On moving to another country
Every now and again Betsy asks me to write something for her blog and, depending on if I'm comfortable with it I'm happy to post something (although weirdly enough the last thing I wasn't happy writing about was canal boats, to give a tantalising glimpse into a part of my background that will forever remain hidden). Anyway, this time round Betsy asked me to write about the prospect of moving to a new country and what that means to me, particularly given the fact I've just spent an amazing week with her checking up on the former colonies.
To be honest, right now, writing this on the flight back to Heathrow, I feel less intimidated or nervous about the prospect than you might think - generally I just feel mildly frustrated that I can't get on with getting over there now. That's partly because I've lived abroad before, but more importantly I started living away from home when I was about 13 and started boarding at high school - homesickness was pretty much over and beaten out of me after those five years.
People talk about culture shock as well, and I can't exactly predict how that one's going to go down. Weirdly enough, though, I'd kind of be happy if there was an element of that shock, because it would mean that globalisation hadn't yet sunk its all-encompassing talons into every field of modern life. In DC I found I could get, in a pretty regular supermarket, chocolate digestives, Coleman's mustard and Heinz Baked Beans (also Spotted Dick in a can, which is weird and not a thing, America). It's the same thing here in London - if I want to, I can go to Chipotle, Shake Shack and, soon, Dunkin' Donuts (maybe not at the same time though). When I was 18 I spent six months in Vietnam, so perhaps the cultural divide going to the States doesn't quite sound so intimidating.
My point is, though, that I'd kind of be happy to wake up, really want something super-British and be royally pissed off that I couldn't get it. It would mean I'd have to adapt to something new, and experience something I wouldn't be able to otherwise. So long live the fact that you still can't get hold of PG Tips tea or decent cheese (ooooh, controversial) in America, and the fact that the UK doesn't get proper BBQ food or the concept of customer service. If that day ever came I think it would be a sad one for anyone curious about the wider world and what might be out there, so personally I cannot wait to wake up one morning and be hacked off not to be able to get or do something (although that doesn't apply to getting a job. I'd quite like to get one of those) - I'll just have to go outside and venture outside my comfort zone. Who knows, it might even be fun!