It may have something to do with the crisp, blue winter sky outside my living room window or the clean mountain air I breathed while walking the dogs through the woods this afternoon, but I'm feeling particularly spoilt by my surroundings today. So here we go, my own personal list of why I'm loving where I live!
1. Historial Happenings
No matter how you dress it up, America has gifted the world with endless tales of plight, of struggle and possibility and with examples of overcoming odds and forging success (and all in a substantially short amount of time). From pioneers and the wild west to the carnage of the civil war, all the way up to the rise of industry and power, this country has so much to explore and so much to teach us that I often feel overwhelmed, especially by how close many of it's people still are to those not-nearly-forgotten events.
2. You've Got A Friend In Me
Speaking from personal experience and having lived a time or two in a variety of places across both the UK and the USA, I do believe that the US takes the biscuit when it comes to super friendly people. More over, the southern states of the US (Tennessee, Georgia and the Carolinas in my experience) are above and beyond the most jam packed with so many lovely, caring, I-want to-know-your-story-please kinda people that it can't help but brighten your day. If you don't get frustrated easily with answering a stranger's question just because it's fun to meet someone new, there is definitely space for you to flourish down here in the south. Smiles all around then!
3. Climate Control
As a whole the USA offers such a wide range of climates, cultures, scenery and terrain that I'd bet it's near impossible to become an uninspired traveller, even without a passport to your name. From the snow-capped mountains of Montana to the wide, windy plains of Kansas, or the rich rush of the Big Apple all the way down to the chaos and shine of Las Vegas, how could one becoming disenchanted with so much on offer?
How about the gentle rocking of wooden chairs, perched upon a perfectly shaded porch? Watching out over the depths and heights of the red orange fire of leafy mountains and a fading sun while sipping sweet iced tea?
Perhaps the glistening white beaches of the Florida Keys would take your fancy? Or the forgotten ways of a simpler life still thriving and surviving in Northern Alaska?
With so much to see and so little time to see it in, thank goodness we don't have to waste any of it on waiting for the passports to arrive!
4. Patriotic Pledgers
When my wonderful husband asked me to sing along with the British national anthem 'God Save The Queen' during the 2012 London Olympics, I had to pretend that I had forgotten the words (it's been a while you know, since moving to the States and all... ahem*). Truth be told I never really knew them to begin with. I may have been able to mutter a line or two of the first verse, but even that would have been pushing it and I'm sure I would have ended up ad-libbing before long (he would never have noticed I'm sure).
Yet due to just three seasons of working for the Girl Scouts of America, I can now recite the Pledge of Allegiance like its nobodies business. Why is that? Why is it that folks still stand, right hand carefully placed upon their heart, when the anthem begins to play or why perfect strangers (and businesses) insist on thanking and honoring military individuals for their sacrifice? It's genuinely a beautiful thing, usual to many but a new and endearing experience for me.
Ah, what it is to fill your lungs with clean mountain air, to glance outside early in the morning and spot a nervous doe passing through your back yard. What's more, how splendid to have the opportunity to interact with that hidden world and leave society behind you, if only for a day. Coming from the small isle of England, it would be fair to say that there's not a lot of space there left to work with. In Yorkshire where I'm originally from we're blessed with rolling hills and wooded spaces but not like this. Not where you can leave everyday life behind and get lost (hopefully not purposefully) in a far more primal way of living, where the nearest neighbor it beyond eyesight to say the least. Magic.
I'll leave you with an image that inspires me to one day to make it my own. My very own peaceful, untouched cabin in the woods. Bliss.