Relocation, Relocation, Relocation! How a couple from the USA coped with a move to the UK
Submitted by Laura Shepherd on 12/03/2008 - Senior Marketing Manager
Why did you relocate to the UK?
I decided to relocate to the UK for Career advancement, and (equally) personal opportunities to explore the UK and Europe.
How many people were in your relocation party?
Two. My husband and I.
What was your main concern with moving to the UK?
How did you decide where to live?
We looked at a map of London and saw Wimbledon was a logical spot as it's between my office in Surrey and the city where my husband would be working. The MD agreed, so we came for a 4 day visit to confirm.
What did you take with you and what did you decide to leave at home, or store?
We shipped 6 boxes of clothes, books, and personal papers, ourselves via the mail. Our flat in the UK was partially furnished and we got the balance of rental furniture from my employer. The initial assignment was described as short term – so shipping HHG was not considered.
How long did the preparation and the actual relocate take?
2 full months
How long did it take to adapt to living in the UK?
We're still adapting after 12 months! The first 3 months were exhausting - we had so many questions to ask and so many new things to learn.
What was the one thing that you forgot to do/left off of the list and how did you deal with this?
I didn’t forget stuff – but I didn’t realise how much I would miss my sister, friends and my cat. I am making new friends at the gym and bridge lessons. I email my US friends regularly and call them when back in the US. I’ll have my sister visit this year.
What advice would you give to people relocating to the UK?
Ask heaps of questions and don’t assume too much; England is not America. Also: Carry an umbrella. Also - ask a Brit what they think of the French. Most likely the response is really funny
What is the best thing about living in the UK?
I studied English literature at University and get to walk where Shakespeare, Austen, and Dickens walked! Museums are free and an excellent way to get out of the rain… and learn. I enjoy learning British history from the British point of view.
What would you do differently if you had the chance to do it again?
Let a flat with a garden – which we’ve done after our first lease expired. Locals like to complain about the weather, but the sun does shine and it’s good to sip your tea outside.