The good bits #12

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So far August is hurtling past, and amid the long hot and sunny days we have been exploring our new home.The kitties have settled well and are enjoying having more windows, and importantly large window sills to sprawl along. They seem to approve and already have several favourite spots.

First impressions of this city are that is is vibrant, so green, and has lots to do, especially outdoor activities. the weather has been glorious, for once I feel like I’ve had a proper summer, its consistently 30+ degrees, with a few instances nearer 40 – which has been a little too warm for my delicate rose skin. Aside from avoiding the mid afternoon, I have however been enjoying living in shorts and flip flops, and making the most of the local outdoor pool, ice cream and abundance of vitamin D. I created a summer wardrobe, although if I’m honest I’m really looking forward to ‘fall’ which is my favourite time of year. I cant wait to be cold enough to wrap up warm again!

Kiwi and I have begun exploring our new state, with a few trips south and west. Visiting one of the islands on the great salt lake, eating our body weight in ice cream shakes (almost) and hiking to some darling hot pools.

We also had a fantastic time in the UK, and reminisced about home (well for me anyway) complete with bbq’s, Pimms, camping and enjoying a few days around our old stomping ground. It’s hard to believe I landed in the US a whole year ago – it’s  a bit longer for Kiwi. In some ways it really doesn’t feel like I’ve been gone that long, but I guess we have crammed a lot into the last year.

As we approach Labour day – this is effectively like August bank holiday weekend, it’s officially the end of the summer but as Americans get less holidays its even bigger! we will be exploring more of the national parks whilst the weather is still good. We are looking into ski season passes for the approaching season and finding some local treasures.

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Moving with cats

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Yep I know I’m a complete an utter cat lady. We have two, they OWN us, and a lot of the time they are definitely in charge and they know it. Before we packed up and moved to the other side of the country we had a think about the best way to transport the kitties. Continue reading

Farewell Indiana

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Before diving into new adventures, and new places I want to stop and say goodbye to the place we have called home for almost a year. When we first moved to the big ‘ole USA we had no idea what to expect. We knew nothing about where we were moving to and have been fascinated, challenged, bemused and happy. Continue reading

Ready….. Set… GO

So some beady eyes amongst you may have noticed things around here haven’t been quite as up to date as usual. That’s because Kiwi and I are about to move again!!! We are in the process of packing up things, streamlining our fewer but still significant possessions, seeing friends and doing some of our favourite things.

We have a pretty exciting road trip coming up and then some time to settle down before heading back to the UK for a friends wedding. EXCITING times! The cats however are much less impressed!

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Relocating – six months later

 

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Some days I still think I’ve pressed pause on my old lifestyle and whenever I fancy I can jump back into it. Of course this isn’t quite true. In some ways not that much will have changed, friends and family are carrying on with their daily lives, doing things I recognise and have previously joined in with, life, playing sports, going for dinner, changing jobs, and doing everyday regular things. Yet life does continue and I miss the small moments that aren’t big enough or important enough to write in a letter or chat about on skype.

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Take the plunge in 5 easy steps

Its been one of those days, well weeks actually, I keep going to find things and they just aren’t there. Sometimes they turn up right next to where I was looking, others, well they could be in my mums shed, or left on a plane somewhere, I just cant remember. But its only stuff right! You can always find more stuff, and then have a spring clean, be minimalistic again.

Having some time off over Thanksgiving has been really nice, and we experienced our first thanksgiving! One of the advantages to uprooting and moving is that you get to try out all these fun traditions that you’ve either never heard of or only seen in movie world! Having spent some time streamlining I thought it was time to reflect on what I wish I could have told myself a few months ago. So if there is anyone else out there thinking of re-locating, or just making a change, be that a new job, a new life phase, doing that thing that’s been on your to do list for ages, Just do it!

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Do your homework

Research research research, knowledge is power right. So look into things, if you are moving, before you go, look up what sports teams and activities there are. Look at what amenities there are, what places do you want to go visit, are there job and volunteering opportunities. What are the transport options. Picking up a local guide book can be good to get a feel for the place, also there are so many blogs out there now and local communities to help you find your way around.

Paperwork and lists

The boring stuff. ah yes, this bit. There’s always official dullness that needs to be done, it might be a job app, a tax return, changing your address, there’s always something. If you are moving to the US, a few pointers. Your visa should be sorted before you arrive, once you’re in check if you need any forms signed before you need to leave the country again so you can re-enter, Then you will need a social security number for everything. Find your local social security administration, and pick up your social security card – or letter explaining that you don’t need one – they have a deli counter system for queuing! Find your local BMV and book in a theory test. You can do your practical on the same day if you pass and hold an out of state license. Each state differs but you will most likely need to retake your test at some point, especially if you want affordable insurance! It also serves as good ID – I’ve had some really strange looks over my UK license – its pink and looks weird. Get a copy of your I94 – its online, change all of your addresses – you cant redirect your mail forever! find your local post office, and get your forms in if you need a work permit – these can take at least 3 months. Open a bank account, take out a credit card – so you can get a credit rating! You also need this for everything.

Make a budget

Short term most changes are going to have some kind of financial impact, especially when you are somewhere new, finding where to eat out, what good grocery shops are, buying pans to cook with. Moving is expensive, getting things to a different place soon adds up, even if you decide all you need in life is one rucksack and off you go. The further you go the more expensive it gets. But this really gives you some perspective on what is valuable in life and what things you actually need. Eventually you need to re-buy half the stuff you didn’t want to bring with you, because lets face it you need a cheese grater and a hoover, and these things are boring and expensive to buy. But mostly don’t stress over it, ultimately its only money.

Take the plunge

Just go for it, what are you waiting for, it will never be as bad as you think its going to be, and generally Its so much fun, you get to do something new, and really test yourself. See who you are when you strip everything else back, and push yourself to try a little harder. Its all so easy to get into a nice routine, because change is tiring, scary and emotionally challenging. But change is really good for you. In the last few moths I’ve learnt so much about myself, I’ve really had time to think and test out some new skills. Its all worth it

Just get out there

I’ve signed myself up to different activities as that’s how I roll, I figure good friends are usually ones you can either sit drinking gin and eating chocolate with or ones you can run around and look a mess with. If you can do both great! You never know who you might bump into, sure I will always consider snuggling up on the sofa vs anything else, but its rare that I think, actually I wish I hadn’t done that. Networking, meeting new people, new places and exploring, being present in your life even if you haven’t moved anywhere. It could lead to all sort of things, give it a try!