OK, so the title suggests that since I left the UK over 6 years ago everything has been like a “bed of roses”. That couldn’t be further from the truth, but the fact is as much as I will never denounce my roots, I am truly glad I made that step to leave my home country.
There are several reasons for this, and some of you may be wondering why I’m about to bestow these thoughts upon you. Well, mainly because I know there are hundreds of thousands of people out there (not just in the UK),but all over Europe who are not happy with their lot, but making that first move to “get away” isn’t an easy decision to make. That’s why I’m going to tell you what I love most about being an Ex-Pat.
It sounds silly but having the sun pretty much all year round does really make a difference. So much so, I think I would have trouble with the weather conditions in the UK these days. Seeing the sun almost 300 days of the year somehow makes life more bearable. Actually, I’m going to throw a fact in here (no yawning now)! Did you know the sun’s UV rays contain essential vitamins to keep your skin healthy? If you didn’t, you do now! As long as you only take short spells in direct sunlight, it’s actually doing you some good (maybe that’s why people in sunnier climes seem to smile more...who knows).
Laid Back Pace of Life
Sure, this one can be frustrating at times, especially when you’re told “yes, the internet will be installed on Monday” only to find out the company neglected to mention which Monday! However, the fact that when you go out on the roads and there are barely any traffic jams to deal with, no constant queues in the supermarkets, and it’s acceptable to walk at a snail’s pace somehow as an effect on your overall sense of well-being.
I have had the added benefit of learning a new language (my local friends might disagree), but I can hold a conversation, and I love to practice what I’ve learned, and still continue to learn today. I also love the fact that after all this time, I’m still finding out new things about the history of the country I live in, and how it affects the people that live here today.
Incidentally, I live in Spain (just in case you were wondering). If any of you are thinking about making that break and want to take the first step to a new life, overall, I thoroughly recommend it. However, as I said, it’s not all been “plain sailing” but more on that another day!
Author: Julie Coburn