15 Ways to feel at Home in a Foreign Country

I saw a similar post on a blog and I thought I should write my own guide which I named 15 Ways to Feel at Home in a Foreign Country. There are a few obvious things anybody who wants to move in another country has to do, like learning the language and a bit of geography, familiarizing with the law and customs. If moving to United Kingdom, refer to it as UK, don’t say England if you are referring to the whole country (only imagine what Nicola Sturgeon would say about that). Beside that, the only thing needed is a desire to integrate and keep an open mind. It’s that easy.
I enjoyed thinking of this topic.

1. Make you house your home.
I started with this because it’s one of the most important things regardless if the move is to a different flat/house, city or a country. I don’t think I should even start talking about the importance of having a nice and cosy home, everyone knows that. I know it’s more difficult when the house is rented, but it can be made homely with pictures, favourite books and vases, a cuddly toy and nice things bought from travels. I have in my living room a cuddly toy my husband bought for me in our honeymoon, a 500 years old piece of pottery I got from London last year. Little things can make a huge difference.

15 Ways to feel at Home in a Foreign Country

2. Local foods.
Try local foods. There are plenty of new and exciting things to try in a new country. Imagine if you really like the new food. Also, it doesn’t matter if you don’t like it, you don’t have to eat it again, but at least you’ve tried it. Also, if you are talking with someone about food, you will know what they are talking about.
It might sound obvious, but it’s not. I had a chat with an expat who had no idea what a Christmas pudding is, despite celebrating Christmas two times in UK. Maybe not everybody likes it, although I can’t understand why someone would not try a pud filled with dried fruits and booze. I can’t imagine now my Christmas day without a Christmas pudding. My husband doesn’t like raisins, so it’s not as keen on it.

3. Read books written by British authors.
I think reading a few books will make the culture of the new country easier to understand. I didn’t do that from the beginning, but I’ve read British authors since I was a teenager and I read novels in English 5-6 years before moving to the UK. This is what I would do if I would move to another country. I think it’s a really helpful way to learn a few things before moving.

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The Luminarium

A few days ago I went to The Luminarium in Liverpool ONE after seeing an ad on L1’s facebook page. The Luminarium is (still is today, sorry if you missed it) in Chavasse Park. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of The Beatles’ eighth album, there will be live performances. We went to see it before the live performances and we enjoyed it a lot. You might have seen a picture on Instagram.

 The Luminarium at Liverpool ONE

The Luminarium is an immersive and interactive sculpture created by Architects of Air and designed by Alan Parkinson. Amazingly it has a history that spans over 25 years and more than 600 exhibitions. Over 3 million visitors enjoyed the sculpture, in 43 countries, across 5 continents.

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My May

May was a lovely month for us. My husband and I had some celebrations and it was wonderful. I finished 7 books, we had a great time at LightNight, like every year. At the end of the month I tried Sherry (picture on Instagram) and it’s one of my favourite drinks, so good.
I rearranged the spices and I like them even more. Now I have to decide on a new decal for my kitchen, to replace the “Life is short, eat dessert first”. I might keep the motto, because I love it. It’s been on the wall for 2 years, but I didn’t get tired of it. My husband did a bit of DIY with Festus and now we have a new table in the garden. It’s beautiful.

In May I went to a blog event and to BlogOn, preceded by a party in Manchester. It was great as last year, I bought my ticket for September, just in time, as now is sold out. There are a few other blog related things that happened in May, like winning a prize for my photo following the photo styling seminar at BlogOn. I can’t wait to receive my prize, it’s likely I will mention it on my blog. I also received an unexpected Thank you card from a company I worked with on a project. It was so nice from them.
I also managed to make the post about Photoshop, I was thinking about it, but didn’t get the chance to actually write it. I enjoy sharing what I’m doing with you.

01 My May

I met two lovely horses. They were eager to have a snack picked by us and loved the cuddles. I saw them when we were driving past their field. We stopped and we went to see them closer. We had no idea they are so friendly, so it was a beautiful surprise.

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7 Books in May

In May I finished 7 books. But two of them were started the month before.

01 7 books in May

This month, I’ve started reading the Tudor series by Philippa Gregory. Sadly, even now, historians don’t give enough credit to the amazing women from the history. Recently I was watching a TV show about Edinburgh castle and the historian said that Henry VIII’s victory over James IV of Scotland at Flodden, Northumberland, in 1513 was his greatest military achievement. WOW! In fact… Henry wasn’t even in England at the time of the battle and Katherine led the army while being pregnant to keep the Scots from invading England.
This is why I love Phillipa’s books, she brings the women into the spotlight and, hopefully, with public interest, more historians will take into consideration the important roles the women played in  history.

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3 Funny things people have asked me

I am asked funny things sometimes and I wanted to share 3 of those questions. When I hear a question like this I’m lost for words. How can I reply?

1. You put your food & snacks on the plates only for taking pictures?

Hmmm… the obvious answer is no, I eat from plates like, hopefully, most of the civilized world. I don’t like eating out of a bag, so, if I can avoid it, I would toss the crisps/popcorn/puffs in a bowl and eat it from that.

I use props for taking food pictures, but those are obvious. I don’t think anybody eats their cookies with jars of flour on the table, sprinkled raisins and whatever props appear in the photo.


2. If you are vegetarian, you can’t have turkey, what do you eat at Christmas?

I was amazed to be asked something like this. I have an accent and it’s obvious for a Brit I’m not born in the UK. Besides UK and the English-speaking countries (US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand) which started as colonies, the rest of the world has different customs for Christmas. I never had turkey for Christmas, not even when I wasn’t vegetarian, it’s not something people eat in Romania.

Funnily enough, there are more vegetarian or easy to make vegetarian options in the British Christmas dinner comparing to the Romanian one. Brussels sprouts can be vegan or vegetarian, the same can do done with roasted root vegetables. Onion gravy is delicious too, that too can be vegetarian.

3. Can you read in English? After a 5 minutes chat, the second question: When was the English Civil War?

The first question wouldn’t exactly be funny unless paired with the second one. I really can’t imagine how you get from: “can you read?” to a question about a 9 years time frame in the British history from the 17th century. This happened at a house transformed in a museum, in a small village up north.

I said 1648 and I got it wrong, but not by much. The Civil War started in 1642 and the second one started in 1648, as I said, when Charles I was captured and was executed the following year. That was what I knew, the year when Charles I’s was in captivity. I also knew the Civil War finished in 1651.

The lady who asked the question said she is not sure and this is why she asked me. First of all, I can’t understand why somebody who works in a historical museum has no idea when the English Civil War was, it’s not like knowing all the kings and queens from 1066 and up to date. Britain has only one civil war and it was the only time when there weren’t any kings on the throne. Although, considering that Oliver Cromwell was buried as a king and his son followed him, it’s not exactly a huge difference.
I had a look online to learn a bit more about that time and on 29th May 1660 the English monarchy was restored with King Charles II.

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As the title says, this post is about goslings. Yesterday my husband and I went to Sefton Park and we spotted two cute goslings. I had some bird food and I fed them, after that we’ve sat near them and had a lovely relaxing time watching them. The goslings were so sweet, had some nibbles, then a nap, again nibbled on a couple of seeds, then another nap.
People were stopping and taking pictures, give them food. Dogs passing by were stealing small pieces of bread and being shooed away by the very protective geese.

01 Goslings

Enjoy the pictures.

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BlogOn MSI May

A few days ago I’ve attended BlogOn MSI May Conference, the 3rd conference I’ve been to. It was held at the Science Museum in Manchester. If you want to have a look at the other two I’ve been to: BlogOn Conference and BlogOn Conference, September. I had a wonderful time and I already bought my ticket for September. Before BlogOn MSI, I went to Paladone Party, it was fab.

 BlogOn MSI May 2017

BlogON MSI started with the Introduction and Keynotes – Getting organised.

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A diary of my travels, events, my thougths, blogging, craft projects and my home.