Expat Interview - UK Desperate Housewife in America!
Posted by Stephen Whitfield
At Medibroker we find the best health insurance plans for people living and working all over the world, and we always take the time to get to know our customers' needs. Here, we spoke to a 'Desperate Housewife' blogger about her new life in the US, and her words are likely to inspire you to make a move.
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1) What was your reason for moving to the states in the first place?
I've always been fascinated by the USA, and, after getting a little bored with the mundane life of suburban UK, I decided I would chew my husband's ear off until he agreed to find a posting in America so would could move there with our son, aged 4 at the time. We've been in Columbia, MD for three years now and it's been a blast. When we're not working and socializing in the community, we're roadtripping across the USA, visiting new places, attending festivals, sleeping in camper vans, trekking new trails, eating at cool restaurants, and surfing on new beaches. It's been a wild ride.
2) How did you family handle the move? And was everyone happy about it?
My son thinks we're on a three year holiday and can't wait to get back to the UK. He still remembers all his friends and places he used to go back here. School here is very, very different in the way academics and subjects are taught, as are the cultural influences and interests. He has no interest in baseball, even though all the kids play it and everyone is mad on the Orioles (we're near Baltimore, MD). He also switches accents - British at home and American at school. I guess he just wants to fit in. I, however, thrive on using my British accent to my advantage! No shame there! I've had the best time in the USA, meeting American friends, visiting new places and writing about it all via my blog www.ukdesperatehousewifeusa.com. I love travelling more now than ever, and feel slightly claustrophobic at the thought of staying in one place for too long. I guess I'm a nomad expat!
3) What was it like settling down into a new neighbourhood?
I did expect everyone to bring my muffins and cups of sugar, but that didn't happen. We are truly in Desperate Housewife land, and people do practically cut their lawns with nail scissors, but right nearby us are some fascinating places - downtown Baltimore and DC are within easy reach and offer some much-needed grit! As much as I mock the neighborhood for its aversion to individuality, you can't sniff how well it's looked after, nor at over 20 outdoor pools in the summer, the amazing lakes and trails, and the whole host of people in the community who do open their arms to you and invite you in to their lives. I've made some friends for life in this American community and it's been a joy.
4) What is the biggest cultural difference from the UK and what do you miss most?
Walking. Every time I'll say this. No one effing walks anywhere unless they are power walking! I want to walk to somewhere, not drive! Public transport is my biggest bug-bear. I can't even get the bus or train to Baltimore, so when you have visitors it can be a bit of a nightmare! And we're not allowed to hang our washing out to dry! That's nuts! Neither of these things are green....and that bothers me!
5) What has been you most memorable/enjoyable experience in the States so far?
I'd say between the California roadtrip, the child-free weekend in New Orleans, the police ride along through the Baltimore projects, the Shakespeare tour of Romeo and Juliet I performed in, the TV work on news channels and in House of Cards and VEEP, the endless festivals we've attended, the partying in NYC, and the beaches we've visited, it's hard to choose! I've loved each and every experience in their own right, and I wouldn't change a thing!
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If you want to read all about Claire's American adventures then visit her blog at: