We’ve made it through our first week in England… and what a week it’s been! Between traveling, finding a place to live, and figuring out how to get around mixed in with a few work responsibilities, we’ve been nonstop.
It took about 20 hours from the time we left the house in San Antonio until we arrived at temporary lodging on our new base. The bulk of this time was a nine hour flight from Dallas to London. The in-flight entertainment options were lacking, so thank goodness for the free drinks. A couple glasses of wine and Mrs. DTG was out!
At the end of the day, we were all completely exhausted. Fortunately, the kids did awesome which made our lives a lot easier and less stressful.
Every day we’re getting more and more comfortable with our new surroundings. We didn’t have a rental car the first couple days, so we walked everywhere. Besides getting to know the base quickly, for the first time we actually considered living on base. Wouldn’t it be great to be within walking distance of everything you’d need on a day to day basis? The main downside is that we’d be segregated from the local community.
Speaking of which, we’ve gotten a great tour of the area while (or should I say whilst) house hunting. For the last several months, I’ve imagined us living in a quaint little English village. We found one house that would’ve fit that description perfectly, but the commute was just a little too far. Plus, we’ve heard the country road we’d need to drive on daily is notorious for bad accidents. No thanks.
The one thing we’ve learned during our house hunting is that we both have a strong preference towards really nice, spacious (for UK standards) houses with upgraded finishes. Call us whatever you want, but it’s true. We’re just not into being cramped up or roughing it on a daily basis. And 6 foot by 8 foot bedrooms without closets just isn’t our cup of tea. I know, spoiled Americans.
Initially, we wanted to stay within Mrs. DTG’s housing allowance. Over the last couple days, we’ve realized that we’re not going to get what we want at that price point and we need to go higher. And that means I might end up working a bit more. Cue dramatic music.
This really isn’t a big deal. I was already anticipating going on orders part time and I’m exploring some options now. Regardless, we’re only talking about a few hundred dollars a month out-of-pocket price difference. This may seem counterintuitive to the whole FIRE concept, but we’re at the point financially where it really doesn’t make much of a difference. We’d rather be comfortable and maintain sanity, especially with three kids.
Lastly, we bought a British spec car over the weekend. Well, we won’t actually pick it up until tomorrow. It is amazing how inexpensive cars are here. What would be considered a luxury car in the states (Lexus, Mercedes, BMW), sells for only a few thousand pounds here (used). Depending on how things go over the next few weeks, we may end up buying a second car. Even if we do, we’ll end up with a profit of around $15K from selling our US cars and buying used ones here. And just like that, our ten day carless experiment is nearing an end.
In all our busyness, we’ve taken hardly any pictures of our new surroundings. We promise to have more soon as we get settled and into our normal routine. That should also include returning to a more consistent blogging schedule.
On a fun note, with the Olympics having just wrapped up, the kids have insisted that we go to the base track every day for a workout. Here they are practicing the long jump. Our younger son is adamant that when he gets older, he’ll not only break “Insane” Bolt’s records, but all the records. In the meantime, we’ll keep encouraging them to exercise 🙂