Thursday, December 8, 2011

Why am I living in the USA?

Why am I living in the USA?  Well, there are 2 main reasons why I left my home in the North of England and made the big hop across the Atlantic:

  1. For love.  I met my American wife online.  We weren’t in a dating site, we just bumped into each other on the social networking site, MySpace (remember MySpace?).  Although webcams and email are great, at some point one of you has got to make the leap, so that you can both live in the same country.
  1. For the adventure.  My feelings about the USA are pretty mixed, I love some things and don’t like others, but despite, or maybe because of the ambivalence, I do find it a fascinating and exciting place.  When my wife and I decided that we would be married, we had a choice of her (and her daughter) coming to England, or me going to the USA.  We decided on the latter, mainly because I felt my life, although chugging along perfectly well, had sunk into a bit of a rut.  I relished the idea of doing something completely different, even if that meant risks in terms getting work etc.  (You only live once, right?)
Will my wife and I stay in the US forever?  I don’t know.  I do know that my wife would like to travel at some point.  Having become a single parent relatively young, I think she feels that she has delayed a lot of things, so that she can bring up her daughter successfully, and at some point she would like to spread her wings and go other places.

I have no intention of living anywhere except the US for the foreseeable future.  But now that I’ve made a big move once, the idea of doing it again at some point, no longer seems intimidating.  If my wife had some pension money coming in and I could secure a relatively reliable source of income from internet, it might be tempting to live somewhere like Thailand for a while, where the cost of living is currently about 20% of what it is here in the US.  (Okay, the Thailand idea is a bit of a pipe dream, but not an unfeasible one)

In the distant future, nobody knows how things are going to pan out, especially with the world economy being how it is.  As things stand though, I don’t know if I would want to stay in the US when I was older.  From what I’ve seen, old people can have a challenging time in the US, if they’re not wealthy.  The draw of the UK with its National Health Service and social infrastructure might be too tempting, plus I think my wife would be interested to live in the UK at some point.  But we’ll see.  That’s a long time into the future.


  1. There's one thing you have to take into consideration when children get older (as mine seem to be doing) - and that's moving to a different continent when your kids are still in the States. I keep thinking I want to move back to England to have some family time with my sibs and cousins, and then I realise that I have three American kids who would probably stay here....

  2. Life is an adventure and it is good to have dreams.

  3. @Expat Mum - Yes, I take your point. The teen is in an anglophile phase at the moment, begging us to visit the UK all the time, but that may well change and we might end up on opposite sides of the Atlantic if we moved in later years. Having said that, my wife and I's family currently live, or have lived in different countries, so the idea doesn't seem that galling in other ways.

  4. Rather than move abroad again, we like the idea of moving around the country. Florida doesn't really suit me, it's just too hot for me for nine months of the year. The good thing is the US is so big that you can pretty much find conditions that suit you somewhere. We have our eye on Maine or Vermont in the future.

    I'm certainly in no rush to return "home" unless I require some emergency surgery that is.

  5. I think I feel like you do: I like the US (so far), but there are a lot of things I am ambivalent about, and a few things about NC - or at least the area around Charlotte - that frustrate me. So we shall see. I actually like the idea of not knowing though and, like you, am less intimidated by a big move having done one now.

  6. @ Rob - I would say to that - do your homework on the winters. Chicago is glorious in the summer but the winters are pretty long and severe as are many in the mid-west and the Plains. I always joke, but a lot of the US is uninhabitable (to a Brit) for some part of the year.
    The South West is very hot in summer, the Mid-west has tornado alley, and some have very cold winters. The east coast has hurricanes etc etc. FLorida is unbearable when hot. (LOL)
    Best get an RV and move around!

  7. Take me to Thailand with you in ya'lls pipe dream! You are so right, once you have done one big move, all the rest don't seem so bad or intimidating. And MyWhat?? :)

  8. @LindyLou - Life is probably best if it's a mixture of adventure and the mundane, in my experience.

    @Rob - I like the South because it is quirky, but the North East is far more familiar to me and I did feel more at home when I went to Long Island and New York. I don't really care too much about weather, hot or cold, but I do like the novelty of the sub-tropical animal life down here in Florida. I think that I do miss sometimes is a big city with lots of stuff happening. I am to some degree an urban animal. Plus the North East actually has a public transport system.

  9. @Eve - There was an interesting article on the BBC site about Brits in Australia and Ausies in the UK and what they found frustrating. One thing that I find difficult is that there isn't much infrastructure where I am - to a large extent the USA is still very much being built, whereas Britain was built hundreds of years ago and now and then they just update it a little.

    @Texa - MySpace was actually the first place that I blogged. I liked it there and was sad when everyone deserted it.

  10. Ah Paul,
    The England you left behind is changing -
    Harry Ramsdens at Guiseley has just closed down. I remember the days when people went there by the coach load.

    And the weather now resembles winter :)


  11. @David - I only ate there once, although I stood outside to catch the airport bus back to Otley from work on many occasions (until they changed all the bus schedules).

    Brett's is the best fish and chip restaurant in Leeds, and indeed one of the best in the country.

    Yes, I saw that Yorkshire got hit by some of the gales that hit Scotland. Also you have ice. Here it looks a little like a British autumn, except the temperatures are more September.

  12. Love and Adventure! What better motivators could there be? Sounds like a movie already.