And it’s goodbye from me…..

Watcha folks!

It’s been 11 months since we returned to the UK. You can call me a math/maths genius if you like, but I figure that’s nearly a whole year. And repatriation is complete (apart from calling a ‘take-away’ a ‘take-out’ today, but these things will crop up every now and then….. 😉 ).

It’s been a while since my last post, and stuff sure has happened, like British politics went into meltdown, I went back to America-land for a week, Andy Murray won the tennis, I got annoyed about the small UK parking spaces, we encountered half term M5 traffic to Cornwall, the England football team confirmed they were shite, we watched outdoor Shakespeare covered in blankets, and it rained quite a bit.

So, yes, I took a trip back to America-land. I wanted to do it before that looney-toon Trump got his hands on it and I had to give a stool/hair/saliva sample before I entered the country to prove I was not a terrorist or related to one or about to give birth to one or whatever.

Anyway, the whole week was hot, fun and American. That’s how I’ll remember a lot of my experience in the USofA. The travel, the people, the endless cultural experiences, turning right on red, and tipping extortionately 😉 . America captured my heart and there is so much of it yet unseen; so many roadtrips and experiences for us still to have in the States – I’m not done with you get, Uncle Sam! Mark my words!

And back in the UK, life moves on with pace and Britishness. I remember thinking when I left America I wouldn’t be able to capture the essence of all that I had done and achieved out there. But, I was wrong. America taught me many things, and one of those was to not be afraid, to chase that dream, to make it happen, to open your eyes and your heart to new experiences, and to bloody well get on with it. Nuff said.

And are there things that still baffle me about being back in England?

Of course. Things like this…..

  • The M5. Why does everyone go on it at the same time? Annoying.
  • Pasties. Cornwall or Devon?
  • Sunday closing for shops. 4pm. Is that still church rules?
  • England football team. Why?
  • British politics. WTF?
  • Trains to London from the West Country take forever. Rubbish.

And there are things I love about the UK like this…..

  • The NHS
  • British schooling
  • Eavesdropping in Waitrose
  • Wimbledon (the only reason I will ever sit inside on a sunny day)
  • British humour
  • Tea. Tea. Tea

And there are things I miss from the USA like this……

  • Old Bay Seasoning
  • Thanksgiving dinner/piss up
  • Eating out with your kids in the evening and not being frowned at
  • The pools
  • The big roads
  • Turning right on red
  • The heat
  • People commenting on how much they love my accent
  • My Americana buddies!

But, the repatriation is complete. When there is no more culture shock, no more truly comparing and contrasting the cultural differences, then you know you’re back in it. And really that’s all this UK Desperate Housewife from the USA to the UK has to say about that!

It’s been a joy to share my journey there and back again. Thanks for reading.

Peace out peeps. peace



The Expat to Repat Diary of Truth

Truth: I have had a challenging relationship with the repatriation process over the past five months.

I’ve been saved from going completely doo-lally in many ways by being able to find joy in my work, writing, and sport. I’ve discovered and been able to reconnect with a bunch of people who are positive, full of energy, and spirit, and who harness the same aspirations as me – to live life fully and have adventure and who keep their values at the heart of what they do with open hearts and minds.


And I might sound like some nutjob hippy who’s come back from the USA to the traditions of Blighty, but as I have always maintained, my journey in America was a spiritual one, and what I learned there about others and myself is key to how I now approach my repatriation.

That said, I’ve not been able to write much about my repatriation recently. Positively, I’ve been wrapped up in my work, which I love, but on the other hand, I’m not sure what to write about anymore because I’m not sure how I feel about it all. I’ve read much about the repatriation process in order to understand it better.

‘But the deep, dark secret of the expat experience is that coming home – repatriation – can be even harder than leaving.’ Read more….

‘….an assignee’s [expat’s] experience abroad will change his or her outlook on life; similarly, events in the lives of friends and families may have changed them as well. Even assignees returning to their previous communities and old lifestyles find that things are somehow not quite the same as before. Generally, the longer people have been away, the longer it takes to feel completely at home on their return. It is easy to see how feelings of loneliness or isolation can set in. For many, it takes a full year of holidays and festivities before they feel fully re-established back home.’ Read more….

‘Re-entry to a country of origin can actually be more stressful than the outward transition.’

‘Repatriation is quite often not supported as seriously as the outbound transfer and even neglected.’ Read more….

Right now I’m all about inspirational quotes to boost me on my way through the repatriation fog.


The issue I feel with repatriating is that I always want to experience new things and when you are repatriating sometimes it feels like you’re going backwards, doing the same things that you did before. And right now I’m not sure those past elements feature in my new journey that I have a passion to forge ahead with. It’s a conundrum I’ll just have to work out.

2016 will breath life into my adventures with the British spring and summer round the corner – both super pleasant times of the year, which I am sure will give me more positive opportunities and adventures to blog about.


#happynewyear #positivevibes #newadventures


Seeing England With Different Eyes….

What’s it going to feel like…?

Many of us Brits out here venture back for a visit after a time, and things do look and feel different, and sometimes it’s like you’ve never been away – you just slot back in and life is normal for 10 days/2 weeks, and then you get back to the USA and mull it all over.

I asked my friend, Sarah, who is a British expat in Columbia, MD, and who has been here for almost a year now, what she made of her pre-Christmas visit back to the South West of England.

This is Sarah’s tale of Seeing England With Different Eyes….

It was with mixed feelings that I returned home to the UK a couple of months ago for a brief visit, after living for nine months in the US. I was returning on my own, primarily to see my mum, who is reluctant to fly now she is older. Life in Maryland had taken on a rhythm of its own and settled into ‘normaI’. On my return home, I knew that I wouldn’t have my children and husband around me as a buffer to any emotions I might feel. Yet, I was excited to be going back to all that was familiar. But how strange would it feel? The answer: despite noticing differences and similarities, it felt overwhelmingly normal!

Sarah (far right) and I hang out with chums in the USA

Sarah (far right) and I hang out with chums in the USA

Catching up with friends and family was amazing. The gift of technology and social media has made the world a much smaller place and we know what is going on in each others’ lives, so whilst we were sitting and chatting, it was like I had never been away. It was a relief to talk with people face to face that you have a history with, not explain word choices, mannerisms or be in fear of making some politically incorrect faux pas!

My visits into the school where I used to work made me appreciate how wonderful the British education system is. Working in US schools has been a real eye opener for me. It was lovely seeing the whole school out to play at one time, teachers having time to bond together in the staffroom at break and lunchtime, the creativity of the curriculum, being utilised in the classroom as soon as you walked through the door. However, I caught elements of stress in the air – new initiatives for marking and assessment and a new curriculum. I was relieved to have temporarily left that behind.

Back in the UK

Back in the UK

There were many things that I had forgotten that were different. Trying to buy some Costa coffees at a service station on my way back home from the airport, much to my friend’s amusement, I was temporarily flummoxed about to use my debit card in the machine. There was no place to swipe it! Whilst shopping, I felt awkward walking around town with a take away coffee, when in the US it is so natural to see people with a coffee cup in their hand, EVERYWHERE!

There were many things I realise I love about being in the UK. Driving low to the ground, with a manual gear box – bliss! Shopping along a beautiful high street, looking at British fashion, going to my favourite bars and restaurants, instinctively knowing my way around, being able to jump onto a bus! I was lucky enough to be home for Remembrance Sunday and at my local church service I felt so proud to be British and extremely patriotic, to the point that I was brought to tears. The display of poppies at The Tower of London was amazing and everyone was talking about it. That’s the kind of thing, as a nation, we do so well.

What didn’t I enjoy? I hated having to take a waterproof or umbrella everywhere with me and the general sogginess of the countryside, which you don’t really get for a prolonged period in Maryland. (It rained a lot when I was home!)

Oh soggy England!

Oh soggy England!

Another emotion that I wasn’t expecting to feel was that of one of detachment from my house that we are renting out in the UK. We had spent many years doing it up and I’d loved living there. We are lucky enough to have wonderful neighbours back there, who welcomed me with such excitement on my return , that it made me realise that it’s the people who count, not the bricks and mortar. I’m now excited about what we can next do to our house on our return, with our supportive neighbours around us.

When the time arrived to return to Maryland, I felt incredibly sad to leave mum on her own, but knew home was where my immediate family and dog were and that was at present in the US. What I had learned from my trip, was that it is possible to feel ‘normal’ in two different places that you can call home, no matter how different those places are and have wonderful friends and family in both.

Thanks Sarah! I do look forward to my visit back 🙂

Getting ready to repat

Repatriation is the process of returning a person to their place of origin or citizenship.

This is slightly terrifying. It truly is.

So, this is the article I wrote recently about my temporary expat life.

And this is the article I wrote recently about repatriation.

I think it’s safe to say the thought of returning to the UK is never far from my mind, even though I’m squeezing every last moment out of being here in America.

From America to England, folks.

From America to England, folks.

Eight months to go, and counting. I can’t help counting. And saying to myself ‘this is the last time I’ll do this or this or this here’ (Halloween, Christmas etc etc). I say that a lot.

This is the blog about the journey towards repatting or repatriation or becoming a repat, or whatever its called.

It’s going to be emotional! 😉