Hannah Drake

The Expat Diaries, Vol. 12

LifeHannah Drake2 Comments

I'm baaaaaaack!

I mean, I guess I've been here the whole time, but The Expat Diaries are back.

I haven't really checked in since July, but I decided in my second year abroad, I would only do another expat post ever other month since adjusting to life abroad has plateaued significantly. 

Since my last post, we went back to Colorado to visit. It wasn't exactly what I thought it was going to be (you can read about it in You Can't Go Home Again), but neither has the time since we got back. I mentioned in that post that while we were there, I told Luke I wanted to stay in Colorado, or at least move back as soon as possible. But I also mentioned that I felt like I was home when we got back to our house in Birmingham.

In the last two (ish) months, the trip back to Colorado has felt just like that: a trip. A holiday that came and went and now we're two months removed. Of course it's different than other holidays because it's going to visit where I'm from and it's going to visit my friends and family. But I haven't been pining for Colorado like I feared I might be. Birmingham continues to feel like home and I continue to be fully invested in our lives here.

So that's good! It's probably always going to be a roller coaster of emotions, though. I've noticed in the last few years, that as things approach, I get more antsy about them. For example, when it was close to a visit with Luke while we were long distance, I would for some reason become more irritable and on edge, I'm now realising out of anxiety over spending such limited time with him and being out of our routine. (Our visits were always fantastic, but I guess that's what anxiety does.) Likewise, I wouldn't be surprised if I got more homesick and more grumpy about England leading up to our trip over Christmas. They say admitting is the first step, so maybe if I anticipate it, I can be in more control over my emotions.

Regardless of all of that, I'm still going to be homesick every football season. I missed going to CU games with my dad and sisters last year and already this year is no different. It's tricky trying to watch any football games here thanks to the time change (though we did stay up to watch the CU-Nebraska game on Saturday night), which made my interest in fantasy football plummet last season. Still, it's my second year as commissioner of my league with a few friends from Colorado, two of my sisters, Luke, and his friend Luke. Here's hoping A Team Has No Name does better than last season. (It's all Game of Thrones themed.)

Other than that, life abroad has been more or less status quo. We're trying to work out a timeline for buying a house in 2019, trying to figure out how many months in it will be. To be honest with you, I think it's slightly more for excitement over getting a puppy and a kitten than having our own house. Can you blame us?!

Well, I did recently have a new expat experience. I got a letter from the NHS about needing to go in to my doctor's office for a pap, so I booked the appointment for a few weeks ago. It was  a little different than what I've experienced at my doctor's in the States which was slightly jarring since it's not like those are the most fun doctor's appointments. Here, it was a super quick appointment (I think I've mentioned how small a window they book their appointments in), there were no stirrups on the exam table, and the speculum was plastic instead of metal. I wish I had realised it could be a little different beforehand so I could have asked for a head's up from a girlfriend or something. 

Oh also, in less TMI news, I missed a train for the first time in Europe. I was literally 2 minutes late to the station (thanks Uber) and because of the kind of ticket I had, I had to buy another for £30 that would leave a half hour later. It actually meant missing my original doctor's appointment, but when I called within the hour, they just rescheduled me. If I remember correctly, at my doctor's office in the States you had to pay a cancellation fee if it was within an hour? I'm not sure.