Thursday, March 1, 2012

Six Months in England | Things I've Learned

Happy March everyone!

Where I grew up, March meant spring, but this year I'm in England and March means we're half-way through our adventures here. It's hard to believe that six months ago I was building my first winter wardrobe, relishing my last southern American meal and cramming a years worth of belongings into four suitcases.

Now it's a balancing game with trying to live in the present, embracing our experience here, while also thinking on the future and what things will look like in another half year. Where we'll live and work back in the US is still up in the air, but we're trusting God and are mostly excited to see what happens.

A few things I've learned these last six months

Writing letters is one of the best forms of communication.
Letters used to be one of the only ways of long-distance communication, but now they signify much more: extra thought, time and money spent. Something that in our go-go society isn't prized much.

Food here goes bad quickly, American food must be loaded with preservatives.
We're always racing to eat our bread loafs and dairy products before little growths appear. It makes me question what exactly I've been eating back home.

I'm impressionable and assimilate especially well to accents.
Even the girls I work with tell me I'm starting to sound British. They love my American accent though and urge me to return to my roots. But I aint gunna fool no body, I'm Amurican.

Which teas milk does and doesn't belong with and what my tea/milk "color" is.
My sweet Church friends put together a high tea for me a few weeks ago. They taught me that milk never belongs in herbal teas and rarely in flavored ones. And I've discovered just how much milk I like.

Life situations change and with them friendships.
Moving has made some friendships closer and others less-close or just different than before. I'm learning to accept it and realize the benefits of it. And it's good to be out of my relational comfort zone and learn to build new relationships.

Trips to a park must be frequent otherwise I go a little cuckoo.
Stars, the sound of birds and rustle of trees are increasing in value to me. Living in LA and especially now, I've learned that without them I more easily loose sight of the big-picture perspective in life. They remind me how small I am and how big my Savior is. Guess I don't make the best city girl.

The average Brit knows more about baking than the average American.
I admire the basic baking knowledge people seem to have here - the result of less Jiffy, pancake, brownie and cake mixes I guess. It's also encouraged me shut my mouth and just listen when baking is the topic of conversation.

How to read a 24 hour clock.
With clocks programmed to 24 hours, it's taken awhile to adjust to reading the time at work. But now I know that 15 is 3pm and 21, 9pm and so on. I don't have to count as much now.

The entire UK is roughly the size of the state of Michigan.
This country is really small compared to the US. It's a funny thing to wrap your mind around. It helps me realize why people in London seem more cultured (they've traveled much of Europe) and people in the States are less so (they're content traveling the US instead of outside it - there's lots to see).

Michaela Rae

Link up your Thursday adventures at Alicia's Homemaking.


  1. Wow, this is lovely! You are living my dream, I'd love to live overseas sometime. Thanks for the glimpse into your adventure :)

  2. What a great look back on your time spent in the UK. Who knows what you'll continue to learn in the next six months! I love getting to hear about all your unique experiences, and it's nice to know, too, that some things are exactly the same. (In American, your friendships would undoubtedly have grown and changed, too. I know mine have!)

  3. I must confess, I am a little jealous of your fun adventure living in the UK. And yes, American foods are crazy that they can maintain such long shelf lives. Gag.

  4. It's super weird being in one of those 'balancing game' times - I'm in one right now, trying to get the most out of my last semester of college and simultaneously planning a move to San Francisco and thinking about what I want my life to look like in 6 months or so. It's really hard to plan for the future and 'be in the present' at the same time - I get so excited about the future that I just want it to be here already! But I try to remember that I will never, ever get this time back - that usually helps.

    1. San Francisco!? How awesome! I haven't seen anything about this big move on your blog, what's the deal with that? ;) Definitely savor your last year of Biola though. So much changes afterwards. I think the community at Biola is especially rare and worth basking in.

    2. Ha! Everything is super up in the air right now...I have a couple of potential roommates, but that's about it. No job or place yet. But I'm definitely planning!

  5. Fun to hear your perspective! Halfway through already! Crazy, huh? Savor the rest of it! So, how do you take your tea, which kind is your favorite, and are you a tea rather than coffee person now? :) Emily

    1. Emily, fun to hear from you! :-) Tea has definitely grown on me. And I gave up coffee this month so it's what I enjoy most mornings now - just regular hot tea with a spoonful of sugar and a splash of milk. <3

  6. So funny, because I really like milk in my chammomile and my Earl Gray tea. Half and half, actually (which I know is not properly British).

    Love you, Michaela, and I'm glad for the things you're learning. Miss you. When would be a good time to skype? We should just set up a date. E is holding his head up now! So he could properly participate.


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