Thursday, 20 September 2007

Two Years in America

It was two years ago today that we left Birmingham to begin our new life in the USA. We stayed in a travelodge at Gatwick airport that night, and arrived in North Carolina; my travel diary continued with Waking up in America, finding my office and Supersize Me! I found it enjoyable reviewing those travel diaries and a lot of those first impressions have stayed with me. I still find it amazing to have the warmth of a British summer in late September. In fact, the climate here in the autumn is lovely, and I often sit outside to work. Although I can now find my way to work without trouble, I still get lost if I am on an unfamiliar journey. Groceries are, on the whole, a little cheaper than in the UK, though you have to invest a bit of time to get all the best prices. Eating out is much more common for us here than it was in the UK; it is often as much as once a week. And I still love my job.

The second year here has been much easier than the first. There were moments in the first few months when we really struggled, and we were on the verge of leaving. But the only really draining thing in the last year has been the application for the Green Card, which went off in January. That was a massive amount of work, and all a bit soul destroying, but fantastic once we had it over and done with. Viola received her work permit not long after that and now enjoys working for a computer company, from home.

I don't know how Americanized we are becoming. I can say American words now without feeling self-conscious, though asking for "water" in restaurants is still a challenge and sometimes we have to use a cod American accent. Lauren does a really convincing North Carolinian accent when she is with American kids. Our lives are a mix of Americana and British stuff. The kids watch a lot of American TV and Viola and I watch some of the big American series, but we all still watch quite a lot of British TV, and I listen mainly to British radio.

One thing we'd like to do is to explore more of America as a family. So far we have explored the mountains in North Carolina (twice) and the coast. We have driven the 620 miles to and from Orlando, Florida, and we have flown to Seattle. We have more trips planned over the coming months, and I hope to blog my travel diaries here.


Brandon said...

Strangely you seemed to have left out your many hours in the beautiful Atlanta airport.

Jacqui said...

No doubt the last 2 yrs have flown by despite the problems. Been here for 7.5yrs now and think about the UK less and less as time goes by but it will always be home. Unfortunately for the kids the same isn't true but at least they have a more global perspective than many of their peers

crystal said...

Come to California :-)