Tourist’s Dream: Becoming an Ex-Pat

Sometimes dreams do come true and then, well, you just better watch out!
I have been posted to England by my employer, to establish a subsidiary company in the UK and open an international office. After several changes of mind, we have settled on Reading (pronounced "Redding") as the location for our office and my new home. Forget the PBS Masterpiece Theatre image of Reading as a quaint little one-street town with a pub just down from the vicar’s house. Reading is a town of 50,000 about 40 miles west of London in the Thames River Valley and has both a vehicle-free city center with winding old streets and one of the largest malls in England. We chose Reading because its real estate is cheaper than London’s by a factor of 10 and it’s home to many UK IT firms, including Oracle and Microsoft (who has 5,500 employess here).
I’ve spend my first week getting to know Reading and inspecting "serviced offices" and "serviced apartments". These are fully-equipped places that give you everything you need to get going quickly. We’re zero-ing on both office and apartment and I hope we will be able to close the deal on both early this coming week. A local business development group has been helping show me around and make introductions, which has been invaluable.
Once I get out of the hotel and into my serviced apartment (where I expect to stay for 3-6 months) I’ll have my meager household goods shipped over. These consist of 10 boxes of clothes and computers, my golf clubs, and a guitar; all I really need for a year.
I want to thank my many friends who were so generous with their good wishes and assistance leading up to my departure from the U.S. I suppose it has still not quite sunk in yet for me that I’m not just on another vacation trip. So far, I’m quite happy to be here and all has gone smoothly. I have been able to stay in close contact with HQ in McLean due to the excellent quality of my Internet connection at the hotel.
Next in the queue (see those British-isms are creeping in already): figuring out how to buy or lease a car!

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