Thursday, July 30, 2009

On the Move Again...Again!

Well, our European adventure is about get a whole lot more adventurous! At the end of September, we will be packing up our stuff and uprooting our lives for the second time in just 15 months. Instead of moving back to the States, we will be heading a bit further west to a region known for chocolate, skiing, and watches... Geneva, Switzerland. Orginating from a random conversation between Jignesh and his boss, this is definitely one move that neither one of us saw coming! While Geneva has been in the works quite some time now, it has been somewhat of a highly regarded secret (even from me at one point!). Our weekend getaway to Geneva was more than just a was an informal site visit. Now, after some back and forths, the move is official. I am excited and relieved to finally share the news.

I know that many people (Mom and Dad?) think that we are complete nuts who just cannot seem to settle. I cannot say that I disagree. Then again, if an opportunity presents itself at the right time, you simply cannot pass it up. We were originally planning on spending at least 2 years in London. Yes, this will probably extend that time by a year or two but we are simply not ready to return to the States quite yet. So, why not experience a true expat life in a city with a completely different language and culture!

I am not naive in thinking that this will be an easy move. I am sure it will be almost impossible for me to find a job and the language barrier will be frustrating at times to say the least. It will also be hard to say goodbye to London, a city that we have gotten to know and love. Regardless of the challenges, I am ready to embrace the city and all the new experiences complete with both cries and laughter.

So, here is to the next chapter in our lives. Stay tooned as I am sure the blog will be full of constant updates over the next few months!

Oh, keep our address in never know where and when we will end up next!


Thursday, July 23, 2009

A little fun in London

The girls

Did I grow extra arms?

A group shot

A little table dancing

Even though Jiggy is a regular at the pubs around London, it is not often that we go to dance clubs/bars. This past weekend, we met up with some friends in one of London's busiest areas for some good food, a few drinks, and a little dancing! Leicester Square is a massive area with endless streets of clubs, bars, restaurants, and theaters. On any Friday or Saturday night, it is almost impossible to navigate your way through the thousands of people that are out enjoying London's nightlife. I have to admit that the night started a little rocky when I was late to meet Jiggy because of one very slow train. After finally finding Jiggy and starting our trek to the restaurant, my shoe strap broke! I had to stomp (the only way to walk without killing myself) for 3o minutes through the crowded streets of Leicester Square. Jiggy also came to the rescue with some intermittent piggy back rides. To most people, I would have looked like a complete fool. However, just about anything goes in London and I don't think anyone even gave me a second look! When we finally reached the Korean BBQ restaurant, I was definitely ready for a few drinks! We dined on some interesting food and enjoyed the company of our friends. After dinner, we meandered to a nearby bar/danceclub where we finished the night off!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Where is Home?

My niece (Jubilee) and nephews (Spencer and Sammy) from Jignesh's side of the family

I was lucky that Jignesh's sister and Mom were able to stop for a night in Tennesse

Captain Dorosz and his boat

Sam with great Grandmom

My 3 month old niece, Samantha

I am back in London after a wonderful and relaxing 10 day trip to the States which was mainly spent with family. My luggage (which is getting rather worn from all this traveling) returned with some new clothes and mixed emotions. After living and working in London for a little over a year, I think it is safe to say that I am well intigrated into the British culture. In fact, I can further say that I LOVE living here and I actually prefer many aspects of European life over American life. However, my trip back home has also taught me that I will as much I sometimes want to deny it, I will always be an American at heart. Although I cannot name the newest American TV shows, my accent will never go away and I will probably never think that getting a pedicar at a place like Wal-Mart is strange. Dealing with traffic on the right side of the road will always be more natural and sleeping with air conditioning during the summer months will always be more comfortable. While on the plane back to the UK, I was thinking about my trip and comparing all the differences between the UK and the US in my head. I was trying to decide where "home" really is. Well, that question was answered when I walked into my flat after a long trip immediately followed by an even longer day at work. When I saw Jignesh I knew I was "home." Of course, I miss my family immensly and had tears in my eyes when I said goodbye to my parents in Knoxville. In a perfect world, Jignesh and I would be living within a few hours drive to all of members of our families. Unfortunately, that is just not possible. So for now, home is where the most important person in my life is. That is with Jignesh in London.


Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Home Sweet Home

For the first time in little over a year, my feet are touching American soil. And, wow, does it feel great to be home! It is not the huge stores (although I did put a nice dent on the credit card yesterday), easy transportation, or roomy abodes that I have been missing the most. It is my family.

I spent the fourth of July weekend in Boston (very patriotic of me!) with my grandparents, sister, brother-in-law, and baby niece. At 3 months old, baby Samantha is absolutely adorable. I finally got to hold, kiss, and love her! It almost (almost being the key work) wants me to pop out one of my own. We had a wonderful weekend of simply relaxing and enjoying one another as a family.

After a short weekend, I boarded yet another plane and flew further south to Tennesse where I am currently taking advantage of my parent's lake house. Even though this is not the house I grew up in, it stills feels like home and is one of my favorite places on earth (ok, Paris gives it some good competition!). I don't know if it is my Mom's cooking, enjoying the activities (waterskiing, swimming, cycling, et) that we are always done as a family, or just the familiarity of being around people you love but there is something special about being home. For the rest of the week, I have no plans. I am just going to swim, hike, ski, cycle, kayak, and jetski to my heart's content. I have to get my fill and more since it might entire year until I return! Of course, this trip would truly be perfect if Jignesh could have joined me. I hope he is behaving himself in London without me!