However you may feel about the Brexit vote, the EU referendum has had one undisputed result – to inspire more Brits than ever before to consider moving overseas.
Internet searches on relocating to anywhere from Scotland and Ireland to Australia and Canada have skyrocketed post-brexit, and the changing face of Europe has caused a lot of Brits to ask ourselves if England is as pleasant as we had thought – or if pastures greener and newer might have more to offer us and our families.
So I asked a variety of British expats what it’s really like to do what many Britons are now dreaming of – become a real life Brexiter and give life in Blighty a wide berth.
First in the series is Katja Gaskell, who left Somerset and now lives in Mexico City. Here is her story…
This isn’t exactly a news flash, but we girls like getting dressed up.
And from the moment I arrived in Valencia I was determined to do one thing (besides eat paella): dress up in the famous Fallas festival costume, and become a Spanish Queen for the day.
And here’s another thing about girls; we already think we’re royalty, and we usually get what we want…
‘You may well cry in class; lots of people do,’ says Wendy, who will be my yoga teacher for the next 6 days at a Mexican Yoga retreat near Cancun.
‘No I bloody well won’t I think, ‘I’m English’ – while Wendy is the dictionary definition of a Californian goddess, all flowing golden locks, sun-kissed skin and positive energy.
Within two days it has happened to my travel companion – and within the week I have exercised my own tear ducts as well as my abs – and so I learn that The Travel Yogi’s Yucatan yoga retreat is adept at refreshing body mind and soul…
The first time I meet Megan Williams is over refined cocktails at Vancouver’s Wedgwood Hotel. She’s blonde and beautiful, poised and personable and when I’m told she’s a blogger I naively assume she writes about fashion, food or culture.
When Megan asks me about my work I launch into an explanation of my travel blog, we talk about where I’ve been and where I’m hoping to go next and discuss why I love being a travel writer, as well as what inspired me to start sharing my stories.
I then ask Megan’s about her own blog, but I could never have predicted the startling reality behind her very different inspiration…
I like my food, but I’m no scientist. So when I’m invited to learn how the UK’s most famous sea salt is hand-made on the Straits of Menai I’m intrigued, but wonder if I’ll actually understand the process behind it all.
It turns out I’ve got nothing to worry about, as Halen Môn co-founder Alison Lea-Wilson tells me, making artisan sea salt ‘is science yes, but it’s also art.’
‘I never imagined I could travel the world as a lifestyle – I just thought I wanted longer holidays.’ This is the first thing career change guru Marianne Cantwell says to me as I interview her at a leafy London café. From here we cover life, travel, work, relationships and the perfect pair of portable heels – which we both agree are not actually heels at all, but wedges….
‘It’s marvellous this tortellini with ricotta cheese’ exclaims Daniela, whose traditional family pasta shop has been here in Bologna’s Mercato della Erbe for 70 years. It’s where she and sister Monica hand make lasagna, tortellini and tortelloni for the people of Emilia Romagna, along with their mother Renata.
‘Is this one your favourite?’ I ask. ‘Everything here is our favourite!’ comes the reply.
Your images of Italian mammas and grandmas stirring up secret recipe Bolognese sauce handed down through the generations? It’s a reality here at Le Sfogline, and you can learn how to recreate it in your own kitchen…
I’m in Seoul for just 36 short hours and with an 11 hour overnight flight direct from London and a 9 hour time difference, I know I’m going to be pretty jet lagged the entire time.
There’s no way I can even begin to skim the surface of Asia’s 24 hour mega-city in such a brief trip so I decide to let myself off the sightseeing hook a little, give my day in Seoul a focus, and feel pampered all in one fail swoop by getting a kawaii manicure, Korean style...