Wednesday, 19 June 2013

A view from across the pond!

British Essentials second interview takes a fabulous twist in the sense that we now looking through the eyes of an Expat from the US named Erin, and her experience of moving and living in the UK. 

British Expats can find the transition when living abroad quite challenging as there are a number of obstacles to face when moving abroad, such as adopting to foreign culture, cuisine and even language - however what are the obstacles when someone moves to the UK to set up their lives? What tips are there to adjusting to life in the UK? We ask Erin who writes for

"I’m Erin Moran, I’m a digital marketer and event professional. I also keep an expat blog titled Quintessentially English. Basically if I’m not at an event then I’m in front of the computer all day, every day!"

Hi Erin thanks for agreeing to be interviewed for, where are you originally from, and In which country and city are you living now?
I originally come from fabulous Las Vegas, yes people actually live there. I’m currently living in Milton Keynes, England.

And how long have you lived there and  planning on staying?
I’ve lived in MK for nearly two years now. I like it, the job market is good and the ease of travelling to London is perfect for me.

Why did you decide to leave the US and how did you find the transition to living in a foreign country?
I left the US originally to study abroad in France, but while there I fell in love with an English man. 

I made the move across the pond more permanent to be with him. I thought it would be less challenging than it actually was. Even though we speak the same language there are so many things that work differently in the UK.

So to deal with these differences what 5 things most helped you?
1. Start an expat blog to document your adventures.
2. Sign up on expat websites there are a number of great ones out there and are a great way to interact with fellow expats!
3. Read other expat blogs and interact with them. It’s nice to read stories from fellow expats. It helps you know you’re not alone.
4. Go out and explore your surroundings. When I first moved here I would just go for a walk and sit in a café somewhere and people watch. You can learn so much about your new culture that way!
5. Accept every social invitation you receive in the beginning, even if you’re not particularly interested. It helps to get you out there and you never know who you might meet!

What is the cost of living like compared to home?
It’s all relative really. Certain items are a lot cheaper here than back in America. For example to get a cheap loaf of bread it’s about $3, but the housing market is more expensive here.

Is there any particular foods you miss from home?
Sushi. There was a sushi restaurant on every corner; I had it three times a week. I also miss Mexican not the Old El Paso version you get here.

So except from Sushi, If you could bring food/drinks products from the US to the UK , what would they be and why?

In-N-Out Burgers. I’m not a fast food person but In-N-Out burgers are the exception. I’ve tried to recreate them here without much success.
Frozen Yogurt. I’m hoping the froyo craze is going to hit the UK soon.
Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing. I don’t put ranch on everything but it is fantastic on chips on pizza. This leads me to…
Frank’s Red Hot Sauce. I mix it with ranch and dip cheese or pepperoni pizza in it. So unbelievably delicious!

How does your grocery shopping experience differ from when you were in the US?
The first time I went grocery shopping in the UK I was amazed at all the different foods. I remember Angel Delight really confused me. I just stopped and stared at it. I’ve still not had it and it still appears bizarre to me. What is it?!

What advice would you give to new expat arrivals?
It doesn’t matter what country you’re in, don’t be afraid to ask questions. If you’re not sure about something just ask. If you’re afraid the locals will think you’re stupid take to Twitter. You can get great advice that way.

Erin Moran

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