It’s January 2021 and COVID is still in full swing in Brisbane. As I write this, I am home due to a three day stay-at-home order. However, I’m still forging forward with my immigration process and hoping for some good news in the next few weeks (but who knows what will happen between now and then?).
The USA has featured heavily in the news over the last few months (well forever really), and when people find out I’m immigrating there, I get the same shocked responses, “Why would you go there?” “ Are you crazy? Do you know what’s going on in the US?” “Why doesn’t Jim come here?” etc etc. And it would fill me with trepidation all the time. Yes guys, I do know what’s going on there, and probably better than you as I have a fiance there remember? I’m not entirely stupid.
Yesterday in lockdown I watched a heap of youtube videos of a British man who married an American woman and he’s been living in the US for over a decade. He loves it, and watching his experiences gave me a fresh excitement for the move, and it reminded me that yes, there’s a lotta crazy going on over there, but America is still pretty awesome. I’m choosing to focus on the awesome and here’s my list of the things I am most excited about once I reach the US. Naturally Jim and my daughter are the best things, but this list is other American awesomeness.
- Biscuits: I have been thinking about biscuits a lot since I was last in the US. That fluffy, buttery goodness— can’t wait to try one with a piece of good old-fashioned fried chicken.
- Walmart: If you don’t understand this it’s because you haven’t been there. Walmart has everything— from tyres to guns to salad. Everything. There’s about six aisles of just breakfast cereals (well confectionary if we’re honest), and it’s my favourite aisle to ogle. I’d never actually buy or eat any, but the range is awesome. Added to this, you cannot leave Walmart not having bought something you don’t need.
- Restaurants: I’ve written about this previously, but I’m still shocked every time I think of it. You can change up the meals as much as you want everywhere you go, and they accommodate you with a smile. In Australia they ask you to leave!
- Cost of living: sure, wages are a lot lower, and in some chain restaurants I’m sure the wait staff earn less than child labour in China (be a decent human and tip big!), but the cost of living is affordable. Maybe not in New York, but I don’t want to live in New York. A small town in one of the southern states is enough for me. There are many small towns all over the US where you can buy a house under $100,000 and still have a local Walmart (see number 2 for clarification).
- The incredible landscapes: I will always consider Australia one of the most beautiful countries on the planet— from the stark countryside to the mountains and the breathtaking coastlines, we have it all, but don’t discount the USA. America is filled with such beauty, in a way that is different to Australia. Every state has its own unique beauty and I can’t wait to visit every state and experience what they alone offer.
- Small town America: The Hallmark movies— pretty little towns with that American pride which I love. Old Glory flying in the breeze, restored old homes, the colours of fall and cosy coffee shops. That’s the America I’m moving to.
- The food: America has great food, there’s no two ways about it. You don’t become one of the world’s fattest nations without having some great food (and a lot of high fructose corn syrup). But in all seriousness, it’s not just about the fried stuff. America has some outstanding food. Some of the foods I expected to be hideous were actually delicious. There is a booming market for organic, natural, and locally produced and grown foods and there are many restaurants and cafes with menus offering the best of locally sourced foods. Every state has its own special dish and I plan to work my way through all of them, even the deep-fried bull testicles just because I can.
- Choices: Where do I even start? From groceries to clothes to furniture, the choices are seemingly endless. Don’t like one store? Try another one of the six billion, and unlike Australia, they all have really different stuff. Jim took me from store to store in his little town and I was surprised that the range in every store was so different. I wasn’t expecting that at all, and it was wonderful.
- Road trips: Yes, road tripping in Australia is awesome too, but I want to road trip from Florida up to Alaska, cruising through Canada. Not at the moment though, as Canada is currently closed because of that COVID thing, but one day I will. Well Jim will, because of that driving on the other side of the road thing. And me taking photos and videos out of the car window. It will be a long trip though— Jim doesn’t like to drive for more than five hours per day, and I need to stop and go potty every fifteen minutes (yes, an American term which makes me cringe but I’m practising so I don’t physically recoil when someone says it) so it may take a while …