Christine spent several years expatriate in Surrey. She is American and moved back to Chicago recently. Just before leaving England, she posted everyday her feelings on FB. She gently accepted to share these posts on our blog.
7 DAYS UNTIL REPATRIATION
I would like to say that I am Blessed and Lucky. I have loved and hated my expat life in England, but I am honestly sorry to leave it. Today I am in London and am saying goodbye to the City. I have toured, walked, and spent more time here than any city in my life, and now I have been to many cities. I am seeing a West End play tonight and staying in the English version of a single room. Tomorrow is Borough Market; the best farmers market ever, and Camden Town, home of the Roundhouse and the celebration of so many genres of music. A Full English at my hotel in the morning and a proper Imperial pint at a pub (shall I pick location or history?). Thank you London for hosting me for the worst snow 2010 winter, the Olympics, the Scottish Referendum, the Royal Wedding and babies, the Diamond Jubilee, the Magna Carta Anniversary and the 90th birthday of HM the Queen. I will be forever grateful. And I'm American, so I really mean it.
6 DAYS TO REPATRIATION.
I am back in Surrey where I live today. It is very rural for being 20 miles from Central London and there are farm animals everywhere. I have had to stop the car to shoo cows or sheep off the road. Foxes keep me and my dog awake at night. Many times I just have to cool my jets and drive slow until the horse and cart (of many sorts) in front of me turns off the road. The trees are filled with birds but mostly green parakeets. I have experienced all 4 seasons in their extreme including the low, low sun on an orange/yellow/red Autumn Day. I have seen terrible flooding here. I have lost weight and learned to love walking around Virginia Water Lake and Windsor Great Park. I love the very well marked Public Footpaths which take you through horse pastures and forests and lots of mud. Will I need my Wellies in Chicago? I am living in Corporate Housing this week which is right on the Thames so I plan to sit on our patio and read my last Sunday London Telegraph. And drink a bottle of Scottish Courage or London Pride. Goodbye Surrey.
5 DAYS TO REPATRIATION
There are dozens of blogs and groups which deal with Repatriation. By all of their definitions, I am 'leaving badly'. I whine and cry and argue with the people trying to help me. I can do this because I trust my expat friends because expat friendships are measured in dog years. One year with an expat friend is like 7 years. It's like Speed Dating: you're nice, let's be friends, yes, I will hold your hair back when you're sick and help you move and vacation with you. What shall we do next week? Intense. Committed. Intimate. Quick. Trauma Bonding. So I have been friends with some of you a lifetime. I want to say thank you and Goodbye to all of you. And you know who you are whether you are here in the UK with me or moved away or already repatriated. And if you don't, private message me and I will tell you what you've meant to me. Through the requirements of Facebook, you have literally been identified as a friend or acquaintance! Goodbye and thank you!