February 2024 | Recap

Hi friends! I’ve officially spent one whole month living in London. I’m definitely still adjusting to life in the UK, and working on finding a mix of living “normal life” with “immigrant life” (AKA, the million outstanding admin tasks I have to do to settle here).

Here’s a peek into my first month back in the UK!

Where was I in February?

  • Countries: UK
  • Cities: London, Bristol
  • Flights: 0
  • Days on the road: 0
Early London sunsets!

February on the blog…

I’m very pleased with how much I wrote this month! My goal is to write 6-8 blog posts per month going forward, in addition to my freelance work. I have SO much backlog from my 18 months of longterm travel and lots of posts I’m excited to share with you.

February adventured like…

I’ve been “settling” into London life. Yes, if you’ve been reading along for the past few months, you know that in January I undertook a huge move from Michigan to the UK. People keep asking me how I’m finding living in London, and I struggle to answer. In a lot of ways I still feel like I’m on a vacation! I’ve visited Dan in the UK SO many times, and also spent the past two years traveling longterm, and I think because of that it hasn’t quite hit home that, well, this is my home now.

Checking out lots of food markets and gluten free restaurants. I’ll share more about my (numerous) gluten free eats below, but if you’ve seen my Instagram then you know that I’ve been enjoying exploring London’s gluten free food scene. I’m trying to pace myself!

Cute pub lunch at The Telegraph.
Exploring Camden Market!

Getting back into running. After a couple years of no running I’m easing myself back in. When Dan and I were traveling full time, we were so naturally active from all the walking and exploring we did. But since I stopped traveling in October, I’ve started to feel more sluggish and really notice the impacts of our non-pedestrian friendly Western society. I joked to Dan that running around our nearby park feels a bit like being on a hamster wheel within the cage of Western society but… I’m not sure it’s really that deep LOL. I think I was just cranky about being so out of breath haha. In any case, it’s struggles while I’m running, but feels great afterwards and I’m looking forward to getting a bit fitter.

I attended some networking events. This included a two-day travel networking conference, and a monthly meetup for Mediavine (the ad network I use for this blog). I’m really not a natural networker at all, having only ever worked in professional settings where it was 100% cool to chat about everything TMI and morbid (healthcare) or sit completely alone at home (writing). But, I think I got the hang of it after a while, and I did meet with some really lovely brands that I’m excited to potentially work with. I also met the wonderful Yvette of Wayfaring Kiwi as well as some other bloggers.

View from the conference center.
A pretty cool building to spend 2 days in!

Making friends as an adult, it turns out, is as hard as everyone tells you it is. One of my big anxieties in moving to the UK was “starting from scratch” in terms of friendships. I consider myself lucky to have maintained very deep friendships from childhood and college. The result – combined with the amount I’ve traveled as an adult – is that I’ve never really had to make friends as an adult out in the “real world.” I’ve found an extra layer of challenge in being in a culture outside my own, with etiquette differences. Americans are much more direct communicators than Brits, and I worry that this makes me come off as rude (and on the flip side, I often completely miss social cues from Brits because I’m not accustomed to the way they talk around subjects). At home, I rarely overthink social interactions, but now I’m overthinking everything. In any case, despite those worries I’ve definitely met some wonderful people in my short time here. I’m really grateful to everyone who’s reached out or met up with me, and if you happen to be in London and want to get a coffee, by all means let me know (can’t promise I won’t overthink it though).

Travel planning fun. On a lighter note, I’m starting to plan some upcoming travels this spring and summer! Because moving to a new continent and planning a destination wedding in 2024 wasn’t enough, lol. Dan and I will be going to Valencia, Spain for a week in April (originally we were going to do Italy + Spain but this got way too complicated), and I’m also planning a wee Ireland road trip with my friend Julia this summer. Stay tuned for updates!

On the theme of travel planning, I should mention that Dan and I have officially booked all our accommodations for our honeymoon. We’re going on a road trip of the Michigan coastline, directly after our wedding in September. It’s definitely low-key in terms of a honeymoon “destination,” but it’s very “us”! To make it a bit more honeymoon-y we did book a combination of cute B&Bs with a couple luxury properties, as well (yes, we are staying at the Grand Hotel and I am SO excited).

Dan making sushi for Valentines Day 🙂
We also had a lovely dinner with our French friends Flora and Yoann during their visit!!

The best gluten free eats in February…

Free From Festival in Bristol. I had to mention this first because, 100% gluten free festival say whaaat?! I had a fun day exploring with Rachel of Sightseeing Coeliac (it was so wonderful to meet in person for the first time!) and we ate some DELICIOUS food. I’m definitely planning to attend the one in London in May.

Good Fing Pizza pop up in Shoreditch (London). On Friday, Dan and I had a cute little date night at the Boundary Hotel where my fast fave GF pizza company in London was having a pop up event.

Libby’s London in Belsize Park (London). I went here for brunch over the weekend and have to say I love this location, much more spacious than the Notting Hill one!

Camden Market and Maltby St Market in London. Dan and I explored these markets in February and I found some nice gluten free options at both! My Camden Market Instagram reel has been popular so I should probably make one for Maltby as well!

Libby’s croissant.
Good Fing Pizza pop up.
The Telegraph.

Gluten free London photo dump series. Speaking of Instagram, I’ve been keeping up with my weekly photo dump of each week’s best GF eats! Check out the February posts: week 1, week 2, week 3, week 4, week 5.

Gluten free home cooking. Dan and I have been VERY into cooking up nice meals at home. Some of my favorite recipes we made this month were this sushi bake (make it the day ahead and eat cold – it’s 100x better cold than hot – and use canned crab instead of imitation crab to be GF), this honey soy salmon bowl (a longterm fave of ours), this Greek salad protein bowl, these Turkish egg pots, and this crispy salmon with green curry and capers (we’ve made it twice in Feb it’s that good).

Turkish eggs.
Good Fing Pizza at Free From Festival.
El Pollote at Camden Market.

February blogging income report and update…

I’ve been chugging away working on my blog and writing assignments from our little flat in Wimbledon. As I mentioned in my January recap, I unfortunately got snagged by a Google update in December that has significantly dropped my page views.

It’ll be a few months before I see any recovery income-wise (since most payments are made 60 days later – it’ll get worse before it gets better), but for the time being I’m quite optimistic and happy to just be working away!

Honestly, the dreaded Google update has been a bit of the kick in the pants that I needed to get even more serious about my business. I feel very lucky to be doing this full time right now as it’s truly what I love to do.

February 2024 blogging income

Here’s how my income broke down in February:

  • Advertising: $1,973.48
  • Freelance Writing: $1,600
  • Affiliates: $702.69

Total: $4,276.17

Note: This is my gross income, before expenses and taxes.

Remember that every post you read or share directly helps my small business, and I’m grateful to all of you who read my blog posts!

Very happy with my pizza at the Free From Festival!
Oh and I forgot to mention… lots of weeknight Catan sessions.

Upcoming in March…

I don’t have too many plans for March other than continue to get familiar with London life and slowly (very slowly) attend to my immigration-related tasks (high street bank account, national insurance number, and US-UK qualified tax accountant… you’re next).

Dan and I are going to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (parts one AND two) later this month, as my belated birthday present, and I’m extremely excited for that.

Other than that, I’ll just be writing, running, travel planning, cooking, eating delicious gluten free food, and meeting up with some new friends. Life could certainly be worse!

Let me know in the comments what you’re up to in March!

Looking for more?

One Comment

  1. sounds great to me! hope you manage to sort out all the necessary documents without much hassle. and enjoy London! I’m starting a new job later this month:) and we’re going on a short holiday to Slovenia before that

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