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From Utah to Oxfordshire: A Quick Succession of Busy Nothings

12 December, 2011 10:34  Erin Erin

A Quick Succession of Busy Nothings portraitHi I’m Kris from “A Quick Succession of Busy Nothings” blog. I’m an American from Utah, but now living in a little stone cottage in rural Oxfordshire, England.

1. Why did you move abroad?
My husband has always dreamed of working for a Formula One race car team. On a whim, he applied for a job opening with Williams Grand Prix.  We couldn't believe it when they flew him over for an interview, and then offered him a position as a CFD Aerodynamicist.  Even though he had just started his masters degree, and  we had just purchased our first home only
six months previous to this, we chose to drop everything and pack our bags for England.

2. How do you make a living?
I was working as an Interior Designer with a local design company, until our little girl was born last year.  Now I’m so happy that I get to be a stay-at-home mom, blogger, and budding photographer.

3. How often do you communicate with home and how?
I'm in contact with my family on a daily basis, thanks to my lovely friend, the internet.

4. What's your favorite thing about being an expat in England?
Eye candy everywhere I look.  I love the quintessential English villages, the "chocolate box" cottages with those thatched roofs, the tangled little gardens surrounded by tall hedges, and mossy stone walls. It's like stepping into a storybook setting every time I leave the house.

5. What’s the worst thing about being an expat in England?
Everything is so expensive!

6. What do you miss most?
I’m from a large family, and I miss them like crazy, on a daily basis. But I also miss the hot Utah summers and the snowy mountains.  I miss fireworks on the 4th of July, and I miss a good proper deep-fried American doughnut.

7. What did you do to meet people and integrate in your new home?
Being a trailing spouse, it was tempting to stay inside all day while my husband was off working his new job, but I wasn’t making any friends this way.  The best thing I did for myself was to make myself go out and find a job.  It forced me to get out of bed each day, get out into my new city, interact with the locals, and become a part of the community.

My husband and I also made a lot of friends through the local branch of our church, “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.”   We've made lifetime friendships with many of the people there.  When we first arrived in the UK, members of the church found out that we were living in an empty house with no furniture.  Even though we were complete strangers, they were so thoughtful and showed up to our new house with a van full of furniture and household items for us to borrow until ours arrived from America.

8. What custom/ habits do you find most strange about your adopted culture?
The English obsession with queuing (standing in lines).  Just as a suggestion, don't ever cut into a queue, or watch out!

9. What is a myth about your adopted country?
"The English are not friendly."  Please don't ever believe this!  A bit reserved, yes, but the English are actually very polite and friendly, and will always offer you a cup of tea when you visit them in their home.

10. What advice would you give other expats?
Stop comparing everything in your new country to how things are back home. It will only make you depressed and homesick, and keep you from fully
enjoying your experience abroad (I know this from personal experience). Make the most of your time, live as the locals do, and embrace the differences around you.

11. When and why did you start your blog?
I started my blog in September of 2007 as a way for my family to stay in touch with me and to A Quick Succession of Busy Nothings babyfollow along in my adventure over seas.  Since then, it’s grown into my creative outlet – a place where I can share my photography and my thoughts about living abroad.

12. How has the blog been beneficial?
I’ve “met” some really wonderful people from all over the world through my blog.  Many are other expats who are going through similar experiences as me.  It's amazing to have never met a person face-to-face, but to develop a friendship, share advice, and give support to one another in this way.

Blog LinkKris's blog, A Quick Succession of Busy Nothings

 Guide for expatriates in London, England (UK)


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