Sunday 2 September 2012

8 Years

So, we've been super busy in the last few months and I'm conscious I owe you guys an update on how our one day in Paris went (short version: mixed), some thoughts on a rather exciting sporting event, and our a quick trip over to an opera festival. . .

But before I do that, today is a very special day in our travel lives. Eight years ago today Stephen and I landed in London. Eight years. It's been one amazing ride that's enabled us to get out and see parts of the world that would have been much more difficult if we'd been based in the US.

Eight years ago we became expats and realised that you should never, ever judge a country by it's expats -  living for an extended period of time outside your "native" country does change you. It changes the way you look at the world and it changes the way you look at yourself. Whether those changes are for the better or for the worst depends greatly on your point of view and no doubt it's a little bit of both.

When we first moved to London, we'd been married a grand total of 9 months (almost to the day!). It was my first indefinite stay abroad and Stephen's first as an adult. We landed with a visa for two years, exactly 4 bags between us, accommodation settled for two weeks, and just enough cash on hand to see us through 3 months.

Now, we've been married for almost nine years, are settled comfortably into flat number 3, we've both gotten an additional degree each, are gainfully employed and are up for Indefinite Leave to Remain in a few months time. Getting around a city of nearly nine million people is a normal part of our daily life, something we don't think twice about; in fact, there are more Americans living in London than the town I grew up in. Heck, there are more people living in London than the entire state of Oklahoma. . .

It's a pretty incredible shift once you start thinking about it. London is home in a way that it's hard to imagine any where else could be. It's the city where we've both come into our own as individuals and it's where we've set the pattern for our marriage. While there are plenty of aspects of London that we're not too keen on, it's still one of the world's most interesting and dynamic cities.

So, thank you London for an incredible past eight years - of theatre, music, education, travel, a start on our careers. Thank you for broadening our horizons and giving us quite literally the world on our doorstep.

Here's to London and the privilege of being able to call it home.

1 comment:

  1. Congrats! I really really really hope you can get that indefinite leave to remain!