I came to Philadelphia from the UK in 1985, to study at the University of Pennsylvania — and stayed. In the past three decades I’ve been a student at a big American university; married one American and birthed two more of them; lived and worked in Chicago; spent a year in Connecticut; and telecommuted from a home office in the Philadelphia suburbs.
I’ve learned to ask for what I want; to encourage my kids to reach for the stars; and to believe that ordinary people can make a difference. I’ve learned to think of a 100-mile drive as just a short trip; to relish the changing seasons; and to love baseball.
I still miss Marmite, room-temperature beer, and grey drizzly days. Then again, whenever I’m back in the UK, I feel vaguely “foreign” and strangers assume I’m American.
Above all, after all this time the States can still baffle me — and strangers still coo over my accent.
This blog is my way of trying to explain what it feels like to be a Brit living abroad in the USA.