Recapping Our First Week in England

England Houses 2

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 🙂

Kids Long Jump

 

17 thoughts on “Recapping Our First Week in England

  1. Maggie says:

    I’m so glad you’re settling in! And ha ha ha, that’s totally my kids too. “Why are they going so SLOW?! I can run faster than that.” Someone tweeted that every olympic event should have a regular person alongside the athletes so we all really get a sense for how good they actually are. 🙂

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  2. Mr. PIE says:

    The picture of the houses reminds me so much of my first house I bought in the UK back in ’98.
    Sounds like you are settling in to the new way of things.
    If you are a beer drinker, have you scoped out any good local pubs yet? Do you enjoy room temperature ales? Or warm beer as they say over here in the US……

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    • Ditching the Grind says:

      I’m a definitely a beer drinker. We actually went to a popular local pub this evening and it had a nice vibe. The beer was slightly warm, but I didn’t mind.

      We put a deposit on a house today and you’ll be happy to hear that we did not choose the one with a long commute! We found a place yesterday that should work out well in an area we viewed a bunch of houses. We’ve made the drive out there a bunch of times, including during rush hour, and it seems to always take about 10-15 minutes each time. Shouldn’t be too bad. Still need to wait a couple weeks until we can move in.

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  3. Vicki@MakeSmarterDecisions says:

    That’s terrific about the house – and it makes such sense with having three kids not being all crammed together just to have the English “setting”. Love the kids doing Olympic type events! We also did that when we were little – so many years ago!

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    • Ditching the Grind says:

      We really did want to stick to our original budget, but there was no way it was going to work. It seems that people here must have WAY less stuff than we do in the states. I guess it’s just a different lifestyle. I think we found a great place and you’re right, it should be an awesome adventure!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Graham @ Reverse The Crush says:

    Congrats on the move!
    I’m happy to hear it went well. Sounds like you’ve been busy, but you’re probably enjoying it because there’s so much new things to do and see. Interesting that used luxury cars are cheaper down there. Looking forward to seeing more photos of the experience 🙂

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    • Ditching the Grind says:

      Thanks! We’re settling in nicely. Kids start school tomorrow (woo-hoo!) and we move into our new place in about a week.

      This weekend we were finally able to do some touristy stuff and got lots of great pics.

      There has been a bit of an adjustment on some things which we should be writing about soon. All in all, can’t complain.

      And about the cars, a local told me a Mercedes-Benz over here is like a Ford in the US!

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