When the initial excitement of living and working in the U.S. has worn off, you’ll start to notice the real ways that it’s enhanced your existence. Take these, for instance.
1. Exciting new travel opportunities
North, South and Central America, not to mention the Caribbean, are now your playground. Departing from the U.K., such exotic destinations would have set you back double or even triple the cash, flight time and jetlag.
2. Cheaper living (maybe)
If you live in a major city, please proceed to point three: there’s nothing for you here. To the rest of you lucky rural and suburban expats: yay, cheap stuff! From property and petrol to food and fags, I’m guessing you’ve never lived so economically.
3. Avoiding things you don’t want to do back home
If you’d emigrated to a nearby nation like France or Spain, you’d likely find yourself flying back to the homeland every other week for a christening or engagement party. Over here, with airfares soaring, you’ve got a great excuse for avoiding the wedding of those university friends you never liked that much anyway.
4. Pretending you’re in a movie
This country has been so comprehensively captured on screen that you’ll often feel like you’re living on a film or TV set. On a recent trip to a New York emergency room, I felt for sure that my blushingly handsome doctor was going to discover I had rare form of brain tumor, then cure me with an innovative procedure he’d pioneered that morning. I was almost disappointed when this didn’t happen.
5. Lots of entertainingly mad politicians in the news
Political personalities in the U.S. make those back home seem small-time and dull. I didn’t want it to be like this, but it is. Now, when I hear news of something Cameron or Clegg did, I can barely muster a groan. Here, meanwhile, there are high profile crazies everywhere you look.
6. Access to the best worst television shows
There’s a whole seam of delicious reality TV drivel – shows like Here Comes Honey Boo Boo and Storage Wars – that even the scummiest U.K. broadcaster won’t go near. Embrace the brain rot, expats!
7. Access to the best worst junk food
News that the manufacturer of Twinkies is going out of business made me think about all the American snacks I still need to try, urgently, in case the collapse of candy corporations is catching.
8. Endless boasting opportunities
Even if all you ever report doing with your leisure time here is eating in grubby diners and drinking in dive bars, your friends back home will react as if you’ve told them you’re attending a non-stop stream of red carpet events. Tales of American living, however mundane, will trigger a Brit’s envy gland.
9. A renewed appreciation of your friends and family
Being away from your core tribe for any length of time does, as the aphorism states, make the heart grow fonder. Even the people who you once went out of your way to avoid will now seem less awful.
10. Loads of stuff to grumble about
This may not read like a positive but stay with me. Most people, particularly Brits, secretly love a good whinge. And America supplies plenty of opportunities for glass-is-half-empty expats to get stuck in. (Please see almost every MTG blog entry written by me.)
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