Tell our readers a little bit about yourself:
I think I’ll call myself BigApplePie
How long did you live in England and what brought you to the UK in the first place ?
I lived in North East England for approximately 4 and 1/2 years. I moved for love and married a ‘Geordie’. Unfortunately, our marriage did not work out and we were divorced 2 1/2 years after I had arrived in this strange country that I came to love.
What were the reasons you decided to move back to America?
This was one of the hardest decisions I have ever made. Being a musician, I worked very diligently to create a name and work for myself to support living on my own. However, I was thousands of miles away from my own family and felt a little lonely. In the Spring of 2008 I was offered a job that was located near where I grew up in America and I battled over making a decision to move or not. On one hand I would be working in a similar field, but on the other hand it was back to working 5 days a week. Saying ‘yes’ would meant that I was going to leave a career that I had built to return to my family and have a wonderful support system and spend holidays with them. Saying ‘no’ meant I would continue my career but would spend birthdays and special holidays away from my family. Also, during my decision making time, an intruder broke into my cottage and I had to turn to local friends for help. It made me a little scared to come home late at night when I was all alone.
I truly battled over this decision and with the economic downturn, I decided that if I ever wanted to try and move back to the states that this was the time to try. Moving with a job, was a better segue than just moving blindly back without the promise of work.
So after 6 months, I said ‘yes’.
How long did the process take to move back ‘home’?
Moving back was very straight forward. I decided to move in August and by October I was living and working in the US. My personal items arrived a bit later. I used Pickfords, the most amazing moving company in the UK, their US equivalent is called Allied. I arranged for sea freight and they packed up everything and started the move one month before I actually left the UK. I also went through the paperwork of moving with my large breed dog. This has been made very easy through a programme called PETS. However, it requires rabies injections and clearances 6 months prior to moving, so be prepared.
Now that you have moved back what do you miss about the UK, if anything?
The grass is always greener. I never thought that moving back to the USA would feel like moving to a new country, but I was learning things that I had forgotten and it wasn’t as easy as I thought. I actually hadn’t lived in the US for over 5 years because of my transition. Very quickly after moving, I started regretting leaving the UK. Even though my parents had been so helpful with arrangements, I just missed the independence I had created in the UK. The move did end up costing a lot more than expected and with the economy down the tubes, the exchange rate was NO longer in my favour… bummer.
I love that the UK has such wonderful customs and traditions. It always amazed me to arrive at a gig and find that I was performing in one of the oldest castles or an incredible stately home. The society is very ‘real’ and this reality is very touching. Meeting new people, whether rich or living on very little, there was an appreciation for life and music too which was a bonus.
Also, the UK’s national health system is amazing and SOOO easy.
What changes do you notice about yourself since you last lived in America?
I am a more polite driver and I am not as ‘fast-paced’ as other people my age. I realized that I had forgotten a lot of Americanisms, because I had changed some of my words and speech to ‘fit in’ in England… now I was being criticized in America, so I am learning how to speak all over again. No more boot of the car, right-hand drive cars (which I occasionally get in the car and sit there hoping that no one saw me get in on the wrong side!! LOL), pants/trousers, etc…
Anything you have noticed now that you didn’t notice before about America/Americans?
I see that the states is extremely competitive in work and life. There are fewer holidays and people are very ‘work-driven’. It is almost sad. Also, there seems to be this horrible threat of being ‘sued’. I don’t understand this at all.
The other thing is that I find Americans are very wasteful. With the focus on becoming ‘green’ a few more Americans are starting to conserve but as a nation it is very disheartening to see the waste going on.
Any advice to other Americans in the UK that are thinking about moving back home?
Be sure of what you really want in tens years from now… make a choice based on your life, not your surroundings. There are things that I miss about both sides of the pond and I am still unsure about my choice but everyone is different. But make sure you visit ‘back home’ before you take the plunge… things might have changed and your views might have changed too.
Any chance you will return?
This is something I am still seriously considering. Stay tuned…
What have you noticed about American men in comparison to the UK guys (I asked this because we get asked that a lot)
I am probably the worst person to answer this… but generally there are good, respectful men and the opposite in both countries. Always remember to look at their family values… how did they grow up and how do they treat their mothers!!
Thanks so much!
(Thinking of making the move back to America yourself? You might also like this post)