I got sun burnt. (Cue rolling eyes and sarcastic “Where in the world were you this time?” questions)
Was it on my recent trip to Madrid when we rowed boats in the park? Did I dash back to Australia for a week, desperate for the summer sun? Was I trying to work up a tan on a beach somewhere exotic?
No. I was at home, in London, during winter, on a cloudy and slightly rainy day with a high of seven degrees Celsius. And I got sun burnt!
Have you ever, ever felt like this?
When strange things happen…
That was when I started to wonder if I was more suited to the UK than Queensland, Australia. In fact, I wrote about my “London tan” in this very publication.
I came to the conclusion that someone was playing a very cruel joke for me to be born in the Aussie desert and brought up on one of the most beautiful, sunny coastlines in the world. With my fair, freckled skin and high risk to skin cancer, how could this be… fair? (see what I did there?)
Had I gone around the twist?
Perhaps I had finally found where I was meant to exist in the world? Did I belong in the UK more than I belong in Australia?
Actually, I like the weather
London weather and I get along much better, compared with my relationship with the Aussie sun. I don’t mind the rain and clouds as much as I thought I would. And I like that there is a clear difference between winter, with snow, less sunlight and cosy winter coats, and summer, which has a surprising amount of sun stretched over long, cider filled days.
You can’t beat the travel
I love the proximity to Europe and all that it has to offer. For example, my hubby and I booked a week on Malta for our wedding anniversary. The flights were cheap and took less than 3.5 hours for us to get there. We paid less for our six-night holiday than if we had visited Noosa for a week (and had to stock up on litres of aloe vera gel to chill in the fridge).
And the work is great, thank you
But it’s not all about the holidays. I’ve worked for a variety of global clients, consulting and advising them on big campaigns and projects, on a scale that probably wouldn’t be possible if I was still living in Brisbane. Challenging and rewarding, yes – but awesome. And when freelancing, there is plenty of time to travel.
So, UK vs Australia?
While I love Australia and appreciate that it has a lot going for it, for me the UK is scores more points…
So, even though I have proved that I can get sunburn in the unlikeliest of circumstances in the UK, it was so mild that it didn’t even require aloe vera application. That’s a win in my books!
Read more of Jacquie’s experiences as an expat:
Also visit her website www.neverendinghoneymoon.net