Today I asked a few folks on my Desperate English in Washington Facebook page to complete this sentence: ‘America is….’
These are some of the responses:
‘Bloody wonderful’ (love that an American used the word ‘bloody’!)
‘A close 2nd to the UK’
‘Just for Christmas’
‘Brillopads (most of the time)’
I’m interested in how Americans view their country, as well as how other folks who live here see it, or to capture thoughts from those who have visited, and even from those who only see it from TV shows and the news. Each experience and mindset is unique and they often differ vastly.
For me: America is….opportunity.
Which leads me on to this.
As a visiting expat I am here to make the most of it, and I wish I could travel more around the USA, but that’s not possible every day, week or month, so I absorb and appreciate America and its people and culture through other avenues – working, volunteering, visiting, talking, listening and getting involved.
My American experience is quite different from the experience of other expats, I’m sure, and certainly some of them would not want to undertake some of the commitments I have. But someone (another expat) today challenged me on why I choose to live at the pace I do and why I make the choices I make. I was taken by surprise, but I knew the response straight away. ‘Because it’s not forever,’ I replied. I don’t want to sit at home day in and day out when there is so much on my doorstep.
This (rather beautiful) sentiment is always behind many of my choices as an expat in America-land.
I don’t want to look back and think ‘Oh I wish I had done that…’, nor do I want to say to myself, ‘Oh I’m sure I had a smashing time sitting on my sofa.’
Carpe Diem. Seize the Day. Gather ye rosebuds while ye may. The world is your oyster.
Claire you’re doing the right thing, seize the moment. Your time in America land will just whiz past. I wanted to do the same but didn’t know what to do so I volunteered. I drove for the Red Cross, had two lovely people that I had to take to their hospital appointments, one was a blind man and when I had to leave he wrote me a poem on his typewriter and told me I had been the sunshine in his life (are you all in tears yet?). I also sold raffle tickets in a supermarket, sat next to a fabulous sports car. Didn’t had the guts to sprawl across the bonnet! Wish I had now. You go girl soak it all up xxx
You’re a diamond, lovely Sal!
I would have responded with “beautiful” but you got it spot on with that statement.
I was an expat in England twenty five years ago and still to this day I wish I had practiced more carpe diem. Rock on Claire!
I wouldn’t have met you if I hadn’t seized the day!
America is diverse. Even as an American living here all of my life, there is still so much I haven’t even seen or done in all 50 states! Please try to see Alaska if you can. It is mind blowing! Only just had the opportunity to visit there myself recently. So many more on my “bucket [wish] list”.