I wrote this post using the prompt: I Pledge Allegiance, although I think I got a bit sidetracked!
One thing I really want to do before I get too ‘settled’ is live abroad. It just seems like it would be a really great experience, as I have lived in England all my life.
Until recently I would tend to suffer from a bit of ‘culture shock’ whenever I first arrived somewhere on holiday. Everything would seem a bit overwhelming.
It’s usually just small things, like when I visited the USA and was blown away by the variety of food in the small supermarket we used. They had these amazing McCains sweet potato wafers I wanted to somehow take home without them thawing and there seemed to be a whole aisle just for ice cream, but no alcohol! We had to buy that from the liquor store down the street. I do not know if this is normal for over there or just the set up where we were.
Small things like that make me miss England because I’ll think back to being able to buy a cheap crate of cider on offer from any supermarket. Goodness knows why English people are getting a bit of a reputation for binge drinking.
But the food tended to be cheaper, as did the underground system (London’s Tube is ridiculously expensive by comparison!), and people were a bit more friendly and chatty than in the South of England. Some of the differences were positive.
I do not know if it is because I have gotten older but I do not seem to get quite so overwhelmed by visiting a new country anymore.
When we went to Paris, R pretty much let me do the talking the whole time because I know more French than him. I really enjoyed attempting to speak French, although I definitely need to work on understanding it. One guy must have thought I was French and started talking to me, I could not understand him at all. Luckily he knew a bit of English and we managed to have a short conversation. Him speaking English and me speaking French.
Being a bit more involved in organising our trip definitely made me feel like living somewhere else might not be as scary as I used to think it was.
I would not say I was particularly patriotic. To me, it is just luck where you are born so I do not feel particularly proud to have been born here. But I do love England. I appreciate the free health care, the sarcasm, the love of tea, the attitude towards the unpredictable weather and being over-polite.
Saying that, I am sure there are other places out there I could enjoy living in for different reasons. In Paris I loved how people would happily sit and enjoy their own company. I loved the buildings and the fact that there seemed to be a lot more places selling books than in England. I loved that people would spend hours in restaurants eating their dinner.
So while I do love my home country I am sure there might be other places out there that I might like just as much, or even prefer. I hope I get to find out someday.