1. Thomas Kitchen
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    Thomas Kitchen Proofreader in the Making Contributor

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    I'm Welsh - and proud!

    Do I belong in America?!?

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Thomas Kitchen, Feb 28, 2013.

    Hi everyone, this is a semi-serious post.

    For a couple of years now, I have always wanted to visit America, and if I enjoyed their culture, then I would possibly consider moving there (which state, exactly, I am not sure). However, in the last three or so months, I have noticed that I say some words in the American way (tomatoes, lever, etc.), and I have always preferred using 'z's in words, such as optimize and maximize, which British people do not do.

    What I'm asking is, are these signs? Signs that I should take the plunge and move to America, embracing a new culture and society, new food and new people? What is the culture like out there? I think I would like to live in New York, or close to it, as that's where most of the big publishers and agents are.

    So as I say, semi-serious post, people. Any actual help would be good, but silliness is also accepted. Thanks. :)
     
  2. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    It's really impossible to say -- you really need to at least visit. And, as you acknowledge, different parts of the country are vastly different. I'd suggest visiting at least several times before actually moving. And of course, there is also the issue of immigration -- it's not always that easy to just move here. Do you have some sort of job that you could get here -- such as working for an international company that has an office in NY or something? Or if you could come here as a student -- maybe as some sort of graduate program -- MFA or something? I think a good chunk of time spent here as a student would give you a good flavor of what it's like over here.

    I don't know that physical proximity to agents and publishers is really all that important -- not the way it used to be. With so much done electronically these days, I don't think it matters all that much.

    When I visited London, it reminded me a little bit of NYC -- much more so than Paris or Rome. And NYC is very expensive, although of course, London is, too.

    I think almost anyone can find something to like here, and a place to fit in. (Of course, there will be plenty to dislike, as well.)

    As far as your "signs," I guess I see that as somewhat of an interest in America, and I'd definitely recommend a visit. A move is a big deal, though, so I'd think long and hard about that.

    EDIT: I just checked your profile, and I see you're young, and a student -- if you're at a university, ask about study abroad options, or investigate schools on your own in the US. Again, I think coming here as a student is an almost ideal option, as it probably gives you the easiest visa option, and you can stay for a good chunk of time, with time to travel and an opportunity to meet students from different parts of the country.
     
  3. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    I agree with chicagoliz. If you haven't already, see if you can't find an option to travel to the US to study abroad. This will give you the easiest way to check out the locals, ask around and see which part of the country suits you. I'm not sure if they'll let you pick your own US college, but in case they do, check in on a few of the colleges you'd be interested in attending.

    As for moving? Well, to start, you must decide where in America you'd like to live. What sort of climate would you prefer? What is the living condition there? For example, I'd love to live in Virginia, or somewhere near Gettysburg ('cause I'm a huge Civil War buff), but I'm not sure if I'd be cut out to living in a hot, dry climate like Texas, and that's only speaking for the climate.

    Go on many different online forums (including this one) and ask what American users like or don't like about the area they live in, and if they had the ability to just up and move to a different part of the country, why would they want to go there? Have them talk about the climate and the living/political conditions of where they live.

    I do second a visit to the US, just to see what's what and do preliminary research. Good luck! :D
     
  4. The Tourist
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    The Tourist Banned

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    No, you shouldn't.

    It sounds like you want to come here for yourself, not us. Are you going to take a stint in the army to protect us? Will you sell a book, take the profits and then run back home? Will you do like so many and simply try to recreate your life back home with your views and goals, or actually strive to become an American?

    We have 300 million people here. For the first time in our history we have more people taking out then paying in.

    When we say "NATO forces" it actually means American soldiers, plus two ambulance drivers from Belgium and a gender equity officer from Sweden.

    I think we've carried enough of a burden in my lifetime, and I've paid FICA for 46 years. So if you're coming, how will you make your host country better by getting off the boat?
     
  5. Gallowglass
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    Gallowglass Contributing Member Contributor

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    Right. Thanks for that.

    In answer to the OP, I think you need a lot more 'signs' than that. Enjoying somewhere's culture and spelling things in the same way they do isn't enough to base a life-changing decision on. As for the culture out there, it's a big country - it depends where you go. New York is vastly different from Alabama and Alabama is vastly different from Montana. What you see as 'American culture' is just the simplified version churned out by Hollywood - there's much more depth than that. I think you haven't done nearly enough research into this.
     
  6. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    I concur. I'm Alabamian, and let me tell you, we have a huge (American) football culture down here. You're either for the Auburn team or Alabama team. It's pretty crazy. xD I'm for both teams, just to be safe.

    Now, I, myself don't particularly care for American football, so I keep my mouth shut around my fellow Alabamians who, as far as I know, are obsessed with this sport.

    Which is why you may want to do some more research. If you don't want to hear endless talk of Auburn vs. Alabama like it as the biggest battle of the century, or deal with our two seasons (hot as hell summer and cold as artic winter), don't come to Alabama. :D
     
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  7. 123456789
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    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Aren't you tired of rain? Try something different, like California. You'll have a blast, I swear.
     
  8. Talmay
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    Talmay Member

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    Honestly, don't take conforming to our spelling as an indication of whatever you should move here or not. My sister likes British English over American, but that doesn't mean she wants to pack up and move to the UK.

    Otherwise, you need to be more specific about what aspect of American culture you like. We're a big country. Like Gallowglass said, every state is different. I live in Maryland and going to New York is a shock for me, even though we're both on the eastern shore and I'm no stranger to big cities. Talking to my uncle about his home state California is an eye opener, especially when we do a whole east vs. west.

    If you're really serious about it, do some research first. Visit a few more times -- preferably different areas. Just make sure you're prepared.
     
  9. Bimber
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    Bimber Contributing Member

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    I used to write in British English but as most people use American English you gradually switch to it and not notice so dont think its an indication.

    Personally for me i wouldnt move cause of the huge cultural difference, I'm used to the way we live in Europe and think, most people who visit us from US or even the UK are surprised how we live and while our life quality is lower we seem to have more freedom in many things they dont have... like we can drink in the morning and no one would care :D
     
  10. JJ_Maxx
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    JJ_Maxx Banned

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    Yes, because your accent will drive American girls crazy.

    Do you like snow? or warmth? country or city? These will determine where you go.
     
  11. funkybassmannick
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    funkybassmannick Contributing Member

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    Also keep in mind that, until you have citizenship, you are going to meet a lot of obstacles. My girlfriend is international, and she deals with them every day. But in the, it's still worth it for her.

    If you really want to come to America, do a grand tour! Visit the East Coast (New York, Philadelphia, or DC) West coast (LA or Portland), Midwest (Chicago or Madison) and the South (Las Vegas or Austin). Try to visit small towns, too. I think something like that would be a fun and effective way to really get to know what America is like.
     
  12. JJ_Maxx
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    JJ_Maxx Banned

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    You can skip New Jersey though, there's nothing good there.
     
  13. funkybassmannick
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    funkybassmannick Contributing Member

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    I like to pretend that state doesn't exist. At least it's reality shows, anyway.
     
  14. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    What kind of obstacles? I can't think of anything major that would prevent him from settling down in the US (unless he's looking for a job in the defense industry or with government contractors).
     
  15. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Sure there is. There are dozens of signs, "You Are Now Leaving New Jersey."

    Seriously, though, if you want to decide whether to move to he US, visit for a while first, and see how you like it.
     
  16. funkybassmannick
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    funkybassmannick Contributing Member

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    He would need to get a visa to come here in the first place, and there are limitations to that. If he goes for undergrad, there are limitations to what schools he can go to (some do not accept international students, grad schools especially), and once he graduates there are limitations on what jobs he can apply for. If he doesn't get a certain type of job (e.g., consistent with his major), he will not be eligible for a new visa. Hey may be limited on selection of life, health, car insurance, etc. Also, he may be less likely to qualify for student loans, and the loans is is eligible for may give him higher interest rates. These are just a few examples.

    I'm not any kind of expert on this stuff, but I do have a lot of international friends who have experienced these issues. It surely varies state-to-state, and probably case-by-case. Just more reasons why visiting first is a good option.
     
  17. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Yow! Be careful. I came to Southern California from Canada (the Great White North - Land of Ice and Snow, etc.), and I thought I'd love it. And I do have to say the climate here is very pleasant. It's actually too pleasant. There is no variation as weeks, months, and years go by. I realized when I moved here that I needed that natural rhythm of four seasons every year to keep me sane. Here in SoCal, you can drift along for a while then kinda check your watch and see that five years have gone by and you never noticed. I'm actually somewhat serious about this - large parts of your life can drift under the bridge and you're still half asleep, not being aware of it. I miss that wonderful, bracing chill of the first frost, the dare of the first snowfall of winter, that warning Nature gives you that you'd better gird your loins, stockpile your firewood, make sure your trusty old boots can stand another winter, because it's coming whether you like it or not. It reminds me that sometimes I have to fight a bit for life.

    SoCal will charm you, delight you, then lull you to sleep and you won't wake up until it's too late. Your life will have gone by and you will have missed it.
     
  18. captain kate
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    captain kate Active Member

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    Contrary to what SOME posters say (and YOU know who YOU are) this is a free country and Thomas, you have the freedom to make whatever choice you want. If you wish to come, then follow the LEGAL path and chart your course.

    Frankly I couldn't give two figs if you want to come for your own reason, or if you want to be American...frankly it's none of my business to make a judgement like that, and I won't.

    Many people move to different countries for many different reasons, so you wouldn't be the first who'd want to come to America, or anywhere else for that matter. Make the best decision that makes you happy. Having suffered from illness and seen how it can make someone emotionally unhappy, I can say with 100% certainty that being truly happy comes from within and not without. If you're truly happier in America, than do what you need to do. If it doesn't, then perhaps you need to try another path until you find the one that takes you to that point.

    Unfortunately, I'm afraid there are closed minded people everywhere it seems.
     
  19. captain kate
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    captain kate Active Member

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    Try coming further south and the same things happens. Suffice to say, this southern man had cultural shock when I visited Philly to see a girlfriend several times between 1998-2000. The first time I said 'Thank you, Ma'am,' got me the strangest look from the kid at Wendy's. Suffice to say, this Dorothy wasn't in Kansas anymore at that point.
     
  20. captain kate
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    captain kate Active Member

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    Virginia weather changes on a dime, so if you move there make sure you have several different jackets for cool weather and plenty of shorts for hot weather to throw on-and you might have to do it all in one day!!

    Growing up in Virginia, I can attest to just how out of whack our weather can be.
     
  21. The Tourist
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    The Tourist Banned

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    Very funny. But the OP asked a question, and I answered it.

    It's funny how you believe you have the divine rite to answer one way, but I do not have the right to offer an opposing viewpoint. That's a good thing to teach a visitor...

    "Come to America, we can censor anything in which we disagree."

    Freedoms in America apply to rights you enjoy and those you disapprove. My position is that our national borders are an unguarded sieve, and I stated it. But now that you've set the tone, I plan to follow your posts and parse them blue since that's what you're teaching.
     
  22. Lunatia
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    Lunatia Member

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    I can only tell you my experience, Thomas. ;)

    Ever since I was a little girl growing up in Not America, I wanted to go to America. All the movies and TV shows from across the pond made it seem like it would be the most wonderful place on Earth. And so, one morning I packed my bags and flew off to New York (after a few months of planning and lining up a job) and felt like I was going to paradise. But after the "I'm in America!" feeling wore off, I realised it's just another place on Earth.

    The humans were the same type of human I could meet in my own country. The sun was the same sun I knew from Africa. There was weather there and some water, too. Oh, don't forget the air. Life went on and, yes, it was fun to see how Americans live. But, apart from a few cultural differences, it's pretty much the same as where I'm from. I went home knowing that it's a good place, but not paradise.

    You might love it completely, Thomas. But know there's a few things you might miss from your home. My husband is from the UK and he misses the small things now he's away: Jaffa cakes, Yorkshire puddings... even some TV shows. Hopefully you won't feel homesick, but it's a possibility that you might.
     
  23. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    I wouldn't think you belonged in America unless you committed some horrible crime. :p And even the morality of such inhumane punishment may come into question. Personally I don't think anyone deserves to be sent to America for punishment, let alone to live!

    A pre flame PS: Lighten up peoples!
     
  24. The Tourist
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    The Tourist Banned

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    LOL. No, no, I thought your comment was great! Sharp satire!

    I take it that "Botany Bay" incident is still a sore spot!

    Personally, I like Australians. Some of my polishing tools are covered in kangaroo skin.
     
  25. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    Just thinking, how is the winner of the superbowl a world champion?
     

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