Expat to Expat Q&A: Weather

Today I have a bit of a treat for you.  I am linking up with Belinda for a Expat to Expat: Q&A Session.  Today it is mainly focused on the weather. Which for living in England is perfect because we are always talking about the weather here.

My life as an Expat:
Technically I am a dual citizen with England due to being born here to my American parents.  My sons and I both have dual nationality with America.  My husband is the full expat while I am a technically expat as a person who is always caught between worlds.  I am Third Culture Kid (TCK) feel free to read more about my life as a TCK here.  We have been living the expat life in England since the end of May 2011.  We have always wanted to move to Europe since I grew up and lived in Europe until the age of seventeen.  We lived in Brighton, England first and now we are living in Bath in the Somerset area.  We do not ever plan to return ‘home’ to the USA.  We are open to moving to other places in Europe, Asia, and elsewhere but for now are content with our life in the UK.

1. What was your favourite season back home and is it the same now; why or why not?
Technically I have never had a home and there is not one place I can compare to another from everywhere I have lived. I used to live in Hawaii while my husband was stationed on Oahu and it was pretty much Summer year round with a monsoon period.  It was really lovely always being able to be outside due to the climate.  I used to fantasize what it would be like to be able to layer when choosing outfits.  Now that I am living the expat life in England I have many chances to layer.  Leggings are pretty much a staple under anything I wear, including trousers.  I still love Summer, however what I may have taken for granted with island life is now a special treat in England for when the sun breaks through the clouds.

2. Is there a place you would like to move to base solely on the weather?
There are two places that come to my mind. First Hawaii because I remember what it was like to have a free afternoon, drive out to North Shore, and just lie on the beach in the sun.  I do think of the possibility of moving back there if we had to move to the USA. However based on weather I could also move to any place in Austria, Switzerland, and southern Germany.  I have fond memories in all three places from my childhood in both the Summer and Winter months.  Seasonal activities like hiking and camping or skiing and snowboarding in the Alps is a good enough reason for me to move there.

3. What is a piece or an article of clothing that you had to buy for your new home due to the weather? 
As stated above, leggings. Also tights and thick nylons. Basically anything that I can layer with that can help keep my legs from freezing.  It is also the first article of clothing that I picked up on for fashion in the UK during our first week as expats in England.  Girls wear leggings with everything. Under dresses, under skirts, under high waisted and really short denim shorts (that show you bum cheeks), and under trousers.  Especially in the cold months you can look around and 85% of the female population will be wearing black on their legs since most leggings come in that colour.  Wellies (rainboots) are also a staple item for our expat life in England.  I just had to purchase new pairs for my sons.  Not just for the rainy season but for our weekly country walks.  You do not wear trainers (sneakers, tennis shoes) to go roaming the countryside. Thats a sure fire way to stand out as an outsider.  Of course coats and scarves in multiple varieties or staples of the UK wardrobe.

4. Have you found the weather stereotypes of your home to be true? 
I have lived here as a younger girl, but yes the stereotypes of weather are true.  Its cold a lot due to the usual white cloud cover across the sky and definitely if the wind is blowing.  It does rain frequently.  If it s not raining its cold enough to be snowing.  Sometimes it rains but its not enough to even open up your brolly (umbrella). We went through quite a number of umbrellas during our first year in England due their short life expectancy and over use. When the clouds do disappear, the sun comes out, and the temperature rises you can bet that every able person will be outside enjoying every moment of the good weather.

5. Is there somewhere you would never live based solely on weather? 
I do love the snow especially if I am on a vacation to make the most enjoyment out of the winter weather.  However I do not think I would really want to live say in Alaska maybe or somewhere where the sun might disappear for quite a long time because I already deal with vitamin D deficiency with living in England compared to living in Hawaii.  However I realize that would include say Sweden and I really want to live there sometime after traveling there. So who knows, I probably could be open to anything. Every pro has a con anyways including weather. 

6. What are you looking forward to most this Spring? 
I am most looking forward to wearing my shorter and sleeveless dresses. Even if that means I am also pairing them with leggings, leg warmers  cardigans, and jumpers (sweaters).  Just being able to wear more seasonal outfits for Spring and Summer can trick the mind into thinking it is warmer than it is, even under a coat. 

7. Where you live what is your go to outfit for Spring?  
I really try to not wear denim in England if I can help it. To me denmin screams ‘America’ and I already have my accent as a fashion accesorsy. No need to overkill it.  I really like the feminity of wearing dresses and skirts. So my go to outfit for spring is usually a dress or skirt, leggings if the weather permits it, a cardigan or jumper (sweater) and a scarf.  It really depends on the weather because if we get our rare warm days than I could easily ditch the leggings and the cardigan. I pretty much wear my sunnies (sunglasses) year round.

8. What is one event or thing that happens at this time back home that you miss at this time of the year? 
Again I do not have a home to compare this too.  However when it is a colder or rainy spring day I will envision wearing less clothing and being on the beach in Hawaii.  I try not to do that as it is easy to always see the grass as greener.  I was missing Europe while living in Hawaii. I would rather just be content because I am happy where we are living in Bath, England. If I do have my down moment I can always head into Hollister, look at the summery beach clothing and pretend in the darkness of the store that I am somewhere sunny. 😉

9. What type of flower bouquet would you love to have as a surprise?  
I do love roses especially since rose is my middle name.  However I have always wanted to be surprised with a beautiful pink bouquet of peonies because they are another of my favourite flower.  However I also love red poppies because they remind me of my dad who passed away.  He served 30 plus years in the USAF as an officer and is a veteren and I cannot help but pass a field of poppies and have him on the forefront of my mind.

10. What does your perfect Saturday look like?  
Our perfect Saturday is blue skies with our without clouds and little to no rain.  My family usually is outside on a country walk in the beautiful English countryside every weekend.  We really love being outside in our wellies and being outside for hours.  It is something I used to do with my dad when we were living in England back in the 80s and 90s. There is nothing like being in the middle of the country surrounded by nature’s beauty to let the stress of the week just melt off.  It helps us remember how much we love and feel blessed to be living as expats in England.  I honestly get a high off of it. 

11. Are there any special holidays in the month of May in your new country?
Yes there is a bank holiday in May. British bank holidays are public holidays, recognized since 1871.  It comes form the time when banks were shut so no trading could take place.  There are eight of them through out the year and two of them are in May.  May Day or Early May bank holiday is the first monday in May and Spring Bank Holiday is the last Monday in May. 

I am linking up with Belinda for the Expat to Expat Q&A Session.  

Found Love.  Now What?

Want to play along? Here are the questions for April, feel free to answer them and link up below! {The link will be open until Sunday April 28th} Once you submit your post, feel free to share it on Twitter (#ExpatQandA) or Facebook. If you are not an expat, hop around the links below to view the other submissions!

*photography belongs to Bonnie Rose Photography © 2013 All rights Reserved
For more information on Third Culture Kids, TCKs, and ATCKS

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02880075465792764279 Belinda F

    First, thank you for doing a post! It is so much fun to read your answers… we have so much in common as both of us are in the UK.

    Uh, your photos are STUNNING! I am so impressed, what an incredible talent you have!

    And, I couldn’t agree with you more it’s all about wellies and leggings and I wouldn’t mind a bunch of peonies too.

    Have a great day!


  • http://hemborgwife.wordpress.com/ hemborgwife

    Thank you so much for linking up with us! I live in Northern Sweden and in December and January you barely ever see the sun but right now are sunsets are already creeping past 21:00 so if you love the sun I say come in summer and leave by winter!

  • http://theunpoisonedapple.wordpress.com/ theunpoisonedapple

    I love all the photos in this post! Especially the one of you in front of the gate; it seems like a movie still or that there’s some dramatic story that should go along with it. Hopefully I’ll get to live in the UK at some point, but I do think I’d miss the sun!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/14647707557228625706 Amanda

    I love that denim reminds you of America! Weirdly, to me denim reminds me of summer festivals in England and living in South London. (Cutoffs with tights, vests, jackets) It just shows that expat life, even in the same country, can vary extremely by region. It drives me crazy sometimes when my friends in America think that since England is small in area that everything is the same (accents, traditions, landscape, etc.)

    Also what a handsome family! Seriously! xx

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16954804123165852845 Living in Another Language

    That’s funny that denim screams America. It does here as well. Basically the only people wearing jeans are…Americans.

    Unfortunately I like my jeans too much to give them up, but I have started to expand my wardrobe to include silver and black jeans. 😉 I already talked about leggings being my go-to.

    :) Thank goodness for comfy clothes! Also, I love all of your pics. I’m so glad I found your blog! :)

    Have a nice weekend.
    Amanda | Living in Another Language

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16919079134282687094 Adrienne Smith

    My middle name is Rose too! :) You know, it seems that denim isn’t very popular in a lot of Europe. I’ve noticed only the younger crowd wearing them here in Bavaria. I don’t care if they make me to be an American, oh well. I think jeans are comfy!! :)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10036538328836365926 Jade

    Bonnie, firstly, can I just say how beautiful your photos are?

    I understand missing island life. Even though Australia is not completely tropical – more temperate down south where I lived, the summers are famous there and I miss them terribly. I try to go out to Spain or France in summer to have a two week reminder of what the sun actually looks and feels like!

    I have to admit, I live in jeans in winter, with leggings underneath! Fleece lined tights have become my saviour too for work attire though.

  • http://www.selenatheplaces.com/ selenatheplaces.com

    Hi, Bonnnie. I’ve found you via the Expat Q and A link up. I’m really excited about it. I’m also an American and an Air Force brat. My dad was in the USAF for over 30 years. But, we only spent a few years overseas. Now I’m living in London with my British husband and I love it. Wonderful photographs! I look forward to reading more.