My Ex-pat Life

Cheers! If you have came here today from Casey’s blog,  We Took the Road Less Traveled I would like to say ‘Welcome’ and thank you for visiting! If you have not read my guest post today you can read it here at:Finding Happiness when Restlessness Strikes’, a look at how to find contentment when the need to travel or move arises.

Whether you have been following along for the last few months or just here today, I would like to give you a glimpse of what it has been like to live an ex-pat life in England.  We have been living here since 2011 with no intention to leave.

You can also check out my other social media sites and follow along:

My Ex-Pat Life:
Although I was born in England and grew up moving around military bases in Europe, I spent the first decade of my adult life living in the USA, where my parents came from originally   I went to Uni, fell in love, got married, started our family, and become a USAF wife.  In the footsteps of my parens we lived as a military family for six years in Monterey, California and Oahu, Hawaii.  As my husband’s enlistment came to an end we decided it was finally time to move me back home to Europe.  He got accepted into Sussex University in Brighton, England for his masters degree programme and we began our life as an Ex-pat family living in England. 


I am a Third Culture Kid (TCK) and so I have always been caught between worlds.  Having been born in England while my parents were stationed in Oxford, I have dual citizenship.  Technically I am a citizen of England and technically I am an ex-pat from America. This has given us a unique perspective as an ex-pat family living abroad.  We have learned a lot from the experience and from our mistakes in the last two years.  Anyone thinking of moving to England as expats, feel free to send your questions my way and I will do my best to answer or direct you to informative sources.  
My husband and I moved here with no jobs or a place to live and tried to figure it all out during a summer living first at a hostel near the beach.  We got enjoy the cultural things of England like getting takeaway from the ‘chippy’, drinking copious amounts of tea, navigating our way on the public transportation system, and enjoying the sights of southern England.  Eventually we figured out jobs, found a place to live, found a school, and then our sons joined us to begin the Fall 2011 in England. 
We moved from an island life in Hawaii to the village life in England where we could walk to school, work, church, and the shops. 
We put our kids in the local school in the village and my boys got to experience a school system of uniforms and houses, much like their beloved Harry Potter series.

We decided to not get a car and instead walk and use the buses and trains.  Two years later we still do not have a car and have not seen it as a hindrance   The public transportation here is something I definitely missed during my time living in the USA.  It is really nice to just hop on the train and take a day trip with the family. 
We have enjoyed celebrating the holidays in England especially the ones specific to this country like Bonfire Night.  It is a great chance to get together with friends, watch the torch led processions  see the ‘Guy’ Fawkes burn on the bonfire, and enjoy a sky full of fireworks.  Even experiencing holidays such as Christmas in England has been a beautiful part of Expat life in England.
My family enjoys now living in the countryside of Bath, England where we spend our weekends donning wellies (rain boots) and walking for hours through the public footpaths.  We usually always see farm animals and sometimes wild deer.  There is nothing like being outside to make us remember just how happy and blessed that we are to be living here in England. 

We are both so content here in England and could not imagine not living the Expat life.  Has it been difficult? Sure.  Have we made mistakes along the way with not knowing the correct information. You betcha.  But would we trade our lives for something else? I do not believe so. Not unless it meant to live the expat life elsewhere.  However we are very happy here and look forward to more travels through out Europe during our time here.  Whether you are planning to relocate to England, are living here currently as expats, or want to come visit I recommend coming to the UK.  Feel free to ask me any questions and I hope to be able to answer you as best as I can.

Bonnie Rose
*Photography belongs to Bonnie Rose Photography © 2013 All Rights Reserved |
  • Setarra

    Wow, what a story! I’m hoping to one day visit Europe and the UK is definitely on my list. Thanks for sharing :)

  • Amanda

    Is that your sister in the first picture? You all really, really look related (I know that sounds a bit stupid but you resemble each other so strongly!). I really enjoyed this post- I didn’t realize that you moved to the UK straight from Hawaii. I can’t imagine a much bigger US based shift! Just out of curiosity (because I know you’re loving life in the UK right now) but IF you were all struck with wanderlust where would you like to set up life next? xx

  • Meg Fenn

    LOVE your blog Bonnie. See you this summer in London!

    • Bonnie Rose

      Thank you Meg, and I am looking forward to that too! x

  • Rachel

    Yay, I love these posts!

    I’m glad you’re enjoying life in the UK. Do you think you’ll move anywhere else in the near future?

  • The Bradleys

    Bonnie I am just so happy I found your blog to begin with a few months ago, as we have so much in common!! I too am a Brit with an American accent and I guess what some would call an American expat as I don’t live in the US. I grew up between countries, spending the bulk of my childhood in France, the Midwest, and Singapore. Now my family and I are back in Asia but I swear all of your lovely photos of Bath are making me want to go back to the UK!!!! Granted I don’t miss the winters….

  • Chanel Jibal

    New reader… love your blog and your story!!! Definitely adding to my reader.

  • Rachel

    I can tell that you were a TCK just from reading how you write–you choose the British spelling or terms some of the time! I learned spelling when I was still living in America, so American spelling is fairly well ingrained into me, though a few words I say differently from my American friends. I always say “air-con”, which is what they say in Malaysia, though I think the more commonly used term in the US is simply “AC”.

  • Sara Louise

    You’ve made such a lovely life for yourself and your family in England. Your children are quite lucky to grow up with all of these different experiences :)

  • Erika @

    Loved this. And I can’t believe I haven’t pointed out yet, but I am originally from the Bay Area in California — not too far from Monterey. :)

    It seems like you are LOVING the expat life. And ah, reading all your posts is just making me itch to go!

  • Beth L

    I love your photos! Especially the monochrome one of the man standing by a counter. I’m still learning how to take decent photographs, hehe. Come to Portugal, if you get the chance! It’s beautiful here :) I hope you enjoy England! Cheers from Lisbon 😀