Home vs Home

Like a growing number of international families, we call two places home: the UK, where we live now, and the USA, where we lived for most of our lives. Since before I even came to the UK, I have been part of an on-line community of ex-patriots called UK-Yankee. One of themes of the many posts over the years has been which is better. This is due in large part to the difficulties presented by the cultural adjustments that one makes when moving to a new country. Initially, you may think that there would be little difference between the UK and the USA, which was once one of its colonies. But in the past two and half years, I have come to understand and appreciate the American Revolution as no text book could teach…and on a couple of occasions start mini-revolutions of my own.

But this trip is highly significant to me. This is my first trip back to the USA since the economic depression began. And also the first since the historic election of Barack Obama as President. I am curious about the changes to my homeland wrought by these two events. So over the next couple of weeks, I will be exploring the Frugal Fam core values from a distinctly American point of view. I will be asking some tough questions about the place I called home for forty years.

So bare with me over the coming weeks as I explore and re-discover this land I once knew so well and the memories I had of her. This time is highly charged for our family, because we have always planned to return to this country before Emily began school. With the pending departure of my in-laws to their retirement home in Barbados, there will be less to tie us to the UK as well. So I now find myself looking at America from the perspective of potential move.

Next week, we will look at America in terms of exploring one Frugal Fam value each day. Beginning on Monday, I will examine how America deals with Family first. Then each day we will examine another core value. On Friday, I will share with you my views of the impending move; will I be excited to return to this home.

Of course, one thing to remember in this journey of discovery and re-discovery is that each of us is a unique individual and would view these things differently. I have seen my dreams of a utopia dashed repeatedly with each move over the past forty-three years. One lesson that time and age have taught me is that home is not a place, but the people around you. And I have wonderful people around me wherever I go: the UK, the USA, or cyber space.

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