It’s that time again where I harp on about what I love about being an expat in America. It can be anything from food (that’s usually in there somewhere) to a trip I’ve been on or simply the way of life over here. So, without further ado, here’s my latest top 5:
America does burgers and America does bloody good burgers. The burgers here are the best I’ve ever tasted, I don’t think I’ve ever had a really bad one and I’ve tucked into a fair few since moving over here that’s for sure! They’re usually all hand-made, not like those disgusting frozen ones you get in some restaurants back in the UK. They’re ground to perfection, moulded and cooked to your liking, even in the chain restaurants where, back in the UK, the burgers can be pretty naff. They’re then topped with every topping imaginable that always work together. Even the fast food restaurants have got the burger down to a T, well, obviously not McDonald’s or Burger King, they’re the same around the world, but head to somewhere like Five Guys and you’ve got an amazing fast food burger that is out of this world! I never used to order burgers back at home unless we were somewhere like the Handmade Burger Co. or somewhere I knew the burgers were good, here I don’t hesitate. I usually opt for something with cheese and bacon (everything tastes better with cheese and bacon) and add some guacamole or fried pickles or pulled pork, or mushrooms…the list is endless!
I’ve definitely taken a big liking to this sport! When we came over to the States, we went to watch every new sport going, basketball, American football but baseball was my favourite. I love putting on my Braves t-shirt and heading to the ball game at Turner Field! It’s a relaxed game, you can spend time with friends, if you’re eyes aren’t on the field all the time it doesn’t matter, you unlikely to miss something if you’re looking away for a few minutes. You can kick back with a beer and some peanuts, tuck into a hot dog or some nachos and jump up and shout when there’s a home run! The German has made it his mission to catch a ball at one of the games, he literally jumps out of his seat and braces himself if the ball is ever heading somewhere near his direction! He’s yet to catch one but he once came pretty close! We can’t forget the 7th inning stretch either where everybody stands up, sways and sings ‘Take Me Out to the Ball Game!’ A perfect Sunday afternoon can be had right there! Just remember to pack the sunscreen…
3. Holiday Celebrations
Let’s face it, American’s know how to celebrate a holiday. Whether it’s 4th of July, Thanksgiving, Christmas or something simple like Labor Day or Memorial Day, there’s always something happening somewhere to celebrate, and it usually involves fireworks, especially on 4th of July! People decorate their homes with seasonal decor (pumpkins in fall, American flags for 4th of July), they have parties for every event imaginable and go the whole hog with the decor – Halloween is one of my favourite holidays, especially when it comes to the fancy dress! Valentines Day, St Patricks Day and any other day gets its fair share of celebrations, not like in the UK where they’re half celebrated and half not! Although, I think the UK is copying the States and heading towards this type of celebration now.
4. Coffee Creamer
If I had to leave the States I do not know what I would do without my, now beloved, coffee creamer! This is something that definitely needs to catch on back in the UK – it’s literally flavoured cream but it does wonders for your morning coffee! There’s every flavour imaginable from French vanilla (my personal favourite) and hazelnut to cinnamon roll and Bailey’s, yes you heard that right, Bailey’s. Some of them are a little too sweet for me but I’d definitely miss them if they weren’t there! It’s the simple things.
5. It’s a confidence thing.
Being an expat definitely helps to boost your confidence. I’ve always been a pretty shy person, hell, I used to hide behind my mum’s skirt when I was little and cry at men, but, moving to another country means I’ve had to be more confident. I’ve been forced to go out and make friends, they weren’t going to come to me. We had to put ourselves out there, make new contacts and build our new life. I do things now that I would never have done back in the UK all down to the fact I came here knowing one person, the German, and let’s face it, a life knowing just one person isn’t going to be that much fun is it? Now, just over 18 months into our adventure, we’ve built a life, have a good network of friends and have definitely become a lot more confident in ourselves. Now, we can take on the world…well maybe not the whole world but we’ll give it a good go!