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Why England is the Place to be for me
By: Cathy Powell
Many English people seem surprised that I love living in England. After all I come from a land Down Under – land of sunshine, easy living, laid-back attitudes, Christmas lunch on Bondi Beach and all that. Plus before living in England this time, I lived in Italy for 6 years. How could you possibly leave Italy for England?
I’ve come up with some reasons why England is the place to be.
I love the area where I live.
I live in East Sussex, in a coastal town which has stunning scenery. I used to travel to work on the bus taking in the coast road as I headed into Eastbourne. Firstly there is the Seven Sisters Country Park with stunning chalk cliffs (you don’t get to see much this way – much better to return on a weekend and go for a walk). Then the bus meanders down into the picturesque village of East Dean which has a very worthy pub here to go to on weekends). Then it is back up again – past fields with sheep dotted around and then down into Eastbourne. On the way back home you are on the right side of the road to look out to sea, taking in the Belle Tout lighthouse.
It is lovely to be on the coast to be able to take advantage of walks along the seafront on a weekend, breathing in the fresh sea, perhaps spotting a ferry on the horizon or closer in.
Brighton can be reached easily by train or bus and there are so many great restaurants to try out. Gatwick airport is easily accessible by train as is London, which we have taken advantage of a few times for family adventures.
Locals speak my language
After spending over seven years in Italy, it is nice to be understood the first time I open my mouth. Mostly. For the first time ever, I’ve also been mistaken for coming from New Zealand, quite a few times since I moved here in 2012 (not that I have a problem with that).
My kids are happy, so I’m happy
The youngest members of our family did us proud (again) by acclimatizing to upping sticks to a different country. They have both settled in well to a different school system, have made friends and take part in extra curricula activities.
Bureaucratic problems aren’t so bad
So far (with her fingers crossed) I can say that I haven’t come across too many difficulties dealing with bureaucratic matters here. People actually queue in places like the post office. You don’t have to worry about little old ladies and their cunning schemes to push their way in front of you.
It’s the mother land
I feel at home here. It was my grandfather’s place of birth and also many more distant relatives too.
It’s the land of the pub
The country is riddled with so many pubs. Nothing beats a pub on a cold winter’s night. You sit by the fire, enjoy a drink and have a chat. Many of them have oodles of personal charm. Occasionally they may even feature a local band.
Europe is just there
Budget permitting, it means that it is possible to head back to Italy to visit family and friends or to visit new places as I did recently when I went to Budapest for a few days.
So what about the weather – it’s a conversation point. Basically I’m very happy here – I’m staying put.
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Contest Comments » There are 4 comments
Philippa Challis wrote 9 years ago:
I totally agree with Cathy. After many years living in Italy I have recently decided to spend most of the year back in England with my Italian husband. There is a lot here to appreciate and we get a much needed break from the Italian bureaucracy. The weather isn't at all bad on the south coast either. We will always return to Italy and there is much to love about the country, but a lot of things aren't so good when working and raising a family there.
Meghan Fenn wrote 9 years ago:
I'm so pleased you love it here. I too thought it might be hard for you after having lived in Italy. However, as you say, the red tape here is easier to deal with than in some other places. And, like, you I do love Sussex. It's so nice being near the sea AND being near beautiful English countryside. And even though it's taken me a several years to love living here, I do now. There are still days when I get frustrated, but as you say, I just have to glance at my kids. This is their birthplace, this is their country, this is their home and I'm home wherever they are. Great post! We really should try and meet up one of these days, us both being in Sussex!
Ken wrote 9 years ago:
This is a thoughtful article that considers several aspects of expat life. We were fortunate to have a year in Hampshire a few years ago. The much maligned weather was just a small part of that experience, far outweighed by the benefits - the history of our ancestors coming alive and the proximity to Europe for long weekends being just a couple.
Bex wrote 9 years ago:
It's so nice to see an expat appreciate the UK Cathy. Ironic that I visited Australia many moons ago and would love to be an expat there! The grass is always greener...