Category Archives: expat

My Husband’s UK Visa Journey


What I love about travel is that you do not have to go far to see the world.  You can visit the local sites in your area as a traveler with a new set of eyes.  However, if you are going to be traveling to another country you will need to have your passport and possibly a visa.  The matter furthers if you are planning on staying in another country for longer than the intended vacation stay.  Every country is different and the rules are always changing.   Continue reading

Double Rainbows – Bath, England

Double RainbowDouble Rainbow

On a country walk recently it began to rain for a bit on our way back home. With our rain jackets and wellies we did not let a little rain spoil what had already been a wonderful afternoon in the English countryside. Upon entering our town we were greeted with an amazing site of a double rainbow. I have not seen rainbows like this, so vibrant and beautiful, since we were living on the island of Oahu in Hawaii.  I loved photographing rainbows when we were living the island life.  Since my father’s death in 2008,  seeing a rainbow has always reminded me of him and his Aloha spirit. He had been on my mind so much during our walk and in my family’s conversation that day.  As a Third Culture Kid (TCK) in our expat life, feeling so connected to my dad in the country where my life all began feels like the closest thing to ‘home’ that I can describe.  The previous rainbows that we have seen in England in the past year have been on our 10th Anniversary Vow Renewal in Wales and when we returned to Bath with my mum after our summer travels in August.  In a way I feel like he is watching over us.

Double Rainbow

 From my Ohana to yours,
may this week be filled with wonderful reminders
of just how wonderful and beautiful life is around you.

Q: Have you ever seen a double rainbow? Do you connect on a personal level with them too?

* Photography by Bonnie Rose Photography © 2007 – 2014 All Rights Reserved | 

Girl Gone International | Issue #4


The fourth issue of Girl Gone International is now out and you can view your copy by clicking Girl Gone International | Issue #4.  Check out my articles on raising Third Culture Kids (TCKs) and How to Start a Blog! Plus see some familiar faces from blogs you love including:

The Wanderblogger | Expatria, Baby | Girl Meets Globe | The Bradleys


What is Girl Gone International?

✈ Non-Profit Organisation
✈ New generation of women living abroad
✈ We represent, connect and support
✈ Over 10,000 members
✈ Fast growing, friendly global community
✈ 100s of free events all over the world
✈ Active hubs in 24 cities
✈ 20 more hubs opening in 2013
✈ Busy online communities on different platforms
✈ Funded by our magazine GirlGI
✈ Digital Lifestyle & Travel Magazine
✈ – new site coming soon!
INSTAGRAM | @GirlGoneInternational #girlgi
SPOTIFY | Girl_GoneInternational
*Image belongs to Girl Gone International |

1 Year Anniversary in Bath, England

1 Year Anniversary in Bath, England

A year ago today we moved up from the area of Brighton to Bath in Somerset, England.  Two days before Christmas and we were already to start celebrating the holidays properly. It had been a long end of the year as our family had been separated by distance of continents and seas since July.

My husband and I had been job searching for months.  In the beginning of December 2012 my husband with his new masters degree got job offers in London and Bath.  A two day trip to Bath and my husband knew London had been pushed out of the equation.  He had fallen in love with the beautiful historic city with is close proximity to picturesque countrysides and storybook canals. We could now finally live in a much bigger place (a two story with stairs!) than the normal tiny UK flats.  We basically had two weeks between the acceptance of the job to find a place to live, get moved out of our current location, and organize my family in the US to get their plane tickets.

On the 22nd of December my mum flew with my sons to London, who had been staying with family stateside since July.  Although we were schedule to move out that day, we ran into a snag with our less than organized moving company.  With plans to now move out the next day we camped out in our boxed up flat in Brighton while my husband (already in Bath, having signed the new lease) camped out in our new place with out us and our stuff.

On  the 23rd of December we finally managed to get moved out of our flat. Long story short not all of our belongings made it due to the worst moving company experience I have had in my 30 years of life that includes not living in one place for longer than three years at a time.  While some of it was able to be acquired day later with an additional car trip, we had to part with many belongings and furniture that just did not make the cut (RIP my beloved US sewing machine). That evening after traveling by train and taxi my mum, sons, and I arrived at our new place in Batheaston just as the last of our stuff was being uploaded by the moving company. While we had unopened boxes in just about every room, we searched for the ones I had labeled with christmas trees. These contained all our holiday decorations and gifts needed for Christmas.  These were the first boxes we opened in our new place as we were excited to celebrate Christmas together.

The next day on the 24th of December my sister arrived from D.C. just in time for Christmas Eve.  My dad, up in heaven, was with us in spirit. It was time to officially start our family Chrismukkah!  We celebrated our reunion with our kids, my husband’s new job, and our new place with a Christmas ‘at home’ with our visiting family. Our first Christmas in Brighton had been very special with our sons as it was our first English Christmas together.  This year in 2012 it was a holiday filled with thankfulness and blessings for all we had in our lives, including the people we cherished most.

My favourite memories from last year were with my entire family playing bananagrams in the dining room, eating my family’s traditional christmas cookie ‘carmelitas’ that my mum had made, drinking wine my sister (a level II sommelier) had chosen, and with the view from our window of Solsbury Hill (in reference to the Peter Gabriel song) with the many white sheep that dotted the green quilt work fields around us.  This was pure bliss.

I am so thankful for the past year and for spending a full year with my family all together these last 356 days.  After being a military family, I am thankful for this amazing lifestyle of being able to be constantly around each other through out the months of the year.  It has been a really wonderful first year in Bath, England. With Christmas just two days away it is hard to think of anything I could want from Father Christmas. Aside from more time with my father or having my sister and mum here of course.  Life is about family for me and so from my family to yours, have a happy Holidays!

*photography to Bonnie Rose Photography © 2007 – 2013 All Rights Reserved

Bristol in my Pocket

Bristol in my Pocket

Hi everyone! It’s Sara from Bristol in my Pocket! I was born and raised a Texas girl, but  about three months ago I packed my bags and moved to England! Moving to a country where you know absolutely no one is terrifying, but that’s the exciting part, isn’t it?

Bristol in my Pocket

Where would your dream destination be for the holidays?

Bristol in my Pocket

I’m a huge sucker for Christmas. I absolutely love traveling to different places around this time to see how other people celebrate the holiday season. I have been blessed with the opportunity to see New Orleans, London, Mexico and so many other wonderful places all decorated for the holidays. However, I have not had the opportunity to travel somewhere unique and completely out of my comfort zone during Christmas.

Bristol in my Pocket

Germany has always been a top destination on my ‘place’s to go’ list. Whether it’s the middle of summer or the middle of winter, I will make it to Germany one day. However, seeing Germany covered in snow is a fantasy of mine. As a single twenty-something girl, my holiday season priority this year was to go home and see my family back in Texas. One day though, I will experience a true German Christmas.

Here are a few things I’m looking forward to doing in Germany during the holiday season (one day):

1. Go to a REAL German Market | In England, German market’s have become a favorite of mine. They are cute and fun, and most importantly, can get anyone into the holiday spirit. However, going to an authentic German market just seems divine.

2. Listen to German Christmas Carols | There’s something about listening to Christmas Carol’s in another language that I absolutely love. On Christmas Eve in Texas, we sing carols in English in Spanish. I can’t eve imagine how wonderful Christmas carols in German must sound!

3. Drink Mulled Wine | To be fair, I haven’t tried mulled wine at all yet. It’s a very European tradition that I had not been introduced to until this year. Mulled wine in cold Germany? Now that sounds fantastic!


Q: What amazing places have you been to during the holiday season?


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Expat Life: Thanksgiving


This year we celebrated our first American Thanksgiving, a proper feast with other people for the first time in three years.  As Thanksgiving lands on my birthday every 5,6, or 11 years I was happy to do without it our first year in England.  However, as an ex-pat sometimes there are cultural traditions from ‘home’ that you forget you really do miss. It was not until we started preparing for this year’s feast that I found the memories of past Thanksgivings all coming back. I have celebrated so many Thanksgivings in Europe growing up in England, Germany, and Italy and this years was another one for the memory book. A big thank you to my amazing friends and hosts for this wonderful feast!

We celebrated with my American expat friend who is married to an English guy, their kids, and two other English families. It was a really fun experience.  We started off with mulled cider and an array of canapes, had our Thanksgiving dinner, played a Thanksgiving themed quiz, shared what we were thankful for on the back of leaves, and finished with desserts.  The kids even put together a ‘haunted house’ for us to explore during our evening together.  I think the best part was the conversation and experiencing the cultural differences.  For example one of the dishes was a jello salad with cherry cola, creme cheese, pineapples, bing cherries, and walnuts. I had never  had it before but found it very delicious. The whole ‘salad’ description was a bit off putting to the English crowd, as well as it being served with the rest of the main courses and side dishes when it was really a ‘pudding’ (which is the english word for ‘dessert’). This really reminded me about getting teased in the US for loving to eat ‘beans on toast’ which is a cultural norm food here in the UK. There was also talk about beer as the hosts managed to find Coors Light beer. While I normally would not drink this in the states, it seemed only fitting for an ex-pat Thanksgiving in England.

We split up all the dishes between the families and everyone brought their part to the Thanksgiving dinner.  I brought my apple pie made with coconut oil which you can find the recipe for on yesterday’s post.






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*photography belongs to Bonnie Rose Photography © 2007 – 2013 All Rights Reserved |