Molly: The Move to America
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Please tell us a little bit about yourself. Who you are, where you come from, when you moved to the USA, etc.
My name is Molly and I moved to Ohio, USA from Cornwall, UK on October 4th 2013 to be with my American husband whom I had been apart from for just over 4 years as we completed the visa process.
When and why did you decide to start blogging about your experiences?
I started blogging in January 2013 as a place to document my visa process and long distance marriage. It helped me to keep all my friends and family informed of all the latest news and I hoped to help anyone else going through the same process.
Do you have any favorite blog entries of yours?
One I particularly enjoyed writing was A Comparison of Nations where I looked at the similarities and differences between Ohio and Cornwall. I also really enjoyed writing A Life Being Lived Together as I finally felt I could articulate just what it was like being apart from my husband for so long, and what it was I wanted most out of being together again. My current favourite is Monday Coffee Morning - Adding To My Routine where I felt I was beginning to really settle into life with my husband again. It felt great.
Tell us about the ways your new life in the USA differs from that back home. Did you have trouble getting used to the new circumstances? Did you experience culture shock?
I did not experience culture shock as such, but it was getting used to the subtle differences. I struggled with getting my head around things like using the coins (money) and remembering what they were. Using ovens and other appliances confused me for a while and I still think my husband is driving on the wrong side of the road!
Do you think you were fully prepared for what awaited you in the USA? If you could, would you change some decisions/preparations you made?
I think I was fully prepared as it was so long in the build up to getting there, I had gone over most things. The only thing I would change would be to save more money to bring with me as I am basically having to start all over again which means buying everything as we currently flat share and own no furniture. We had budgeted for some household items, but it was not until I arrived that we realised just how much we would need to get.
Every expat knows that expat life comes with some hilarious anecdotes and funny experiences. Care to share one with us?
One that springs to mind, as it is fairly recently I experienced it, is when I am paying for something in a store and the clerk will suddenly realise at the end of the transaction that I am British, and as I leave the store, shout very loudly 'Oh, my goodness I love your accent!'
This causes a bit of embarrassment as sometimes the other people in the store then stop to have a good look!
Which three tips would you like to give future expats before they embark on their new life in the USA?
- Save as much money and take more than you may be thinking is necessary as unexpected purchases or expenditure will happen.
- Relax when things at first seem strange and very foreign to you - it will pass.
- Learn as much as you can about the place you are moving to before you go.
How is the expat community in the USA? Did you have a hard time finding like-minded people or fellow expats?
I have yet to find any fellow Brits, but I have encountered a few expats from other parts of the world here. There is a nice understanding of the stresses involved when making a big move.
I am yet to find a group of expats or a solid community - I am working on it!
How would you summarize your expat life in the USA in a single, catchy sentence?
Experiencing the everyday in a subtly different way in the USA!