“Why did we leave?” I asked DH, as we drove to Minneapolis airport at the end of a wonderful holiday. “I love America – everything’s so green, so spacious, so easy and I get so many comments about my accent!”
We’d driven past our house, again, and taken a detour so I could retrace a drive I used to do nearly every day when BB was little (a nostalgic form of hara-kiri).
“Let’s move back,” I challenged. “I really think we should. It’s not right that the kids don’t get to play in the woods [referring to a little incident in which we discovered that our desert-raised BB is terrified of forests] and don’t get to enjoy all these lakes,” I continued as I glumly watched the lush scenery pass by. Greenery that will – at the end of the sweltering hot summer – give way to the brilliant red and gold hues of Fall.
I do this every year on our long summer sojourn. Despite enjoying our Dubai life very much, I remember just how much I love seeing family and friends. How much I enjoy fresh air, my favourite foods, effective customer service and people who understand what I’m saying.
“Well, we had good reasons for moving,” DH reminded me. “Just look how much travelling you’ve done since.” Then he played his trump card with, “And if we came back to America, you wouldn’t have Catherine the Great.”
He gets me with that one, every single time.
There are many reasons why I miss the States so much – here are just some of them:
• The wide-open spaces: Big skies, no bumping into people, and always room to swing a cat
• The positive outlook: Americans see the glass as half full
• The can-do attitude: So refreshing and a deep-rooted trait (AmeriCAN)
• The random conversations: Strangers talk to each other, about everything and anything
• The extras: From free wi-fi to refills at restaurants
• The shopping: Target is retail Disneyland and I got to go straight there after our luggage got lost (wooohooo)
• Their love of pets: Cat with an ear infection? No ailment is overlooked
• The seasons: I got to ditch coats I thought were warm in the UK and buy fleece-lined mountain gear instead
• The welcome: With the notable exception of immigration at O’Hare, I’m always welcomed with open arms in America (the accent, perhaps, with the inflections I don’t hear and foreign terms?)
• The opportunities: Be it Lindsey Lohan, Britney Spears or just your average schmuck, Americans allow people to mess up and get second, third, even fourth chances
• The patriotism. Americans love their country. Period.
Minnesota, I’ll miss you – though, I must say, it looks like our timing turned out to be good this summer….