Tag Archives: moving

You Can Take the Girl out of Britain but…

You certainly can’t squeeze those last drops of Britishness out of her all at once. No Writing Adventure Group post from me this week, nor book review. Forgive me, I’ve just moved continents. If you’re confused, this should catch you up to speed. There’s not too much point to this entry other than to keep the blogging up since I have a tendency to drift after a while. I’ll have to be especially persistent because I’ll no longer be writing for Londonist, not that I wrote all that much for them over the last few months.

I’ve been back in the States for a whopping 4 or 5 days and my brain is still incredibly confused. It would be hard to find two places more different than London and San Francisco. London is the place of kings and queens, tea, history, finance, double decker buses, twisty streets, queues, and nicely trimmed hedges. San Francisco is the place of America’s rebels and outcasts, hipsters, coffee, grids, burritos, start-ups, eucalyptus, and wild agave. Both cities attract me to them but abandoning one for the other is not the easiest task.

Having primarily grown up in the States, I supposed that adjusting back to American life wouldn’t be too difficult. For the most part it’s not but I’ve gradually realized just how much living in the UK over the last couple of years has affected me. It’s not the big things that get me (is it ever?) but the smaller stuff. Here everyone expects a tip but you’re expected to clear your table at a cafe- in London tips are reserved for certain situations and coffee cups can be left behind for staff to clear up. I was driving through the city yesterday, signaled to switch lanes, and someone actually let me in. That never happened to me in London, although I suppose it didn’t happen much on the East Coast either. The majority of the people I follow on Twitter are UK based so my feed goes almost dead by about 4pm. People in London actually know what the London School of Economics is. No one here is afraid to ask anyone a question and strangers are generally more considerate. Granted I haven’t gone downtown yet this trip, but I haven’t laid eyes on a single tourist (YES!). The roughest thing is hoping people aren’t offended by my fairly dry sense of humor.

It may take a little while, but I think San Francisco will one day feel like home (or at least a part time home. Dolores Park may not hold the same charm as Kensington Gardens but I’ve got the Pacific Ocean a short bike ride away. Being in a laid back city should be good for me. But please, if I ever start writing about saving the earth or not eating meat, send a virtual slap in my direction.

It's Happened Again

Almost 7 years ago I was 18 and just about to graduate from my high school in Dallas. College in Connecticut was a summer away and I was looking forward to wherever life was taking me. For the first time in my life, I was moving away because it was normal- it was what everyone my age (or at least those who’d gone to my school) was supposed to do.

At Thanksgiving, Winter break, and maybe even for a quick weekend, I would return home to my parents, my room, and my cat. Friends and I would rush to our favorite hangout spots and discuss what had changed in our lives and what we were planning to do the next summer. I cannot even describe how happy the thought made me.

By that point in my life I had moved 7 times. That’s three states, two countries (and continents), one apartment, and six houses. Yes I was a bit apprehensive about moving again, but this time it was for me.

How stupid was I to believe that things would be so easy? Once a nomad, always a nomad.

About a week before (or maybe after) my graduation, my father took me to dinner and told me his news. He hated his job. That I knew, but maybe I’d never realized how much. He had been offered a job in London and he was about 99% sure he was going to take it. When would he be going? Oh, probably September, October at the latest. My mom would go over whenever our house in Dallas had sold (which happened to be a year later).

So much for developing any sense of what it’s like to have a geographical home.

Years have gone by and I have, of course, accepted my dad’s decision. Summers were spent doing internships in London instead of catching up with buddies. My resume flourished, my social life dwindled.

I’ve never made the mistake of allowing myself to be so naive as to believe that my parents would remain here forever. But the realization that they’re leaving has caught me yet again.

Here I am, older, (somewhat) more independent, and less than two days from moving away. This is my choice. They can keep the UK, I’ll take the US.

Then tonight, we have dinner. My dad utters the words, “I hope to move back to the US by the end of the year.” This time I’m not bitter, or angry, or horribly sad. This time around I know that my parents’ decision does not signify the end of something like it did in Dallas. London will always be here for me. And not to worry, I will most certainly be back, even if I’ll have to find a new place to stay when I visit (or return to live). I suppose this means I’ll be seeing a bit more of NYC and Colorado in the upcoming years than I had anticipated!

Heading West (and not coming back)

This post has absolutely nothing to do with books, although it may explain why the number of books I read will drop quite a bit over the next couple of months. After a tough couple of months, I have made one giant life decision: I am leaving London and moving to San Francisco.

The move will be incredibly difficult. I love London and think it’s pretty much the best city there is. Also, moving back to the States is not something I had planned on doing for many years to come-I always fear that once I’m there I’ll never be able to leave again. But the job hunt is proving to not be going all that smoothly. Yes I’ve had interviews but I always seem to be reminded that though I do hold British citizenship and have British family, I am just not British enough. I’ve made some great friends here and have gotten involved in fun activities and I’m not quite sure how I’m going to cope with giving it all up.

However, if I stay in London I must also stay at my parents’ house until I find a job. Don’t get me wrong, I love my parents, but I’ve been here for over a year and a half and I am going a bit crazy. It’s nice having the security of having somewhere to come home to, to have fresh food every day, and have people that love me around, but at this point it’s become all too easy to develop bad habits and settle into the lackluster routines of being unemployed. If I’m on my own, I’ll have to push myself harder to find a job because that security will no longer be available.

If I’m going to venture out on my own and try something new it might as well be somewhere I love. Although I have spent a fair bit of time there over the last couple of years, it’s still relatively new and exciting to me. I’ll be able to go wine tasting, learn how to sail, eat burritos every day, get into trouble with some of my best friends from all walks of life, and will have a much easier time visiting my American friends and family. My recent realization that I do, in fact, like American literature is making this all a bit easier. After a bit of time away, I think I may finally be ready to go back-not necessarily for good, but at least for now.

21 days remain until the big move. I plan to see as much of London as possible over the three weeks and to hopefully not freak myself out over all I have to get done!