I have now lived here for a decade!!!

Wow! I couldn't believe how long I have lived here when I was thinking about it the other day. Boy has my life changed. I was going to write a long post of how my life has changed and what I have been through but even I got bored writing that so I could only imagine how bored you would get reading it so I will summarize.

I have lived in four houses, two in Newmarket, one in Cambridge and one in a village outside of Cambridge. We first lived in a house that was huge and paid for by the USAF and I was exempt from Council Tax. The second was a 'two up, two down' on the other side of Newmarket and we were paying council tax. The third was Mr B's grandmother's house and the current one we bought.

I met my husband here on my first pub crawl in Cambridge with the guys in my squadron. Mr B thought I was very keen but we have been together 10 years in May.

I have had five jobs since being out of the USAF. The best way I found work was through an agency, they work differently than in the U.S. All have been administrative work. I also think I struggled to find work because I worked on the life saving equipment for aircrew in the military but a woman who was once married to a colonel knew we do so much more and gave me my first break. I have been at my current employer for five years.

I got my U.K. drivers license. That was a lot harder than the U.S. one. I had six lessons to break my bad habits and get me used to driving a stick again because if you take the test in an automatic, you are only allowed to drive an automatic and my car was an automatic at the time. You must get your driver's license within the first year of living here unless you are exempt like the U.S. military are.

I have had three cars. I got 'hot rod', my Ford Escort through someone PCSing out. Back then the base had a message board for selling things. Hot Rod also took me to court for the first time. I guess they are notorious for having electric problems and my taillights went out. I got pulled over, had to prove I fixed the issue but they did not check all of my documents when I turned my proof in. I later crashed Hot Rod into a lamppost onbase when I hit the gas instead of the brake. What made it even more funny, was that there was an exercise on base so people came running to my car thinking I was taking part!

I bought my Toyota Yaris through military sales and so it was tax-free. I later sold this because we moved to Cambridge and we became a one car family as I would be cycling. I had to pay taxes on it first so that I could sell it on the local economy.

We got a cat whilst we were renting because we knew more landlords will rent to those with cats as they are more likely to do less damage. Later I got Dusty to be my running partner. He ended up having a congenital cataract which was removed and wasn't cheap but thank goodness we had pet insurance which helped out a lot.

I am not sure if it living here or it would have happened naturally but I have become more interested in politics and as you can probably tell, I lean towards the left. It has moved more that way the longer I have been here through the people I have met and listened to. One of my favorite people is Owen Jones. But I think that living here outside of the military has shown me a different way of living in a way I cannot express it properly to those that have never really lived the life.

I have become a British citizen which makes coming and going easier. I voted in the General Election and can vote in the upcoming EU Referendum which is coming up.

I struggled with infertility, went through IVF and was very lucky to deliver Bug in September. I get a year off for maternity leave but only paid for 9 months but I am making the most of every moment. I accrue leave while I am off so I will use this to extend this to 14 months.

I know that while my path here has not been the easiest but I know I am very lucky where I have ended up. A bit of luck and hard work but mostly luck!

These days I think about whether or not I could see myself anywhere else and 'no' is usually the answer I come up with. It is not for everyone but I have found my feet living here. I hope that you enjoy your time here too!

All the Best!

American to Britain