Anglotopia, I wrote a heartfelt post about the things I miss most about Britain. I never intended it this way, but my list included virtually every aspect of British life.
Perhaps owing to the overly sentimental nature of the article, many readers took my words to mean I was deathly homesick, that I must return home immediately. Someone even offered (jokingly, I assume) to pack my bags and pay for the ticket. I would, of course, have taken them up on such an offer, if it weren't for the fact that, over the past 5 years, I have come to really appreciate my life here in the United States.
Aside from the oft stated benefits an Englishman is afforded in the Midwest, there are actually a high number of reasons for expats of all nationalities to emigrate here.
When I look back on my life in America - should I ever live elsewhere - I will, first and foremost, remember its people. Its people - as with every other country on Earth - are what drive its culture, its innovation and its history. I love their forthrightness, the ability to say directly what they mean, instead of beating around the proverbial bush (as I once did).
I love American accents in all their wondrous forms, from the speech patterns of Wisconsin to Louisiana, and Washington State to Boston. To that end, I love that the United States is so expansive, that I can dream of one day walking from San Fransisco to Boston, covering every conceivable measure of terrain in the process. I love that I have seen the mountains of Colorado, the woods of the North East and the cornfields of Indiana and that I have yet to see the Grand Canyon, Mount Rushmore and the White House.
I love New York.
I love the number of outdoor swimming pools across the country and the mid-year weather that makes them possible. I even love the snow when I'm watching it from inside. Speaking of winters, I love that the Indiana sun doesn't set until around 5:30 in late November. I love the orange leaves in autumn and that autumn is referred to as fall. And when nature doesn't skip over it, I love spring more than any other season.
Seasons. I love the first 5 seasons of 30 Rock and hope to soon complete the rest of the series. Further, I am told I haven't lived until I've seen Breaking Bad, Mad Men and Game of Thrones. Seasons, indeed.
I love my cats, Russian though they are.
I love the potential of this nation, itself still in relative adolescence. While it has its faults, America remains the only country on Earth to send humans to the moon and automated motor vehicles to Mars. I love it when both spheres are visible from my apartment. I love my apartment.
I love how Americans say apartment instead of flat and place a rhotic 'r' in the word colonel, and that the words father and bother somehow rhyme, while father and rather do not (always). I love American English.
I love my wife, American though she is.
I love that I can write gushy blog posts and that most Americans won't hold it against me. I love writing for an American audience and interacting with readers from Hawaii to West Virginia. I love that I get to visit West Virginia this Labor Day weekend. I love American holidays: the flag-waving excesses of July 4th to the cheeriness of Thanksgiving.
I love Hershey's chocolate almost as much as Cadbury's, while American beer is - contrary to popular belief - rather good too. With guilt and pleasure in equal measure, I must confess that I also love Arby's.
And yes, I love that Americans love the British: that pubs are a feature of most major cities and that football, Dr. Who and The Beatles have a presence this side of The Pond.
Though I miss Britain dearly, I do bloody love life in the United States of America.
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