Welcome to British Expats Abroad
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    1. #1

      Newbie from California

      Hi folks. I moved to California last October with my husband and although we seem to have a fair few Brits in our area I'm hoping to share experiences both good and bad about moving/living abroad with people that know what it's like.

    2. Moneycorp - Commercial foreign exchange since 1979
    3. #2
      My husband loves it here - he's settled really quickly but then he's working so that helps big time. I'm not allowed to work here yet and it'll probably be another year so I'm still travelling back to the UK quite regularly for work.

      We travelled around California a bit before we moved and we visited San Francisco many times before moving and we now live over the Golden Gate bridge in Marin county. We're between the bay and the Pacific so we get the sun, the cool Pacific breeze and we can see the fog on the mountain. It is beautiful and the temperatures are nicer than further inland or south.

      We moved from Dorset (equally beautiful area) and I was really suprised to find the people, although usually friendly, sometimes more conservative here in California. And they think the British are uptight! Most of our friends (well actually pretty much all of them!) we've met in bars but it's taken a while to build up that 'banter' that you get in England. I often find their interpretation of history and politics a little hard to swallow so I try to avoid some subjects unless we're with other Brits.

      The quality of living is good considering here we've dropped to one income here - we both have motorbikes which is the more expensive option that a car but a personal choice for us. We have money to eat out, go into the city regulalry and we manage to get flights back to the UK (airmiles, love 'em!!)

      One thing I noticed immediately - I suffer from asthma and in the UK on the South Coast I would have to use my inhaler a couple of times a week. Here I hardly ever carry it with me and I've used it twice since moving here.

      We both find we relax more on the evenings and weekends here - the good weather will do that to you!

      The only thing I'm still nervous about - we haven't felt an earthquake yet. We've had loads since we've been here but none that have been felt in our area yet.

    4. #3
      When I first got here I was sooo homesick - I had no idea what that was like 'til it happened. But because of work in the UK I've been going back - I have a new appreciation for my hometown since leaving and I loved seeing the area at springtime - never realised how much birdsong there was. We mainly get ravens here in CA in our area! But obviously it was the people I was missing the most. Travelling backwards and forwards means I've seen a fair bit of them and actually signing up to Facebook means I'm now chatting with more people more often albeit through a keyboard!
      Funnily enough we looked at Oz around the same time as looking at the US - guess once you get the travel bug you're gonna end up somewhere different! I've learnt not to rule anything out!