For the longest time, I was pretty much one of those people that often said ‘I couldn’t live outside Nigeria’. I couldn’t imagine being away from the place we called home – the understandable banter and familiarity. I mean it was probably also because I’d never been away. Few days ago, I got really nostalgic looking at old photos of when I just arrived in the UK. To think it was exactly four years a few days ago. (I went back to Nigeria for about 8 months after my LL.M though).

In this time, I’ve definitely noticed that my perceptions have changed a bit. Thought I’ll share the ones that popped in my mind immediately.

lifestyle changes to expect when moving to the UK

1. Dressing

I remember my mum insisting I wear a pair of sneakers just before I left, because it was Autumn and it’ll be cold. I took it off on the plane, determined to wear my flat open toe sandals, which in my mind was more stylish. (Actually it wasn’t just in my mind. Mum, we both know those sneakers were a No No). 

Dressing has generally got to be one of the biggest change. I remember telling Tee at that time that I was going to shop till I dropped! In my mind I was picturing outfits that’ll rock when I got back to my job in Nigeria. I got here and realised it was pretty hard to pull off. I wore a 6-inch heel to church the first Sunday, but stopped short of taking it off half way! Everyone else at Mass was there in jeans and jumpers. There’s so much extra to buy: coats, leggings, hats, scarves, jackets, gloves, boots. Layering up becomes a skill. And you’re expected to dress for the weather.

To be honest, I haven’t exactly mastered the art, but I’m getting excited by it all and the change that comes with the seasons. Understanding the need for basics and why everyone wears sneakers (lots of walking – and everywhere is supposedly round the corner!) and why cross body bags are a need, especially in winter – we need our hands free, and possibly in your pockets! I’ve come to appreciate that you can still look really good in jumpers and tights, and that why in this post, I mentioned dressing well as a great habit to adopt!

2. Food

I left 3/4 of my clothes in Nigeria because I needed my suitcase to bring in loads of Nigerian food! On the first day I arrived Cambridge, I walked into a fish & chips shop. For some reason, I expected grilled peppered fish & chips. The fish-in-batter and a side of chips I received in exchange for my Β£6.49 was no where near my expectations.  

You’re probably wondering if I’ve now fallen in love with this kind of food, after 4 years. No. I’m still a huge lover of Nigerian food, but let’s just say I’m learning that I don’t have to eat rice and stew for lunch anymore and quite happy with a salad. I still may not do it yet, but I no longer wonder how one could eat the same sandwich for lunch everyday. 

Plus I’m being open to trying all kinds of food, and not internally frowning when I don’t see anything rice related on the menu. Hey, I even eat runny eggs now. However, despite the huge coffee culture, I’m still not drinking coffee.  Maybe in 10 years?

3. Travel, Experiences & Leisure

For someone who only started travelling recently, I think I just may have become addicted – constantly looking forward to a holiday in other parts of the world. True, being here makes it relatively do-able (plus maybe we are all trying to escape the infamous British weather).

But the mindset it key as well. We shouldn’t necessarily view holidays/travel as luxuries, and we should be keen to discover much more outside our immediate environment. So whether it’s somewhere far like China or Barbados or closer to home like CornwallGhana or Abeokuta, I’m itching to go! Asides travel, I am so keen now to be involved in other activities. In the letter to my younger self, I realised some of the basic life skills I missed out on and from the comments, a lot of us missed out on those as well.

4. IKEA

Ok, this is a bonus one, but look, discovering IKEA is a lifestyle change on its own! I’m amazed at it. I’ve come to appreciate small spaces that are nevertheless maximised, the beauty of storage and having a place for everything; beautiful and clean interiors. If you’re on Pinterest, you should totally check out all the cool IKEA storage idea. It’ll give you good ideas, for maximising space.

I don’t think I had to move abroad for these to happen though. But I guess in general, I want to enjoy the ‘little’ things, expand my knowledge of people and cultures and live a rounded life. Again, maybe because I’m somewhat done settled with some aspects of life – like school, career & marriage.

Can you relate to any of these? What lifestyle changes have occurred with you recently (whether as a result of a change of environment or not)? Experiences on being abroad the first time? Share with us!

Love,

Kachee.. Xx

pS: I like to arrive at new destinations, but I still don’t really like the travel process. Wish I could pinch my nose and disappear like peeps in Rent-a-Ghost. Anyone remember this show?

ppS: If you need a good laugh you should totally read this post on some really bad first dates. I culled out the entries from a London newspaper, the Metro. I still have a laugh anytime I read it.


Read too: Easiest Hack Ever: How to Get Rid of Bingo Wings (No Gym Needed) and How a Flu + Mother’s Day made me Famous


40 COMMENTS

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40 Comments

  1. Omotayo

    October 1, 2016 at 07:44

    Honestly, I still don’t get the dressing aspect. I always wear the wrong type of clothing for every weather. Ah mean, life is too short to stick to rules. (Might also have something to do with the fact that as long as my chest is fully covered during winter, The cold doesn’t get to me. So I can freely wear skirts without a pantyhose, hahahaha).A useful rule of thumb I learnt when I first got to the UK is: if they tell you it’s around the corner, get the bus or call a cab!!! I now walk everywhere though. I guess the culture grows on you.Still can’t get used to the food. Except the occasional French or Italian dining, then that’s perfect! I packed enough garri, dry fish, ogbono, locust beans and yam flour to last for 2 years, and I’m forever proud of my choices πŸ˜‚It’s easier to travel from here to almost every where isn’t it? Plus the cost doesn’t exactly make your heart break. So why not experience other cultures? I love traveling, I don’t like planning the trips though. Dear Future Husband, please take note!Still haven’t latched on to IKEA. Something to do this weekend, maybe?P.S: First to comment.P.P.S: Does this qualify as a post within a post? πŸ˜‚

    Reply
    • Abby

      October 1, 2016 at 14:23

      Wow! You really packed food to last for two years? You da real MVP!! πŸ™ŒπŸΎ

      Reply
    • Kachee || KacheeTee.com

      October 3, 2016 at 08:26

      OmoT!! No it doesn’t qualify as a post within a post because it’s not long enough! LooolBabe… I packed SO much stuff. @disqus_aQCDuAli69:disqus sometimes you have to oh. I packed Stock Fish which lasted two years. Hate buying stuff in bits!

      Reply
  2. Precious

    October 1, 2016 at 12:07

    Hahahaha, Kachee that dressing thing is real! I also arrived here in open toe sandals in the fall. Cold wan kee me. I have been hearing so many good things about Ikea. Maybe God is speaking to me. Lol Seriously though, I should take a trip to that store. I have missed this space, dear. Hope you are good.PreciousCore

    Reply
    • Kachee || KacheeTee.com

      October 1, 2016 at 12:19

      You’re back!!!!! Missed you. Hope you’re fine darling. You should go to IKEA! You’ll love it. 😘😘

      Reply
  3. Abby

    October 1, 2016 at 14:24

    I love travelling! (sans the check in process as well! all that taking off your shoes jazzπŸ˜ͺ)Interesting read as always! Xx

    Reply
    • Kachee || KacheeTee.com

      October 1, 2016 at 14:26

      For some reason Tee has a particular pair of shoes that he doesn’t need to take off! I need to get something like that. I don’t like being in the air! I’m forever thinking “how long more to landing”. Lol! Thanks Abby! Have a great weekend! 😘😘

      Reply
  4. Ese

    October 1, 2016 at 17:25

    Did not realise how real d clothe thing was till I had to shop for my baby. So what this trend is saying now is my baby can’t wear his clothes for more than 3 months at a go? Lol. I laugh in Spanish. So why am I buying expensive baby items again? I enjoyed summer. I wore shorts everyday. I’m more accustomed to d cold now, so I’m not dreading the boots and jackets, like when I just came. That,’….it’s just around the corner gist’ is so real. When u check google map ul see 17minutes walk, yet they say its around d corner. Lol. I totally love having to brisk walk for those kind of trips. I don’t feel bad on days I haven’t done exercise. And I totally love ur writing. Ure so easy.I’ve not enjoyed any international dish, and I’ve done quite a number of restaurants (Japanese, Chinese, Indian, Mexican, and some street food joints).Have u tried anything that was really amazing? Would love to know. Upton Park provides 98% of my naija food needs. So I don’t miss naija food as such. Except suya. I’m looking up recipes, I may just make suya sef. (Dis long comment is to make up for the ones I’ve not written in d past. Don’t even remember how to use disqusπŸ™„)πŸ™‚πŸ™‚πŸ™‚

    Reply
  5. Stephylately

    October 1, 2016 at 20:38

    I can relate to the dressing part. Especially, in winter. My first winter was horrible, hardly knew how to dress for it so I found the biggest bomber jacket from sports direct with some boots, but now I know better .xwww.stephylately.com

    Reply
    • Kachee || KacheeTee.com

      October 1, 2016 at 20:42

      As in! I got a huge jacket from TK Maks! 😭😭😭. Getting better now as well.

      Reply
  6. CherishExpress

    October 1, 2016 at 20:49

    Hello Kachee. I’ve missed yooouuu!!! I hope Mr. Tee is doing great.As for some life changes I’ve made so far, I’d say I’m eating healthier than I ever have in a long time. It took me a lot but after a week I have seen how better it makes me feel to know that I am in control of my eating habit, plus it’s doing good to my body.

    Reply
    • Kachee || KacheeTee.com

      October 1, 2016 at 21:04

      Girl! I honestly thought of you this morning! I was just thinking of checking your blog for updates. We’re good! Hope you’re well too. I’m def trying to eat better as well. Little progress, but it’s so worth it!

      Reply
  7. Adaora Ugochukwu Mary-ann

    October 2, 2016 at 05:54

    That food part got me. Having to pack so much food made me laugh and the fact that you no longer have to eat rice all the time as lunch. I hope it wasn’t that hard adapting though

    Reply
  8. Adaora Ugochukwu Mary-ann

    October 2, 2016 at 05:54

    http://www.adagirl.com.ng

    Reply
  9. Kachee || KacheeTee.com

    October 2, 2016 at 06:06

    It wasn’t too bad, but the food was a slight struggle. Thanks for commenting!! Seems like it’s a first time.pS: You can edit your initial comment and leave your link directly under. Just use the edit button.

    Reply
  10. Sarah Enuwa Audu

    October 2, 2016 at 14:02

    I can relate to the food aspect and travel side. When I moved to Thailand, it took me some time to and just to the food but eventually I started eating it daily and I slowly forgot or should I say missed Nigerian food a little less. And yes eating runny eggs is definitely something that has to do with going to oyimbo land. As for travel, well the thought of staying in a place for too long just depresses me. And on the dressing for cold side, I don’t know how you guys manage to layer up, stay warm and still look fashionable.Princess Audu

    Reply
    • Kachee || KacheeTee.com

      October 3, 2016 at 08:25

      Oh that’s true, Thailand is Tropical so not much change. You”l pull if off Sarah. You’re a fashionista! I still cook a lot of Nigerian food. I’m just open to trying other things. Thanks for your comment darlin!

      Reply
  11. Amakamedia

    October 2, 2016 at 16:14

    Lovely post, Kachee. My cousin came back from Obodo oyibo sometime ago and laughed at the way I dress to church. He asked if I was going to church or party, and I just couldn’t get the joke. Now I get it. . . LolWe “overdress” to church over here in Nigeria.amakamedia.com

    Reply
    • Kachee || KacheeTee.com

      October 2, 2016 at 21:15

      We totally over dress in Nigeria! When I went back recently, I was like ‘wow!’. But I love it. I miss the over dressing definitely.

      Reply
  12. cassandra ikegbune

    October 2, 2016 at 21:23

    They definitely don’t cuss so much about dressing. During my last trip to Atlanta , everyone kept complaining that I was.overdressing while to me I was just being casual. LolAlso, how anyone can wear whatever length of cloth they want to without fear of being judged. Cassie Daves Blog The One Makeup Product I Can’t Do Without.

    Reply
    • Kachee || KacheeTee.com

      October 3, 2016 at 08:27

      I can imagine! Oh yeah. I remember you rocking your shorts without hassle. Hahaha!

      Reply
  13. Permanent Procrastination

    October 4, 2016 at 11:40

    So cool! I would never know all the culture differences until you move! I live in Australia and wonder how different the UK is from here!Tegan xx – Permanent Procrastination

    Reply
    • Kachee || KacheeTee.com

      October 5, 2016 at 18:50

      I know right! The little things make a whole lot of difference. Thanks for stopping by!

      Reply
  14. Ama

    October 4, 2016 at 12:58

    Lol I can relate u even wanted to wear open shoes. I wanted to wear slippersπŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚Haven’t been out of naija so long so I pretty much gladly cook my naija food till date. Maybe next year or never lol I will join coffee n sandwich gang. Hardly tried anything new maybe tacosAs for dressing Africans in d us overdress o. Pretty much dress how I feel like.Travel is still a luxury if u flying n I hate road trips😭.like u I will rather just disappear n appear at mydestination

    Reply
    • Kachee || KacheeTee.com

      October 5, 2016 at 18:49

      Hi Ama!I’m not sure I’m going coffee gang anytime soon. I eat sandwich once in a while though. Travel can be quite affordable oh. Especially to nearby European countries!

      Reply
  15. Bubu Green

    October 4, 2016 at 21:20

    Lol. I remember rent-a-ghost. My dear, seems like I was reading the story of my life. I never thought I would live outside Nigeria too.I’m really trying to adapt to foreign cuisines but I just can’t get over Naija food. Anytime I travel, I do stuff my box with so much food stuff . Twice the customs guy asked, “madam,you get restaurant?”Lol. Traveling has become something I look forward to, since I left Naija. Amen to IKEA.www.bubusboulevard.com

    Reply
    • Kachee || KacheeTee.com

      October 4, 2016 at 21:24

      Loool @ you get resturant! I initially brought enough stock fish that lasted two years, so I can relate!

      Reply
  16. Toluwalade Toyin-Kehinde

    October 6, 2016 at 01:05

    Lol the food! Can definitely relate… I’m up for my Nigerian food anyday mahnn.. But stuck with rice and curry and burgers & fries. πŸ˜‘πŸ˜‘πŸ˜‘I love to travel too even though I’ve only been to a few countries. I mostly sleep the whole travel time haha but rather than China, you should come to the Philippines πŸ˜‚πŸ˜ toyinwithfashion.com

    Reply
    • Kachee || KacheeTee.com

      October 9, 2016 at 22:52

      I just saw a comment you left on Skinny Girl in Transit, and I was like “See my friend!” Come here jooor!! But who knows, maybe something will bring me to that side of the world.

      Reply
  17. Berry Dakara

    October 6, 2016 at 02:08

    I’m not even sure if I remember what it was like when I first moved out of Nigeria – that was 19 years ago!!! OMG, 19 years?!?!? I just got weak. I’ll come back to comment later.19 years ke.

    Reply
    • akaglue

      October 8, 2016 at 07:27

      19 yrs! Wao. Have u gotten ur energy back? Come back and comment , will love to hear ur srory.

      Reply
      • Kachee || KacheeTee.com

        October 9, 2016 at 22:50

        @berrydakara:disqus wow! 19years is such a long time!!! Phew!

        Reply
  18. Praise Abu

    October 6, 2016 at 08:36

    I feel like I missed out on a lot of your recent posts. Lol, I can totally relate, growing up in a Nigerian home where my mum prepares so many Igbo meals has taught me that no food like Nigerian food.My Style Look Book Series

    Reply
    • Kachee || KacheeTee.com

      October 9, 2016 at 22:49

      You did! You should subscribe and not miss any. I’, always going to be Team NigerianFood. Nothing quite like it!

      Reply
  19. Toluwalade Toyin-Kehinde

    October 10, 2016 at 03:12

    Hahaha…PS: I’m Queen of all black YouTube series in case you’re looking for a new one πŸ˜‚πŸ˜Š

    Reply
    • Muna

      October 10, 2016 at 19:39

      yesss please I want!….I know I know you weren’t talking to me :’) but pls I want shows like skinny girl and rumour has it. It’s Munastiic

      Reply
      • Kachee || KacheeTee.com

        October 10, 2016 at 19:43

        It’s season 2 oh! I was just late to the party.

        Reply
        • Muna

          October 10, 2016 at 19:57

          I just ran to check now and figured you were talking about 2. such a late comer lol :p

          Reply
  20. Muna

    October 10, 2016 at 19:36

    haaayyy skinny girl is back?? let me go and watch

    Reply
  21. Muna

    October 10, 2016 at 19:42

    LOL everything is always around the corner! I learnt not to trust them for directions the hard way, google map was my best friend! It’s Munastiic

    Reply

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