Finally seeing a seasonal change and renewed love for paid vacation time. Here’s what life in the UK has been like in March 2022.
What a difference a season makes
Since we arrived back to the UK in September 2021, we had only a taste of summer before starting the slide into Autumn and Winter. Winter in particular can be rough for newcomers and we were no exception. Sussex is a pretty temperate place, so no comparison if you think of the US Midwest or Northeast for winter reference. However, we were last living in California and were not prepared for, you know, seasons. It didn’t take long to go from embracing the coziness of a dreary day to web searching holidays with “winter sun”.
March has been such a delight in contrast to that gloom because all of the Spring signs are suddenly booming. The sun sets over an hour later than it did in January (and we haven’t reached Daylight Savings Time here yet). Every plant is showing signs of greenery or flowers instead of the bare branches and boggy dirt we’d grown accustomed to seeing. My greatest love affair is all of the daffodils. They are everywhere from gardens to roadsides to forests. It’s impossible to feel pessimistic watching their bright faces pop up all over.
Making use of vacation/holiday time
Aside from enjoying the natural beauty springing up around us, this month has really brought us into a place of feeling settled. Work routines are in place, we have some favorite pastimes that are hitting repeat, and the carousel of visitors we expect this year is underway!
My parents visited in February, our California besties come over in April, then Rob’s parents make their first trip out of the US to see us in May! You might think that this wipes us out for time away from work for the year, but that is very much not the case. One of our top reasons for making the move back to the UK was the promise of 5+ weeks paid holiday leave every year. Even more importantly, both policy and culture encourage the use of all holiday in the year. The American sentiment of hoarding vacation time because you can’t find time to use it or worry how you’ll be perceived for taking it is just not a thing here.
So, even though I just started my full-time role in late January, I was absolutely encouraged to book in my upcoming holiday time as soon as I wanted. We are both taking time off to spend with our visitors and planning a few getaways as well. Travel feeds our souls and brings excitement for the rest of the year ahead!