If you’re moving from the US, just prepare yourself to be regarded as your friends’ and family’s official ambassador to the UK. That title might sound cool, but it doesn’t come without its share of responsibilities. First of all, you’ll probably be hosting guests in your new apartment. A lot. Second of all, if anyone knows anyone traveling to or moving to  from the US, you can be sure you’ll be put in touch with those strangers to field questions or offer a friendly a face and conversation over tea or pints. And if you’re as lucky as me, you’ll even get to store luggage…uh, yeah.

Moving to from US – Get Ready to be Flat-Stanleyed

Just brace yourself for the favors, not least of which is probably going to be at least one kid’s Flat Stanley project for school. Don’t believe me? Yeah, well, this isn’t the first time I’ve blogged about Flat Stanley (see my post, “Flat Stanley-n-Me: UK Bank Holiday in London,” which I did for my nephew about a year or so after moving to London UK from the US), and dare I hope it will be my last?? Oh, it actually is pretty fun to do, and I’m certainly not above playing the tourist and snapping shots of its iconic sites (even when it entails holding up a flimsy, flapping paper boy to do so). So here’s what I did this spring when a family friend mailed Flat Stanley to me for his second Britain Invasion…

Moving from US – Flat Stanley #2-n-Me in London

Flat Stanley’s adventure with me started in the neighborhood of Earls Court. I showed Stanley the square that features in the movie An American Werewolf in London—very cool trivia for those of you moving from the US!—and then the Earls Court exhibition center. It had just held the Book Fair that week and will be gearing up to host volleyball for the London 2012 Olympics in July. 

The center is also located right across the street from the Tube station, so Stanley took a quick ride with me on the London Underground to Westminster station. He was so psyched when we climbed the stairs to the sidewalk and straight away saw Westminster Abbey and Big Ben! With a giddy smile on his face, Stanley then walked with me across Westminster Bridge for a pretty view of Parliament, the River Thames, and London Eye.

Once on the South Bank, we made our way to Waterloo rail station to catch our train to Southampton, located on England’s southern coast.

Moving from US – Flat Stanley #2-n-Me in Southampton

It was too rainy for Stanley to pose for many outdoor pictures there, but in the photo below, the open space behind him by the cranes is where the RMS Titanic once stood tall before setting off on her maiden (and last) voyage 100 years and 10 days before. Flat Stanley got to float right past the berth itself on a ferry (inset photo), but, given the high winds on the water that could have easily snatched him away from me, we didn’t want to take his picture and risk a burial at sea… He also saw historic Southampton places like the White Star Line office at Canute Chambers and medieval ruins.

(Stanley was so gracious to smile in front of the plaque pictured here, but I suspect he was crying on the inside.)

And that was Flat Stanley’s grand United Kingdom adventure for that April weekend! He received a few new creases during his journey (and unfortunately was snipped a bit when I cut the postage off the envelope without realizing he was, um, still inside of it—okay, he was fully decapitated but rallied with a couple pieces of tape!). Ah, but such are the proud battle scars of the well-traveled that make for great stories. 🙂

So if you’re moving from the US and have to host a Flat Stanley of your own in jolly olde England, just think of the many adventures you can have!


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