It has officially been (more than) one month since I arrived in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (who all knew that’s what UK stands for? Show of hands?). I’ve already learned so much, some of which I’ve shared with you already. After a solid 3 weeks in the center I’m starting to become confident in some areas of my job, and that’s a great feeling. I miss my family and my friends (and my fuzzy King Ace Cotton Ball!) but I’m content in where I am and what I’m doing at the moment.
I’ve taken a few trips around the UK; one to Oxford, one to Brighton, and a few day trips to local towns for work trainings. I’ve also planned a trip for Dublin at the end of the month, and I’m really excited to go to Ireland! By that trip I will have passed the half-way point of my trip, which is crazy, weird, exciting, and disappointing.
Since I don’t pay for much of my food here (the Fleckneys are angels and treat me like one of their own) I get to spend most of my pay on fun things. I’ve bought quite a few work clothes and a few jackets so far, and I have no idea how all of it is going to get back to the states under the bag number and weight restrictions that British Airways have (I think unfairly) imposed upon it’s passengers. I love to shop, and it’s a problem. Luckily, most of my time is spent in work so I don’t have too much time to waste money, so hopefully I’ll be saving most of it once I’ve made all my basic purchases.
I’ve been really lucky to keep in pretty good touch with my friends and family thanks to technology. In a way it helps that I’ve just come from living at home in Corpus for the last year, because I’m used to living far from my friends and not speaking to them as much as I did in college. I got used to being isolated and, strangely, it’s prepared me well for this experience. I’ve also been able to keep in touch with my favorite American television programs. I got completely up to date on How I Met Your Mother last night (GOSH this season is awesome!), and I plan to use my weekend to catch up on the rest of the shows I’ve somehow become addicted to over the last few years.
I’ve developed some must-haves in my life here; things that I rarely go a day or two without having or using. One, since my hair has a mind of its own and often needs to be tamed so I don’t look like one of our five year old members, is my curling iron. I had to buy a new one because my old one died, and we’re still getting to know each other. But, so far so good. As stated earlier, I have a need for American television or movies in my life. Between Netflix, the constant stream of Friends episodes that air on cable here, and my sketchy go-to TV watching website, I rarely go without my fix.
Chocolate has always been one of the great loves of my life. The Brits share this passion for the creamy confection and, moreover, so do the Fleckneys. It has been a very off day indeed if I haven’t had chocolate (usually Cadbury’s Dairy Milk chocolate) at some point in the day. I also NEED caffeine. This is not unusual for me. But now part of my Coke Zero habit has been replaced by a mocha habit. They’re wonderful and sweet and CHOCOLATY (catching on?), and an extra shot of coffee in my lunch-time mocha can mean the difference between a tired afternoon or a happy and energized one.
I’ve had a really great first month here; I can’t believe it’s already been that long! I’ve made some good friends and had some wonderful experiences, and I can’t wait to see what the next two and a half months will bring!