the British get us down, we are quick to remember the positive things we love about our new home. The summers are absolutely glorious and it doesn’t get dark until about 10pm. Without heat or humidity, we are spending countless hours outside and clocking in around 25,000 steps a day. We’ve embraced “British Summertime,” which includes Wimbledon, picnics in the park and late nights outside the pub. And Bailey has been our ticket to new friendships. Dog owners are incredibly friendly, and we’re already enjoying our daily conversations while the dogs run free, chasing each other nearby.
With Europe at our doorstep, we’ve already begun planning some trips to the mainland. Mitch would like to see Wales and Scotland this summer on road trips with the dog, but then we’re considering Malta in October (any recommendations?) If you’d like a free place to stay in exchange for dog sitting, hit me up. Bailey will need an active caretaker who is looking for a British holiday. Also on tap for late 2019/early 2020 is Amsterdam and possibly Montenegro if we can squeeze it in.
What We Don’t Have to Give Up
Sometimes the world feels pretty small, and because of FaceTime and text we’ve been able to connect with family and friends pretty easily (hint, hint keep in touch!) Some small comforts of home are still here on the store shelves, like Diet Coke, Starbucks and Old El Paso. So we will continue to embrace the beauty and quirks of Old England, while keeping some heartstrings tied to America.
Love, Suzanne, Mitch and Luke (and Bailey!)