Pergola at Paddington Central: A West London Adventure

When I decided to move to the UK, I made myself a promise that I would take advantage of living in a foreign country by going on adventures when I had the chance. It’s so easy to fall into a rhythm and go to the same places and do the same things. And it’s also so easy to make excuses, something I am very very good at when it comes to whether or not I should leave the flat.

Luckily enough, one of my best friends lives in London and is always open to trying new things. So the boyfriend and I met up with her and her husband out in West London to try the Pergola at Paddington Central – which essentially is a very cutely decorated street food cafeteria type place where, conveniently enough, you can get drunk. We had reservations but as all four of us were late, we lost our table in the actual pergola area downstairs. We got a table near the bar by the entrance which wasn’t nearly as loud and much more convenient for getting drinks.

We were lucky enough to have a gorgeous night outside with a beautiful sunset and very comfortable temperatures. Although, we did notice that it was a very young crowd of people who attended this place. Which in all honesty is probably because it’s mainly been promoted through Instagram and other social media.

Photo Aug 14, 9 55 18 AM

We decided to have one more bottle before we ended the night but were told that the bar was closed. If I remember correctly, this was around 11:30pm, so unfortunately this isn’t a place you can really stay all night for. But M was very familiar with the area as she got her MBA nearby so we went for what was supposed to be a 5 minute walk – which turned into about a 20 minute walk – looking for shisha. (For my American friends, shisha is what they call hookah over here.) We finally found a place, and I could never tell you what the name of it was. But I would never suggest anyone go there anyway as the people who worked there were pretty rude.. But nevertheless, we got a couple of shishas, had some more drinks, and stayed out until around 2am when we all decided it was probably time to go home. We all had a brilliant time. Lots of drinks, lots of laughter, lots of fun!

Photo Aug 14, 9 52 04 AM

If you’re ever in the West London area, I would definitely suggest trying one of the Pergola locations. There’s the one in Paddington Central that we went to, and there’s another called Pergola on the Roof in White City which is even further west. The food can be a bit pricey for street food, so if you’re just in the mood for some drinks on a nice night, it’s a perfect place for it. Otherwise, if you are willing to splash out on the food, I would highly suggest Patty & Bun. The burgers were very tasty, and it was actually the first burger joint in the UK to ask me how I liked my burger cooked so I was able to get a medium-cooked burger versus the general well-done every other place just assumes. (That was a serious triumph for me, let me tell ya!)

Have any of you been to either of the Pergola locations? What did you think of it? If not, let me know if you do go! I’d love to hear what your favorite part was!

 

Much Love

xxx

My Last Month in a Nutshell

Holy moly, life has been insane!! If you hear about everything I’ve been up to, you will understand why I haven’t posted anything for weeks. Although, if you follow me on Instagram, you may already know all of this as I have been sharing this adventure on there.

But, guys, I’m in the UK. Like I am currently living in London. I think I’m still in quite a bit of shock that this is now my life. I keep thinking back to when I was at university and how I thought my future would be, and I think my 21-year-old self would have been shocked if she knew where she’d be in 4 years’ time.

Anyway, life is good right now. I plan to post a bit of a “guide” for those interested in what it takes to move from the US to the UK. I did a lot of research before I moved and nothing prepared me for everything I had to do, and how much time it would all take. Therefore, I wanted to write something realistic for others who will be in that position in the future. So more details of my experience will be explained in that post (when everything has wrapped up).

Around the time of my last blog post, I was getting everything ready to apply for my Visa. I had to schedule an appointment on a work day, then drive 5 hours to Chicago for the 30-minute appointment and then drive the 5 hours back in one day. Then, had to wait for it be approved, and mailed to me.

I had to go through all of my belongings and put them into either “sell,” “donate,” “pack” or “throw out” piles. I had to list everything I wanted to sell on a Facebook marketplace group, and rifle through dozens of messages a day, organize a time to meet or pick up, and then actually sell it. I donated the rest to charity or to my mom or friends. I threw out a huge amount of stuff. And then I had to decide what, and how much, I wanted to ship over ahead of time on a crate. I had to manage the crate and shipping process, fill out a customs form and wait for them to get back to me, and then get the crate shipped onto a boat (which still hasn’t left the port yet, as far as I’m aware).

On top of that, I had to wrap up my last week of work, say goodbye to family and friends, cancel all memberships and bills, turn in my key and sort out any apartment stuff, and try to manage a way to get rid of my car lease. Which is still sitting in my parent’s driveway since I can’t find anyone to take over the lease. It’s a 2017 Ford Fusion Sport in great condition, and has a year left on the lease. So if you live in Michigan, and you’re interested, let me know, because I’m currently still making payments on something 4,000 miles away from me and not being used. 😦

Lastly, I had to pack up all the remaining stuff, and get on a plane and fly over here, saying goodbye to everything I have ever known.

So that sums up the last month of my life. Moving to a new country is hard, and timely, and expensive, and exhausting – I promise you. But, I’ve been here for two weeks exactly now and I can tell you that it was most definitely worth it. We’ve managed to stay very busy making plans – getting out when the weather is nice – but also staying in and cooking together to save some money.

We plan to start looking for flats next week, and I’m hoping we have some luck and find properties worth looking at. I’d love to be able to move in shortly after – late July/early August – so that we can get settled and start our life together.

And then, when all of that is said and done, I can finally get back to focusing my attention on the blog. I have a lot of ideas to revamp the site, and will be able to go on many more adventures around London and England, and share them with you all. Eventually, when we have enough money saved up, we’ll go on holiday somewhere beautiful and I’ll be able to take you all with me – metaphorically speaking…

Thanks to all of you who have been patient with the lack of posts. As you can tell, I have been very busy and was making the move here a priority. I’ll try to shoot out some posts here in the next couple of weeks. So stay tuned for more 🙂

 

Much Love

xxx

From One Side of the Pond to the Other

Day 22 – 31 Day Blog Challenge

The Best Thing to Happen This Year

One whole year. In the grand scheme of everything, one year isn’t much. But for me, it only took one for my whole life to completely turn around…

Don’t worry, this is a happy story. 

During the month of March in 2016, I was going through an absolutely horrible time. I got stuck in a position that was sucking the life out of me. And as I know that sounds dramatic, that’s exactly how it felt. One day I woke up and saw myself becoming this person with so much anger inside of me. Even my health started to suffer from the amount of stress I was under. I was not happy. And that, right there, was the bottom line. I was not happy.

I was travelling to Kansas City, MO for work. I never wanted to be there and desperately wanted to get through the week so I could get home. That is, until I met someone. He was British, which scored him a lot of extra points. He was cute, and very funny. And even more than that, he always laughed at my jokes. We immediately became best friends. I couldn’t wait to go to work in the morning, and made sure we all went out to dinner afterwards so we could spend time together. Eventually, we would plan to get drinks before the dinners so we could have some alone time. I could feel that we had this special connection, but in the moment, I denied everything. I told myself I didn’t like him that way because he lived in the UK and I lived in Michigan and how the hell would this ever work. I didn’t even want to be in a relationship at the time. I was very happy being single….

LOL.

It was two months after we met and the last night we had together before he was going back to the UK for a month. And he kissed me. Finally. 

I had to drive him to the airport the following morning and then go to my Grandma and Grandpa’s house. And on the way to their house, I remember calling my best friend and telling her, “I know this sounds crazy but everything inside of me is telling me that he is the one.” And he felt it too. In that moment, we both knew. There were no discussions as far as how we were going to do long-distance. There were no questions on if we should go through with it. Because we both knew that what we had found was worth it. And yes, obviously we are doing this.

It has been about 11 months since that moment. And it has not been easy. I can’t tell you how many nights I’ve cried myself to sleep or cried to him on the phone (poor guy) because I missed him so much. The only time we get together is an hour a day when I get home from work to FaceTime. We have been fortunate enough to take holidays to visit each other. But we’ve quickly run out of money. It’s hard for me to go to family get-togethers, it’s hard seeing other couples in public, and it’s even hard watching movies or TV without him.

But the best thing about long-distance is that we have been able to truly value the time we do get to spend together. We make it really special. We’ve had the opportunity to realize that we can’t take each other for granted. We’ve become so strong as a couple. I honestly don’t think there is anything we can’t handle now.

But the one thing that got us through all this time is that we made the decision that someone would have to move somewhere. And from that moment on, we could see the light at the end of the tunnel. We talked a lot, weighed our options, and listened to each other’s opinions. But the biggest factor in the decision making was how I felt. I fell in love with England. I somehow feel that I get along and understand the Brits better than my fellow Americans. I actually seem to fit in with everyone I have met over there more so than anyone I have met here. It’s a weird feeling, but when I spent my first week there, I felt like I was finally home – that I finally found a place where I belong.

I went back to the UK for 10 days in April and I can’t even explain to you how depressed I was when I walked into the airport to go back to the U.S.. I felt like I was abandoning my heart. And in more ways than one, I was.

That’s why making the decision to move to London was easy for me. I haven’t been happy in Michigan for a long time, if ever, to be completely honest. And I know that this is the right decision for me.

So at the end of June, I will be making the biggest move of my life. I will leave the U.S. and everything I have ever known, and go live to the UK to be with my boyfriend, the love of my life.

We are so excited. We’ll eventually get our own flat, our own furniture, have our own space. We’ll be able to book long weekends for cheap prices to the countryside, or Spain, Italy, or Greece. We’ll get to fall asleep next to each other, and wake up next to each other. I’ll get to annoy him in person all day long. And he will do the same. Trust me.

It will be amazing. Just the simple things like making dinner together or doing laundry together is better when the other is around. We both have gotten so many compliments on how much happier we are since we’ve been together, but imagine what people will say once we’re actually in the same country! Ah, well, I guess I’ll have to update you in a couple months then…. 🙂

Photo Nov 11, 10 01 53 PM

 

For now, I’ll get back to packing and selling everything I own. Cheers!

Yeah, ’cause that’s what ya say!

 

If any of you have tips or tricks on international moving, please let me know! I need all the help I can get. Comment below, or contact me on my Contact page!

 

Much Love

xxx