Katy Summerfield, Midwest Expat

Since my experience away from the Midwest was such an interesting time for myself, I often think about other people who have left the Midwest and what their experiences are like. In this series, called "Midwest Expat," I chat with a Midwesterner who has moved elsewhere to see how their Midwest is showing.

Katy and I met during my first year of college. We had a few fashion classes together – she was always so sweet and super chic. I watched on social media as she traveled and moved to England, then married an Englishman. It's so fun to see what her life in London is like, and I often wonder about her experiences as an international Midwest Expat. Hint: she spells like a Brit now!


My Midwest Is Showing: What is your hometown, and where do you live now? How long have you lived there?

Katy Summerfield: I come from Muwkonago, Wisconsin and now live in London. I've lived here since 2010 as I went to university here and then got married to a Brit. 

MMWIS: Why did you first decide to move to England?

KS: I had visited London in 2005 for an Honours English class. Though it was all through tourist eyes, I completely fell in love with the city and its spirit and from that year, (I was in eighth grade), I knew I wanted to spend my life here. 


MMWIS: What's your lifestyle like? Describe a typical day.

KS: While living in London is exciting, I think it sounds a lot more adventurous than it is. My lifestyle is very much the same as anyone's. I work for a fashion photography studio in Soho where I do social media, write website content and make modelling portfolios (digital and printed). My work is very social and extremely close-knit. We get together for a catch up at least once a week after work. When I get home, I spend a lot of my time hanging out with my dog, Lua as my husband works nights at a private member's club in Mayfair. 


MMWIS: Favorite thing about where you live now?

KS: It's difficult to say what my favourite thing about London is. To be honest, I think it's the people. They're so open-minded and the sense of humour is fantastic. I guess some of the cocktail bars and events/festivals London offers are great as well. 


MMWIS: What do you miss most about the Midwest?

KS: I miss the back home people the most. And even though I prefer the lifestyle I live now, there is something about going home and knowing all of the social codes and areas so well. There is a sense of comfort of being around people who come from extremely similar backgrounds and thus make it easy to relate to. 

MMWIS: What don't you miss?

KS: While I know this isn't entirely true as the Midwest is full of culturally-rich people, I don't miss the lack of variety of cultures and backgrounds. I don't mean that as harsh as it sounds. It's just that living in such a big city makes meeting people from polar opposite backgrounds completely effortless. 


MMWIS: What's something you know now that you didn't know living in the Midwest?

KS: It surprises me how many sayings that I use on a daily basis aren't typical sayings and actually derive from Wisconsin. My husband has pointed out many to me, and after researching them, their origin isn't just American but specifically Wisconsin (i.e. a horse apiece). 

MMWIS: How does your Midwest show in your new location? 

KS: My Midwest definitely shows with how polite I am. My attitude has hardened a bit from living in London; however, I find myself being a lot more warm than a lot of my friends are (they've pointed this out!).


MMWIS: Do you think you will ever live in the Midwest again?

KS: I never want to rule anything out as I had no idea I would ever be living in London (despite my great desire to), but my gut tells me I'm here to stay. As much as I love going home and seeing family/friends and knowing the culture, London is definitely home now, and I can't imagine it being any other way.