One year ago I stepped off the plane at 1 am and stumbled my way into the long customs line. I was leaving my family and friends & the drawn out, stress filled visa process behind and spider monkey jumping into the arms of my goofy English man. I thought it was my happy ending or maybe my happy beginning.
This was not my first international move, but my fourth. My fourth time choosing to start over in a new country.
This time felt different.
I felt like I was starting “the rest of my life” and I had high hopes. I was also determined to work completely for myself. I wanted to get a part time teaching position and continue to pursue my coaching business. I had never fully “decided” that it was time for me to transition to being a full time entrepreneur. I was kind of thrown into it based on circumstance, visa situations, moving and as much as I loved my business and being my own boss I also was scared to be working alone at home and having little human interaction in my new very rainy & small town.
Everything I am sharing here is in no way to bad mouth you, England. It’s really hard to be an expat in a country that is your partner’s home but not your first choice of a place to live. But for any beautiful love story, there is an element of sacrifice and we decided together this was the best place for us to start our future together.
I didn’t want to leave Australia.
I wasn’t ready.
I fell in love there…with myself, the man of my dreams, my career path, spirituality, the outdoors, One Wave and mental health advocacy, traveling and to top it all off, I found some of the best friendships I’ve had to this day. I had 28 days to leave. And my English side kick and I booked a 3 week trip to Bali to ease the pain of leaving so I was in denial until I got to our studio Air BnB in Auckland, New Zealand and felt like the life and the place I fell in love with wasn’t coming back.
I wasn’t ready to leave so it made everywhere else pale in comparison.
So, my entrance into England wasn’t exactly a graceful one. It’s not that I didn’t want to move here, it’s just that I lusted and longed to go back to Australia. I felt guilty even saying this outloud for a very long time. I didn’t want to make my man feel bad and I definitely didn’t want to shit talk his country. I just didn’t feel like it was the best place for me.
And then my company announced that they were launching in the U.K. and it felt as if the stars were aligning. We came to Europe in the summer of 2017 and had an incredible time and I was blown away by the beauty that England had to offer. I fell in love with Europe and the ease in which you can travel on this side of the world. My partner and I decided on that 10 week summer trip to America and England, that we would take the steps to call England home and not go back to New Zealand.
This year anniversary of moving to England has brought up so many emotions. Reflection, nostalgia, pain, excitement and love.
But in my travels, health & fitness journey, building a business, moves abroad and constant transition periods in the last five years…I’ve learned A LOT. And England, you have been a big part of that.
To truly embrace the moment. You can’t compare life now to how it was, you can’t live in the past, you shouldn’t live in the future. Well you CAN live there, but you aren’t doing yourself any favors.
All we have is now. And now more than ever I believe without a shadow of a doubt, that life is rigged in my favor.
Because of these transitions and “start agains”, I’ve learned to spend time alone and to like it. Sometimes not by choice but simply because starting over in your late 20’s, not just in a new city but a whole new country is beyond difficult.
Time alone leads to a deeper relationship with yourself. I’ve learned it’s necessary to love yourself FIERCELY. Protect yourself. Let yourself grow.
Loneliness is inevitable. Connection is necessary. It’s up to you to figure out how to fill your cup.
You won’t know if the grass is greener on the other side of the pond if you just focus on your own grass.
England, we got off to a rough start. I was definitely comparing you to my beloved Australia. I apologize.
You have taught me more than any other move so far. You have tested me. You have broke me down. You have made my relationship with myself and my lover even stronger.
You have given me new friendships, opportunities and reminded me that when the things that I want don’t exist, I must in fact create them.
You have given me a bond with my partner’s family and the chance to spend consistent quality time with them.
You have shown me how to take the scenic route on purpose.
You taught me about charity shops, pasties, mince pies & mulled wine, “football” (which I will continue to pretend to like), Yorkshire pudding, cheeky ciders & extremely charming villages.
England, your weather is actually shit, but your charm is undeniable.
I will keep spreading my enSUSiasm wherever I go, whether you like it or not.
I definitely felt as if I had to tone down my voice, my expressions, my accent, my sass and assertiveness for the longest time but the longer I’m here the more I realize that people can either love it or hate it, I don’t need to change who I am for anyone.
England, this is just the start of our love/ hate relationship, and reflecting back I’m leaning towards love.
Cheers to one year and loads more.
Love your token crazy American girl,