This weekend marks my 5-year anniversary of living in the UK. I can’t believe how fast time has gone. It feels like yesterday that I was in the taxi to Logan Airport saying goodbye to everything familiar and close to my heart. I remember arriving in Canary Wharf in London and feeling like I was on a different planet.
As I reflect on the past 5 years I have learned and grown so much. Some of my key lessons:
✔ It is ok to be afraid. Being nervous or even downright scared of a big move (whether a literal move or a change in life) doesn’t necessarily mean it is a mistake. With uncertainty there is most always going to be some fear. But at the other side of the fear can be big rewards. The best gift is the confidence and resilience that comes from trusting in yourself, pushing ahead and seeing that, yes, you can do it! 👍
✔ With change comes opportunity. I am so happy I took a chance, followed my heart, and hopped the pond. I am blessed to have a great husband and home in the UK, as well as my own business. I never imagined I could feel this fulfilled. Of course, it could have gone wrong and if it did go wrong I still would have been okay. But (thankfully) it paid off and I wouldn’t be where I am now without taking a chance.
✔ Embrace what is different. It was tempting in my first few months to compare everything to Boston. I missed my Dunkin Donuts coffee and couldn’t for the life of me understand why in the UK they put butter on sandwiches. Yet after a while, I started to appreciate the differences. I was intrigued by the various accents. And London went from being a big daunting city to a place to be explored. Broadening my horizons and allowing new experiences opened my mind and shifted my perspective. It continually takes work to be open to differences and I hope to keep learning and growing.
✔ Close bonds transcend distance and time. One of my concerns in leaving “home” was being apart from my amazing group of friends and my family. What if my relationships drift apart? I was accustomed to having friends within a 10-minute walk, not a 6+ hour flight. My worries diminished shortly after I arrived when a close friend visited me over Thanksgiving. And just after I flew back to Boston for Christmas. And so it went… the back and forth through the years. I have to say (even in this crazy year filled with Zoom calls) my relationships are just as strong. Silly me for worrying.
After 5 years I know even more than ever that LIFE IS NOT A DRESS REHEARSAL. I hope that those of you wanting to make a change find the courage to take even the first tiny step. It doesn’t mean it will be easy. But it will be worth it!