Our year in numbers:
Steps walked: Over 3,000,000 each. Thanks, no car!
People who learned how to walk: One. We can’t even begin to calculate his steps
Public transit rides: Over 11,000. Again, thanks no car! And thank you Transport For London – you really are amazing,
Visits to parks: Over 275
Flights taken: Over 25? I really have no idea.
Friends made: 16-ish. It’s an evolving number.
Countries visited: 10 – Germany, Netherlands, France, Italy, Spain, Morocco, Czech Republic, Wales, Mexico, USA, with Germany being my most frequent destination oddly.
Family and friend visits: 11!
Flats lived in: Three
Times I forgot my passport and T had to rescue me: Two (I didn’t need a passport to take my 4.5 hour flight to Texas, why do I need it for my 1 hour flight to Germany?)
Babies born: One
Amount I miss our family and friends in Boston: Immeasurable.
How glad we are we undertook this adventure: Immensely.
We decided to move here for a lot of reasons – firstly because we wanted the experience of living abroad as a family, but second because we agreed that this would be great for my career.
It was a little bit of a hard decision to keep the move on track when we found out I was pregnant (13 week when we took the flight over), but we were committed to the adventure. It didn’t make things THAT much more complicated. #Imlying However, it did make it easier in some ways to make friends since we took an NCT class and met 7 other couples expecting kids at the same time.
The journey has been lonely at times. Anyone who has moved to a new city can attest to that. We went from being surrounded by loving family and friends to feeling like a solitary family unit floating around London. T and I experience this differently – his weekdays were no longer spent with Steve, and mine were surrounded by new coworkers as part of a new piece of business where everything had to be established, not just social connections.
The payoff in terms of my career has been tremendous. I regularly work with and present to VPs and CMOs of very large companies – all about search. I smile when junior team members say that they want to learn channels besides search so their career is marketable — because the demand for search planners, managers, etc is off the charts here. [To be clear, I respect them wanting to learn other channels but just not for the reason of being ‘marketable.’] [Also – if you’d like to come work in London in paid search or SEO please let me know.]
There’s something nice about being at a new company in a new city — about leaving your past behind in many ways. Not that our / my past was bad; it’s just that very rarely are we in a situation where ALL relationships are brand new, and impressions newly formed. People know me first as a 35 year old American marketing professional with two kids (or one kid with another on the way); they don’t have the memory of 28 year Casey who was too casual at a client meeting or 25 year old Casey who got unreasonably upset at work or 31 year old Casey who was an enthusiastic manager and speaks really loudly. I suppose that’s not really a function of moving to the UK per say – it’s a function of leaving a company I was at for 9 years (and had a wonderful experience at for the record).
Being in a new place can be exhausting. Or maybe it’s having a toddler and a baby – but it’s probably both. I can say that a year in, I don’t have to check the map three times before leaving and then every block on the journey. I know where to buy cardamon and lamps and jeans (answer: Amazon. Just kidding. Kind of.). I sort of know how to get refill prescriptions from my GP. I love WhatsApp for talking with my Boston peeps. I definitely know what to consider when running a global piece of digital marketing business – though as they say, the more you know, the more you know you don’t know.
I don’t know how I’ll feel in another year or three – but I am glad we undertook this adventure. Here’s to pushing yourself – personally and professionally – because you just really never know what will happen as a result.