Words can’t really describe how much I was looking forward to escaping the dreary English winter for the tropical Caribbean island shores of Grenada. I was already fed up of getting caught in the icy rain and shrugging on layers of heavy clothing – and it was only the very start of the coldest season of the year. Disclaimer: We were guests of Pure Grenada, the national tourism board, but all enthusing and rum cocktail enjoyment is very much my own.
I’d always dreamt of exploring Caribbean – rowing to a teeny island with sparkling sands and palm trees waving over turquoise seas, but before I’d started blogging all those years ago I’d honestly never heard of Grenada.
Anyone will tell you that I am the blog world’s biggest cheerleader. Honestly, I could find 1,000, but I decided to limit myself to 10 reasons why I still love blogging [and content creation]. As an expat living on the other side of the world to her established friends (and long-suffering family), blogging gave me the impetus to get out of a work>home>work rut and continues to inspire mischief long after the honeymoon period of a new hobby wore off.
Sitting behind a computer kinda changed me. Far from retreating into myself and the unique loneliness that a big city like London can bring, blogging became the last piece to complete my expat puzzle. It took a long time to come about, but it turned me from the quiet mouse who admired outgoing characters into a ballsy adventurer who discovers intriguing things to do that keeps us fascinated with our home city, and discovered a new side to New Zealand.
According to Wikipedia, Thanksgiving is a federal holiday in the United States, celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November. This dry description leaves out that it’s the tradition of gathering with your family and friends – and Thanksgiving in London at Aqua Shard was something even more special again. Disclosure – this time we were guests of Aqua Shard but all thoughts are as ever my own.
Many years ago when I was a university student in New Zealand, I was adopted by a crew of expat Americans.
I blearily cracked open an eyelid – my proper first view of a London morning was framed by the bright red struts of a dorm room bunk bed. I was finally here, and I knew my first job was finding a flat to rent in London. Disclosure: This post was commissioned by Nestpick, who work with more than 1 million listings from 100 trusted partners to provide expats with the biggest selection of mid-to-long term furnished apartments for rent on the internet.
When I arrived in the UK 13 years ago, I had booked my (relatively expensive) temporary accommodation in a hostel on the recommendation of my Travel Agent for a couple of days of as a stop-gap, so that I could start to get my bearings in the city.
My Dearest London,
I feel like I’ve said why I live in London a hundred different times and in a hundred different ways. After all this time I utterly adore you. Even when you drive me crazy. It’s all your fault.
After exclaiming at my British accent (for some reason I seem to be at pains to tell people I am of antipodean origin) people always ask me how I ended up living on the other side of the world. It’s a strange combination of a gypsy soul, an obsession for old buildings and the unusual feeling of homecoming on Heathrow tarmac despite never setting foot on English soil before. But the reason for staying is you (plus a bloke and green-eyed cat which are both definitely your fault.)