There’s no hiding the fact that us Brits like to have a good moan. But sometimes you don’t always really realise how good you had it until it’s gone. This is definitely the case since emigrating to America, I took things in the UK for granted and now I’d do anything to get them back!
What’s it like to visit home for the first time after you’ve emigrated? The key word is VISIT. There are so many posts about what is it like when you return from travelling but what is it like when you know you are only stopping by for a visit rather than just returning to normal life? I’ll tell you.
Cursed is a strong word, maybe I shouldn’t say that. But in small town America, I stick out like a sore thumb. As soon as I open my mouth and speak I get bombarded with questions. At first it was a bit novel but after over 2 months of answering the same questions on a weekly basis, I’m getting tired of having to tell the same story over and over and over and over again!
I’m not going to lie, in the first week of driving in the States, I reversed into a tree while backing into a car parking space. My car already had a giant dent in the bumper when we bought it so other than my self esteem, there wasn’t really much damage. Anyone that has passed a car test in Europe will know what an awful experience it is. We have tests that last for over 1hr3o (including a warm up lesson before it) which include parallel parking, reverse parking, reversing round corners, 3 point turns, emergency stops, roundabouts, traffic, clutches, biting points, gear changes, the lot. It’s also CRAZY expensive! So here’s my experience of an Expat getting a driving license in America!
One of the hardest things about emigrating is that I can’t help but feel I’m losing out on the precious time I should be spending with my Grandparents (and Parents). I’m in my late 20’s and I feel lucky to still have 2 out of 4 living, they were able to see their oldest Grandchild get married, they even witnessed the proposal (even though it did nearly give my Grandad a heart attack!) and I’m proud to have been able to let them have that experience. They’ve watched me grow up, but have you ever wondered what it was like when they were growing up? ASK them! LEARN from them! It’s amazing and you won’t regret it.
Sometimes when it comes to travel, I feel that the bigger events such as, the people we’ve met, the places we’ve visited and the experiences we’ve had, often over shadow the smaller, simpler pleasures of travelling. Don’t get me wrong, the major aspects are the things that have helped shape me as a person, but it’s those smaller things that make me smile, are the things that make me content with the life I live. Every day for 2 years, I wrote down a positive thing that happened that day, sometimes if I had had a bad day at work, I’d struggle but just something like the sun being out or a song coming on the radio would have made me smile, it helped me focus on the smaller pleasures.