The lovely Molly over at The Move to America is running a linky for January, all about The Expat Experience.
Each week has a prompt, and I am now two weeks behind, but hey ho… Kids and snow days and back to school and all that!
However, I really liked the idea of looking back, remembering our early days and writing the series of posts, so here is the first instalment: My First Moments
We’ve now been in the US for about 18 months, so our first moments are a little hazy!
We arrived in the US on 19 July 2012. After a rather stressful few weeks (understatement of the century) we arrived, exhausted and broken in the hotel that was to be home for the following two weeks, until we got the keys to our house.
The purchasing of said house is a whole other blog post, suffice to say hubby went house shopping for a weekend in the May and bought a house. I had seen pictures…
Anyway, we arrived in our hotel, and although the first few days were a little fraught, tiredness and the enormity of the situation hitting home; it got better. In fact, those two weeks of ‘holiday’ were just what we needed. They also cushioned us from the ‘differences’. They would become more apparent in later weeks as we settled into our new home.
We spent the first week resting, and then Project Furnish House began. I do love IKEA :)
I wrote a shopping list: beds, sofas, tables – everything in fact (we didn’t ship any furniture, other than our sons Tripp Trapp high chairs!) and off we went. We kitted out the kitchen, bought bedding and then headed to the warehouse, handed them the shopping list; they picked and delivered all the big stuff!
Next was TVs, kettle, toaster oven (when in Rome and all that, I bought the toaster oven, a few months later I managed to find a toaster!), iron, ironing board etc. etc!
Our hotel room began to look a little like a warehouse, the staff must have thought we were very odd!
In the meantime, the kids spent a lot of time in the hotel pool, and our oldest spent a lot of time being angry with us for taking him away from his friends. Thankfully, my mother had travelled with us, and that made a huge difference. The kids had Granny, and we had a babysitter that allowed us to do all the shopping without three kids in tow!
Two weeks after we arrived I finally saw the house! It was perfect, just what we needed for our two year stay (and that leads onto another blog post…!). We signed the 2342 (slight exaggeration, but only slight…) pieces of paper that we needed to sign to get the keys, our boxes arrived from the UK, our beds arrived from IKEA, and we moved in.
And then the fun really began :)
Molly has asked us to give three tips on those first days/weeks:
1. Try to stick to your routines as mush as possible, especially if you have children. They, and you, need some stability in what is a time of huge change.
2. Again, if you have kids, bring as much as you can with you that is familiar for them, the transition will be easier if everything in their lives isn’t different.
3. Be kind to yourself; it’s a huge change, you are likely to be very tired and probably a little stressed! You aren’t going to settle in over night and even when things start to feel ‘normal’, you will still have difficult days.