Guest Post: my life as an expat frugalista by yaya duran

Hello Around and Upside Down readers, my name is Yaya and I have a wee lil blog called Expat Frugalista that documents my journey as an expat, one on a budget at that! When Vicky invited me to guest post on her blog while she was away, I didn’t think twice and gave a definite yes. Vicky and I have something special up our sleeves that we will be debuting shortly after she returns from holiday, so be prepared for that! In the meantime, since hopefully we will be seeing a lot of each other soon, I thought I’d introduce myself, and share with you why the heck this girl from Texas ended up in the UK.
the place I call home, Cambridge
First things first, why am I here?
Well almost four years ago a girl met a boy and she fell in love; yeah, yeah sounds totally cliche, but it’s the complete truth. After a lot of traveling across the pond to keep the love alive, we decided that we really were in it for the long run, and that it was time to bite the bullet and choose a shore. Due to my adventurous nature, and to the other half’s career, we decided that England was the best place to start the new chapter in our lives. I left all my earthly belongings in America, and on a love high I packed what I could into a suitcase and made my way to this island I now call home.
mandatory couple selfie
That’s basically the expat portion of my blog name explained. The frugalista half stems from the need to be frugal, yet the refusal to live a boring and ordinary life. I’ve taken on board aspects of minimalism, and a simplistic style of living, and those two halves make up my blog and help to describe me in a nutshell.
While I do love being here, I must say I miss home. Being an expat is an amazing adventure, but let’s face it Old El Paso isn’t true Tex-Mex (trust me I’m Tex-Mex myself), you guessed it, the thing I miss the most is the food. Of course, I miss my family, friends, all the other emotional attachements I have with my continent, namely, the scorching hot sunny, and warm Texas weather. Ironically enough, I come from a west Texas town actually called El Paso, aint’ it a beaut!
Yet, I must give it to you, oh you lovely English lot you, there’s things that I’ve learnt from you that I don’t think I would have ever learnt had I stayed in the US. I learnt the importance of a good cuppa, that an Englishman’s house truly is his castle, and an appreciation for the Sunday roast. I’m a fan of England period full stop, but there are a few things that I do miss about home that are more than just about the weather and food. Such as …
Strangers smiling – while I have experienced strangers sharing a smile with me on the bus, or even in a cafe, it’s sadly not the norm around these parts. I’m a smiler, and I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I’ve smiled at someone, and gotten a scowl in return. While I do appreciate that you lot value your privacy, a smile isn’t always the segway to a full fledged chat, merely a way to share some happiness with someone who might need it.
Technological advances – shortly after I came here a couple of years ago there were talks about this new and revolutionary thing that would soon be introduced – 4G. When I heard that, I truly thought I had fallen out of a time machine. I had experienced 4G for years in America; and it truly did take me aback to know that extremely high speed internet wasn’t the norm, that I still had to boil my water before I had a shower, and that not every home had a tumble dryer. In my very spoiled American mind it only made perfect sense that you can just jump in the shower whenever you pleased and had scorching water at your disposal. It also made sense that a country plagued by so much rain and damp, was properly equipped to dry their clothes.
Here’s my chance to say thank you Britons! What I had previously perceived as deficiencies have truly been what’s helped me stay on top of my new simplistic lifestyle. You’ve taught me the peace that comes with being able to be on the train, and truly get lost in your thoughts without being bothered by the chatty person across from you. You’ve also taught me that who the hell cares if my phone has 4G, 3G or no G’s as long as it keeps me connected in case of emergency. You’ve taught me to be resourceful, and not wasteful, and you’ve taught me that having a tumble dryer, and living spoiled first world existence has nothing to do with your happiness levels. If it weren’t for you lot, for this country, and its unique inhabitants, this spoiled American, would have never made the changes that have brought her peace, joy, and the simple happiness that we all strive for.
I invite you to come along with me and learn more of my frugalista lifestyle tips, join in on my expat adventures, and of course, if you like photos of kittens, I’ve got that covered too! My bunch is a friendly bunch and we like to hang out on instagram, twitter, pinterest, and of course, our virtual home at Expat Frugalista.
I loved reading this…what a classically romantic love story!  I think Yaya has captured expat life perfectly here, with adventure mixed with a healthy dash of reality that far from bringing her down simply serves to keep her grounded and with a fantastic attitude towards life and all it brings.

Are you a traveler or a home bird? Do you have a wildly romantic tale of how you met the love of your life?  Are you always looking to spot a bargain and save your pennies or do you splash the cash in a dash?

3 thoughts on “Guest Post: my life as an expat frugalista by yaya duran

  1. Yaya you are simply superb and Cambridge that you called home place is really beautiful. I have also visited your online effort expact frugalista. That is such an informative and entertaining blog that I am used to visit regularly.

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