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Hello, hello! Welcome to Courtney in London. I'm so glad you are here!

I'm an American expat living in London and recently celebrated my 1 year anniversary of living abroad.

As a long time diarist and lover of writing down my secrets, the anniversary of becoming an expat seemed like a good time to start sharing some of the stories that have brought me to this place in time.

I haven't decided the exact format I want for this piece of digital literature, but it only took 4 days of living abroad for someone to suggest I document this period of my life. I've done so, and here we are.

As previously stated, I have written dairies and journals for years.

I still have my journal from 6th grade and it has a truly scandalous story about my first crush and the All-District Middle School Dance. It documents my first slow-dance (in a true power move I mistakenly put my hands on his hips and he put his hands on my shoulders while we left PLENTY of room for Jesus). I wrote, "I have a crush on Nevel, and tonight I wanted to K*** him." Yes. It is written in pencil. AND my 11-year old self inscribed the Asterix signs. (Obviously Mom and Dad were never going to be able to crack that CIA-level code.)

In hindsight, I wish I had more juicy gossip from my adolescent period, but when I turned 12 I got into the habit of destroying my journals. Writing is an external exercise for me, and I never found a reason to go back and re-live the feelings and processing's of my every day life.

This year was different.

I kept them. I've reread them. And now you all have the opportunity to read A SMALL PART of my absolutely amazing life.*

As we dive into this adventure together, I want to thank every person, place, and experience I've had this past year and in the previous 27. I love you all and thanks for putting up with my "Courtney in London" moments. I can't wait for the future adventures to come.

Before we dive into the fun stuff, I have a short Disclaimer.

The writings in this blog will be 95% the truth, and 5% a gross romanization of my own life. It is up to you to figure out which is which. (Hint- if it sounds hilariously implausible, I'm probably not creative enough to make it up).

The grammar will be off (sorry UK friends- spelling "traveling" with two "l's" is an atrocity, but for my Americans- colour does look nice with an added "u") and to keep up a semblance of anonymity, the names of friends, family, etc. have been changed to an amalgamation of Greek and Roman gods, Disney princesses, Harry Potter characters (my first crush was not named "Nevel"), and a few random names that I find to be particularly heinous for parents to ever bequeath on a child.** For legal reasons (licencing?) I'm not affiliated with any of the above entities and J.K. Rowling please take it as a compliment and know how much of a true fan I really am.

Another reminder: these events have taken place over the course of a year and and you are getting tasting menu vs. the entire restaurant experience. This blog is meant for entertainment purposes and telling my story as I see fit.

It's funny. It's a Comedy of Errors. I've made mistakes, made the wrong judgement calls, fell completely on my face, etc. But I got back and learned something new every single time. I learned to embrace a new culture, make friends, date, and build a community for myself from scratch. My 26th year was both the best and the hardest thing I've ever done.

I hope you enjoy this story and the future adventures to come. Now without further ado, click here to begin Chapter 1.


*Can be synonymous with "hilariously epic shitshow"

**Apologies in advance if I use your name

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