Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Expat Guest Post featuring my friend Erin

We are still off on our Baltic Sea Cruise!  Have you been following along on Instagram?

I have another of my favorite people guest posting today.
I met Erin through Sarah and we've pretty much adopted her.  She is one of the sweetest most down to earth people I've ever met and wise beyond her years.  She is so easy to be around.  I love getting a text from her... it means we are off for an explore.  I love her to pieces and know that you will, too.
She blogs all about her expat experience at Erin Out and About.

Running Away and a Love Affair

When I first told people I was moving to London most often the questions I was asked were ‘why?’ and ‘are you running away?’ To the first question I usually answered, ‘why the hell not?!’, the second question  was usually asked by close, concerned friends and family who knew I had just ended a long term relationship with someone whom I thought I was going to be with for the rest of my life. 

The first time I was asked this, I was offended. Of course I wasn’t running away. The second time I was asked I decided to give it a bit more consideration, but the answer was still no.
Now that I’ve actually made the move I realize that they might have been right and I was running away—just a little bit—but not for the reasons they had suspected. 
I was running from a secure and stale routine. I was running from the life I was leading but not entirely happy with. I saw no way out. I had had a safe relationship, an enjoyable, all be it underpaid job, and was then living comfortably in my parents basement apartment (they lived in Vietnam) as property manager to the tenant upstairs.

Things were good.



But not great.

The decision to move to London was a long time coming and not one made on a whim in the wake of a broken heart. We, London and I, started our love affair in 2004 when I did a semester abroad in my undergrad. It was a quick autumn romance that caught me off guard and left me wanting more. 

I returned home only to have my heart ache for the day I could go back. I finally returned to England in 2007 to complete a Master’s program in the Midlands. The romance of the Big Smoke continued to grip me in every day trip I took into the city.

In 2011 when said relationship finally and completely broke down—with the boy not the city—there was no doubt in my mind, I was moving to London, the only question was how soon could I go?

It took a further year and half to save money, plan and build the courage to finalize arrangements which obviously included quitting my stable job, finding someone to care for my dog (hardest part about leaving!) and accepting an unknown future. A looming expiry date of a visa age limitation and my upcoming 30th birthday set the date in motion.

Truth be told, I wanted to make the move to London before my 30th for the simple rationale that this kind of life decision is acceptable in your 20’s, which I still was…technically, than in your 30’s when society and seemingly all my friends are married, buying houses, and having babies. Basically, being adults, making everyday adult decisions. None of which I was ready or in a position for. 

So off I went…..running away. 

Really I think I ran TO London. Ran to a life where I’d have to depend on myself and my capabilities a lot more, a life where I’d have to be more at ease with myself and being alone, a life less comfortable, but more exciting and one that made me happy. Yes, actually happy.

My relationship with London is not the same; I no longer study it with the wide eyed innocence of a student ‘living’ in the city. We’ve matured together, discovering each other’s flaws and accepting them.

This wonderful city still surprises me in my new expat lifestyle with its spontaneity and warm embrace under its aggressive and sometimes rough exterior. 


I am so thankful that Erin ran TO London!
Because she one of my favorite people to explore this city with.
 Thanks, Erin!!

Be sure to leave a comment and say hi!!


  1. It sounds to me like moving to London was absolutely the right choice for you. I know people who 'ran away' from home in much the same way, but they pretty much always say that in the end, they found the place they needed to be, so much like you said yourself, they weren't really running away after all.

  2. So glad you 'ran away' ~ it enabled me to meet you! Loved reading this post.

  3. Nice to read about your expat experience. It all sounds very familiar (including getting asked the same questions about why you'd want to move to London all the time). I'm enjoying my decision to move here every day, and it's good to hear you're doing the same.


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