Not all Brits in LA Members live in Los Angeles: in fact a fair number are scattered around the globe.
This week’s Meet a Member is Laura McCaul who lives in Oxford, U.K.
Seeing as you don’t live in Los Angeles how did you end up joining Brits in LA?
I actually lived in Los Angeles for just over six years and only moved back to the UK in the summer. I joined Brits in LA sometime during my first year there.
What your impression of LA?When I first visited L.A., my immediate impression could be summed up as follows: sunshine, palm trees and traffic! And while they're all permanent fixtures, all I can say is living in L.A. and visiting L.A. are two entirely different experiences (unless you are visiting friends who can show you around). It can be a little overwhelming at first due to the sheer size and vastness of the city, but if you take the time to explore it as well as really get to know your neighborhood, there is so much more to the city than you think. For example, one of the things I miss the most is hiking in the canyons; now if you didn't know the L.A., that's probably not something you would associate with it.
Do you think you could ever see yourself moving to LA, if not tell us what keeps you in Oxford? To be honest, I don't think I see myself moving back to L.A. but I do plan to visit on a regular basis. In fact, I've been back to visit already! I'm fortunate that my business allows me to work from anywhere so I plan on taking full advantage of that. I have some good friends in L.A. and it's very much a home from home for me. And there's definitely an energy and vibrancy to the city that I haven't experienced anywhere else.
Do you have a hidden gem in Oxford that you want to share with us? The Turf Tavern. It literally is a "hidden" gem! It's an historic pub, popular with students, and is hidden down a narrow cobbled street. You have to seek it out, and most people walk right past it the first time around but it's worth it. They have a great selection of ales.
Why would you recommend other overseas readers joining Brits in LA?Even though I've experienced the benefits of being a local member in L.A., you would be surprised at the contacts you can make and the opportunities that present themselves by being connected to other BLA members. The world is a surprisingly small place!
We hear you have been working on an exciting project. Care to tell us more about it ?I'm creating my own range of gardening tools and accessories. I have a background in landscape design and before that a corporate career in sales and marketing, so when the opportunity presented itself, it seemed like a good fit. I've just launched my first product onamazon.com; a water-saving garden hose nozzle. I have more products planned for release in 2016. Lots of our members join our group Brits in LA seeking out words of wisdom - what is the best piece of advice you've been given?Give it time. Almost everyone I've met has said it took them a year or two to fully settle in LA. And that was certainly true in my case. But it's worth it. Joining Brits in LA will help and was one of the best decisions I made during my time there. It's a great community and resource that will make your move and transition a little easier. And you'll get to meet new people, form friendships and have fun along the way.
When British Nationals realise that their passport is about to run out, what can they do?
Overseas British passport applications must now be applied for ONLINE via gov.uk website. The British Consulate says “don’t leave it until the last minute to apply for your passport. You can apply up to nine months in advance and any unexpired time will be added to your new passport” This applies to new passports and renewals.
You will mailing your passport to the following address
Durham Passport Office Milburngate House Durham DH97 1PA We advise getting a tracking number when you mail; you can send through the USPS for about $16
You can also book a same day appointment in the UK for a renewal passport. However if you have lost your passport and go home on an emergency document, it can take a week for an expedited renewal:
If you've ever considered jumping on a flight home to pop into a Tesco Express for that much needed tub of Bisto Gravy Granules that will surely salvage your Sunday Roast, then this is the place for you! You don't need to go anywhere but to your computer for those unmatchable tastes of home. The internet is awash with online stores that will deliver right to your doorstep. Www.Expats.org has a useful directory of British food suppliers from around the world but if you don't want to wait until checkout to find out just what it will cost you for a tub of Marmite, then this guide will offer some examples of shipping and product costs from some of the best Brit food stores online.
British Food Store Online www.Britishfoodstoreonline.co.uk+44 (0) 1785 281 637 USA Shipping £29.99 This is a UK based company so the shipping is more expensive than other distributors but they do offer a 5% loyalty discount off all repeated orders and if you recommend a friend you can earn £10 in credi…