2 years on
Two years ago today I landed in Chicago with as much stuff as I could get into a couple of suitcases, a visa and an address on a piece of paper.
The move to the States was a long time in the making. I had interviewed with my new boss in the February of 2003 and spent a week here a month later. However for many reasons, mainly the time it took to get my visa, I did not actually get my arse on the plane until the 28th October.
It was something I always wanted to do and I nearly went to New York in 1997 but that never worked out. By the time I left the UK I had done a lot of thinking and a lot of preparation. I realised what I was leaving behind but felt I had to be selfish and do it for me. After my divorce I could have played someone I was not and plod on with my life or I could make myself an opportunity to pick myself up and start afresh.
The prospect of coming to America to live and work was one I couldn't resist but not a day goes by without me thinking of what I left behind.
Pre-What was the score?
I kept a personal diary. The first entry was October 28th, 2003 and I wrote: "(my apartment) is nothing like home and the bloody plastic flowers have to go."
Well, Chicago is home now, in fact I have two homes. One here and one, well at home. You know what I mean. Oh and no plastic flowers perrlease.
I kept that diary up-to-date for quite a while and re-reading it I seemed to be equally excited, apprehensive, happy and sad. I also used to write lists entitled: Things that are pissing me off
. Some of them still do and some of them I now don't notice.
Also since I've been here I have written a lot about America and the people that live in it. I have never posted these on here but I might just do that.
The second year has flown by whereas the first did not. I miss so many things about home (that home) but I guess I've replaced some things in my life with other things but there are certain things that I can never replace. My family, my son, my friends, my football club.
But I have fallen in love with Chicago, it has something very special about it. It, like London has a draw to it, and to my mind is America's best kept secret.
I would recommend anyone taking an opportunity to live abroad. It is enightening, fulfilling and a wonderful experience.
once said, Regrets.... I've had a few, but then again too few to mention.