Expat Musings Life & Love

Feeling Grounded After 2014

On the eve on launching the New Year of 2015, I have to take a moment to step back and reflect on 2014.  Whew. How would I describe 2014 for me?

I wish I could say that this year was filled with amazing travels and adventures.  New passport stamps, trips to far away lands, exploring more of Europe.


Whelp, I can’t. This year, on the face of it, was steady and maybe (dare I say it?) a bit boring.   But I will admit, that this year was boring in the best way possible as I found myself taking deeper and deeper roots here in the UK.


Looking back on this year, in total, I feel that my life is more grounded. More established.  A little less lost and confused with life in the UK.   I have become more accustomed to the traditions, culture, communication styles… even the food!  I am finally feeling like I belong here in the UK which is such a comforting and fulfilling feeling to have.  That I am not the crazy American making silly mistakes, instead I am becoming more and more included.

I have established myself professionally in a new marketing agency, where I enjoy investing my energy and being challenged by my role, projects and even my coworkers.  I think sometimes we underestimate how impactful the environment our work culture can have on our outlook on life.  And from the moment I started at my new agency, I felt the energy shift allowing me to feel more grounded and established here in the UK.


Along with my career clipping and growing along, I feel more grounded now that I have my permanent settlement visa.  From arriving in the UK in summer 2012, securing my next stage for my visa was always a bit of a dark cloud over my expat head.  For months, I saved letters, bank statements, payslips, tax returns and more to help organize for the application.  Leading up to the process, I studied for the Life in the UK test (needed for non-EU citizens) with hundreds and hundreds of prep questions.  I headed into Liverpool to take the test (and pass!) in June, which lead us to arranging for our in-person appointment.   For days leading up to the appointment I found myself shuffling between stacks of paperwork making sure everything was just “perfect”.  On the day of, the appointment was easy breezy and within 2 1/2 short hours I left the processing office in Liverpool with my residence permit in hand.  This teeny tiny card is the official and legal seed for truly planting my life.  The process is time consuming and expensive, but feeling like I am able to start taking roots is priceless to me.


Simply stated, 2014 was a good to me, my heart and our marriage.


Throughout the creation of roots and grounding myself in the UK, Neal has always (and I mean always) been at my side.  Words cannot describe how much I see him as my star, my rock and my inspiration.  Heck, even just yesterday he made a whole Mexican themed dinner including homemade key lime pie.  Can someone say best husband on earth? Well, the real reason he would win the award is even when I am at my shittiest and most irrational version of myself Neal loves me with a caring and compassionate heart. I consider myself lucky beyond words that the roots of my life are centered around a man of such strong character and heart.

{Whew, that got all lovey dovey there!}

Don’t get me wrong, I love taking risks, taking adventures and discovering new places but sometimes it is tough to explore without feeling a bit grounded in one aspect of life.  Now that I have the looming settlement visa out of the way, I am now ready to bring on new adventures and horizons.


We have big and wonderful plans for 2015, like travels, a little house hunting and exploring more of the UK.  And of course, I am completely prepared for life to throw a few curveballs which I plan on greeting with grace and humor.


I am excited and energized as we enter into a brand New Year! So much wonderful opportunity on the horizon!  And as we enter 2015, here is my wish from me to you:
Image via Pinterest
Hooray for surprises, fine book, making art and sweet kisses! I look forward to heading out on adventures with you all in 2015! Happy celebrating my loves!

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  • Susan

    Thanks for your wonderful and inspirational blog. I really enjoy it, and it has given me a lot to ponder. My son loves your dog, BTW. Happy New Year! Susan

  • Happyeverafter_Bride

    Happy New Year Belinda! Yay for feeling grounded and established and yay for surprises and good madnesses in 2015!