Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Expat Experiences: UK - Kym Hamer, Kingston Upon Thames

Who are you?

I am a 41yr old Aussie girl from Melbourne who has loved living in the UK for the last 7 (almost) years. I love reading, cooking, eating, music, travelling, watching tv talent shows - oh, and blogging!

Where, when and why did you move abroad?

I left my settled and comfortable life in Melbourne and arrived at Heathrow Airport in January 2004. The catalyst for the rather sudden decision (a week in November the previous year) was running late so me and my 2 super huge suitcases sat in the grey dawn of Terminal 4 and wondered how all this was going to work out. But I just knew that this was the next 'journey' for me, no matter how it looked right then or turned out in the future.

What challenges did you face during the move?

Said catalyst was pleased to see me but not very supportive (we were only in touch for about 6 weeks after I arrived) so I just got on with trying to get work (unbelievably tough at a senior level), build a network of friends (through contacts people from home had given me) and working out where I might want to live. On top of this I broke my elbow a week after I arrived by slipping on a patch of ice the morning after an incredibly beautiful snowfall so that was a 'conversation starter' to say the least and people give you a bit of space on the tube if you are sporting an obvious injury.

How did you find somewhere to live?

Jobs for me were likely to be on the West side of London so that's where I focused my search. I never house-shared before and that's all I could afford with rents being so high so my first year in Brentford was a shock to the system and made me determined to...

Read more about Kym's life in the UK at http://www.expatfocus.com/expatriate-uk-experiences-kym-hamer

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