From Durham to Leicester to Cambridge

Welcome to the new home of An American in Durham. I started this blog three years ago to document my journey as an international student at Durham University. After I graduated with my master’s degree I’m afraid I put a full stop at the end of my last post and didn’t really look back. I tried to start a new blog about my experiences as a PhD student in the City of Leicester but I never quite stuck with it. After taking almost two years away from blogging, I’m finally ready to come back to share my new adventures with you.

A lot has changed over the past two years. Where do I begin?

I suppose I should start by saying that I’ve just entered the third year of my PhD. I’ve gone through a great deal of trials and tribulations, presentations, papers, fieldwork, interviews, probation reviews, and I’ve finally gotten to the stage where I need to sit down and write this 80,000 word behemoth. What could be more natural at this time than to set myself a personal writing task of updating a blog regularly?

I’ve also moved from Leicester to Cambridge mainly so I could spend more time with my partner, Jeremy. Readers of my old blog may remember him as one of my friends from my master’s programme. Well, he and I have been dating for close to two years and both of us have been travelling back and forth between Cambridge and Leicester trying to see each other. It had gotten to be a bit much and the timing was right for me to make the move. I’ll still be spending some time in Leicester for supervisions and odd jobs that pop up in the School of Museum Studies, but I’m quite happy to start over again in a new place.

You will also get to know Jeremy even better through episodes of my podcast, You Say Toma(h)to which he has agreed to co-host with me. This is something I have been thinking about doing for quite a while now. I’ve gotten into the habit of listening to podcasts especially right before I go to bed and I was inspired to create one of my own. Episodes will be released monthly and will explore the similarities and differences between the UK and US while also touching on the topics of being an ex-Pat and living and travelling abroad.

Seasoned readers of my blog also know that I became quite an avid CrossFitter while living in Durham. While I carried on for about a year in Leicester, I had to take some time off from it while doing fieldwork. I was also finding it wasn’t as much fun anymore and I began to take it way more seriously than I had intended to. After some soul searching, I have started working out again but I’ve branched out. I still do the odd CrossFit session, but I’m also running and swimming now. I ran my first 5K race back in November 2016 and I’m hoping to do sprint triathlons eventually.

Much of my heart is still in the US, especially with my ferrets. We lost Enzo in 2016 very unexpectedly. It was extremely hard losing him when I was across the ocean. Lamborghini went through a difficult mourning period after losing his brother. He and Enzo were litter mates and I had adopted them together. My parents made the decision to get two baby ferrets to help keep him company, Rey and Finn. Chase is still going strong despite being quite an elderly ferret. He spends a lot of his time sleeping but he still has enough energy to show the young whippersnappers a thing or two.

On a final note, I am really happy to be back blogging and creating content. It has felt like such a long time since I stretched my creative muscles. Building this new website, writing new blog posts, and developing a podcast has really helped get me out of the creative funk I was in. I hope that you all enjoy reading and listening to these things as I enjoy making them.

See you around the interwebz!


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