Now then people, I thought I’d start a new little series in this lovely blog of mine all about what I love about being an expat and on the flip side what I don’t like about it/miss about good old Blighty! It could be anything from the simple things like food and drink, to new places we’ve explored or just the way things work over here!
Obviously you have to start with the good stuff so here’s my first list of 5 things I love about being an expat in the land they call America!
1. We’re living in America!!
Simples! What else could you love more than the fact you’re actually living in America? (Cue some James Brown…I know you’re all singing it in your head now!)
Even after 12 months of being on American soil I still don’t think it has sunk in that I actually live here. I live in America!! I still kind of feel like a visitor who will be jetting back home on that plane in a couple of weeks, but the end of those couple of weeks never comes and instead I spend a couple of weeks in England! I still drive around going ‘Wow! Look at that!’ and then think ‘Oh my God, I live in America!’ There are so many places we haven’t explored yet, and of course, America is so big that the bucket list of places to go is always growing!! Watch this space and see what we can tick off during out adventure!!
2. The weather
OK, So I know I’ve said this a million times before but the weather here in Atlanta is amazing!! Well, apart from last week’s snowmageddon disaster, but hey, that’s a once in every 3 years thing and we were lucky enough to be caught up in it! (It was an experience to say the least!!) Usually this place is HOT, and when I say HOT I mean like 100 degrees in the summer hot, hence why they call it Hotlanta! Admittedly, sometimes it can be too hot, and just walking to your car leaves you looking like a sweaty mess but, after living in the UK for 29 years and experiencing the cold, wind and rain for practically 365 days a year this is HEAVEN!! Spending weekends by the pool (having a pool on your apartment complex is standard living around here!) being able to wear shorts every single day for about 7 months of the year, being guaranteed an actual summer, not just a weekend is just bliss! I don’t think I’ll ever take the extremely pretty days for granted or ever get used to them! Even now I rush the German to go out for a walk because it’s sunny until he replies with ‘Rachel, we’re not in England, the sunshine is sticking around!’
3. Meeting new people and making new friends.
I love meeting new people, I did it everyday in my job as a broadcast journalist back in the UK, I’d interview people from all different walks of life and it was always fascinating to hear their story, so coming to a new country and knowing absolutely nobody is daunting but it’s a challenge and we were willing to accept it! One of the first things on our list was to make new friends and meet new people and that’s something that is never ending! 12 months on and we’ve got a good circle of friends but we’re always adding to it. In anyone’s life, making friends is a job that never stops, even if you’re still living in the town you grew up in, doing it here in Atlanta just means we have an international group of friends – some are American, some German, some Brits, some Danish, some Dutch – the list is endless and that just makes it a lot more interesting!
4. Seeing everything with fresh eyes.
Arriving in a new country, everything is fresh and different and exciting, and when I say everything, I mean everything! I’d been to America before I moved here (New York and Florida) but that was a holiday, this is now my everyday life. I might have seen the street signs and school buses in the movies, but seeing them in the flesh every single day is still as exciting 12 months down the line as it was on day 2! The German thinks I’m a nutter when I get excited by a really old American car, or when we went to the cabin in the mountains – I’m literally like a little child! I go to the supermarket and get excited by things like ‘Lucky Charms’ (well I don’t anymore, but in the first few months I did and obviously I had to buy them just because I could!) and the massive selection when it comes to things like salad dressing! It’s the little things, obviously!
5. Everyday is an adventure.
When you’re an expat every day is a new experience, even if you’re just sitting on the sofa at home! Sounds random, I know but believe me, even sitting on the sofa is a new experience, depending on which channel you choose on the TV! (There are some very random programmes over here – no doubt there will be a blog post on that one day!) Whether it’s exploring a new part of the city, heading to a new restaurant or just to a new grocery store, expat life is just one massive adventure and it’s blummin amazing!!
What do you love about being an expat?