Today my blog is being taken over by a guest post from my sponsor, Gillian of Gladley. A veteran of LDR, the English blogger now lives the expat life in America. I have loved getting to know more about her this month and look forward to letting her tell you more about her ex-pat life with her post, ‘Why Being a Brit in Suburban USA Isn’t so Bad’.
When I first told people that I moving to the US to be with my American husband, people first assumed I’d be living in a big city. Sure, it’s because I told them I was moving near Philadelphia, which is the USA’s 5th biggest city (population 1.5million!). But Philadelphia isn’t on the cultural radar of many Brits, so I had to explain my location in terms of somewhere Brits really knew: New York (I’m just a couple of hours away).
The truth is, I think I’ve only been to New York once in the year that I’ve lived here in America. You see, I actually live on that cusp between rural American and suburbia, between corn fields and super Walmarts. People in the city think we’re nuts for living this far out, and for a long time so did I! But, even as a Brit accustomed to hedgerows, local pubs, and walks through the town center, I’ve learned that living in suburban USA isn’t so bad. Here’s why:
Farm Fresh Food
At first when I moved over I was dismayed that I could no longer pop out for a five minute walk to get a pint of milk and some biscuits for my tea. This kind of thing is the metric for acceptable living for Brits. But if I take a little drive, I can buy farm fresh milk from a small mom and pop farm, served in a giant glass jug. I can stop and buy corn from a kiosk by a country road, and maybe chat to Bob the farmer about this year’s crops. I can take hay rides in Fall and pick my own pumpkins. I can buy fabulous ice cream from a dairy farm, and even visit the cows responsible! I don’t think I’ve ever been closer to the food I eat.
Beautiful work commute
Driving through rural and suburban PA is a pretty good commute as things go. Even as you get closer to the city, there’s still plenty of wide open spaces, and trees, until you get into Philadelphia proper. Sometimes when I’m traveling even further away from the city I’m the only one on a hidden country road, and I thank my lucky stars I’m not on a busy road caught in traffic.
It’s the best of both worlds
I really miss living in the heart of a busy city, being able to arrange last-minute coffee catch-up with friends, or being able to stroll through neighborhoods filled with different cultures in the space of a few minutes. But we’re still so close to Philadelphia that we can get that urban fix whenever I want. I love Philadelphia, it’s an amazing city and would like to move a little closer to it, but life surrounded by trees and open roads without sidewalks – it’s not so bad.
Recommended Posts by Gillian:
*images in today’s post from Gillian of Gladley