So, as you know, this week I’m in Germany preparing for our wedding on Saturday…eeek! I can’t believe it has come around so quickly. Anyway, while I’m away I thought I’d entertain you with another installment of the 5 things I love and hate about being an expat in America series. Today it’s the things I love, so, here goes…
1. Exploring at your fingertips
Living in a different country means there is so much more to explore than you had back home, especially in somewhere as big as America when it takes hours on a plane to get from one side of the country to the other. It means at the drop of a hat, if we decide we want to explore somewhere new we can, whether it’s in Atlanta itself (we still haven’t seen everything this city has to offer!), in Georgia or further afield. Having the busiest airport in the world on your doorstep means there are thousands of flights to everywhere in America every single day. Just the other week we hopped on a plane to Las Vegas for a few days which was something I could only dream of this time 2 years ago! Last year we explored Florida and there are so many more places on our bucket list that we want to see. It’s definitely a plus point of being an expat, I get to do things that a few years ago would have meant some major planning and a lot of money. It does mean life is pretty busy though because you want to make the most of every minute you have in your new country.
2. Seasonal Beer
Before moving to America I wasn’t much of a beer drinker, in fact I could just about manage 1 pint at a push if there was nothing else to drink. Here though, I’m definitely a beer convert and I think it’s because of the many different craft beers made in this fair land and their different flavours, in particular the seasonal brews. Just aout every single brewery does them and the flavours change to fit the season, currently we’re on summer brews so we’re talking citrus flavours, next will be autumn and copious amounts of pumpkin beer. It really mixes things up and means there’s constantly something new to try. Although once the brews are gone you do miss them and look forward to their return the following season. My favourite beer in America is Blue Moon, their pumpkin beer is so good, I also like the summer one they have out at the minute. The German and I managed to polish off a whole box of Blue Moon’s seasonal sampler whilst at the pool on Sunday…whoops!
3. Closet (or wardrobe if you’re a Brit!) Space
Seriously, these things are HUGE here. If we ever move back to Europe I don’t know what I’m going to do without a walk-in closet. The German’s just going to have to find us somewhere to live where there’s either a spare room to make into a walk-in closet or somewhere he can build one, I don’t think I can go back to having my clothes stuffed into a wardrobe that looks like it’s about to explode! One of the major advantages of America is the amount of space people have and that is definitely reflected in the size of the closets. We have a two bedroom apartment with 2 of the biggest closets I have ever seen, seriously. You could put a single bed in there or have a party. For the first time ever, my clothes are spread out nicely, I can see what I have to wear and there’s still space for some more shopping to be done! We have so much space we have drawers in the spare room that we brought over from England that are empty. The second closet’s more of a storage space with about 10 suitcases in, a bike, a set of golf clubs, anything that we can’t find a home for like camping chairs and cooler bags and any other bits and bobs that we don’t want lying around, every time we have visitors we’re forced to tidy it up so that they have somewhere to hang their clothes!
4. School buses
I’ve talked about this before, I simply love seeing a big, yellow, American school bus! Back in the UK our school buses are the same as the normal public transport buses, only with a different sign on the front. The American buses to me, are what you see in a film, here though they’re obviously a normal every day sight. Just about every time I see one I have one of those ‘Wow! I actually live in America’ moments – sad I know, but it’s the little things that make all the difference when you’re living in a different country! I’m already excited about the idea that if we have children over here they would go to school on a yellow school bus. I’m sure they would think their mum is an idiot and wouldn’t appreciate it as much as I would! They do have one drawback though, you do not want to be behind one when it’s on its way to or from school, they stop literally every 20 yards and once they stop there’s no overtaking them or even passing on the opposite side of the road, both sides have to stop until all the children are safely on or off the bus and on the pavement (or sidewalk if you’re American), believe me, it can double or even triple your journey home!
And last, but definitely by no means least, is the delight that is queso. Seriously, this thing is the food of the Gods. If we ever have to leave this country, this would be one of the things I would miss the most! It is so, so, so bad for you but tastes so, so, so good. I literally cannot resist it if we head to a mexican or any restaurant where I spot it on the menu! Let me explain, with America being so close to Mexico there are thousands of Mexican restaurants in Atlanta alone and they are all amazing. This little delight is a melted cheese dip that you sink a fresh tortilla chip into before stuffing it into your mouth – a taste sensation! I mean, who wouldn’t like pure, melted cheese? It also comes in various different flavours, there’s plain queso, queso with jalapenos, queso with chorizo, queso with ground beef – oh my lord it is simply amazing. If you’re ever in the States you HAVE to try this out! My mouth is watering just writing this and thinking about the stuff! Can you tell it is one of my favourite things over here? If only I didn’t have a wedding dress to fit into…! Here are some pictures of this tasty delight to whet your appetite:
So there you have it people, the latest installment of ‘5 Things I Love about being an Expat in America.’ What do you think? If you’re an expat here in the States are these the things you like too? What else do you think should be added to the list?
Stay tuned guys, next up it’s another installment of ‘5 Things I Hate about being an Expat in America.’