The opening line from my favourite American book seems like an appropriate title for my first blog post here. In 2008 when I first moved to New Hampshire, my Mum gave me a vintage copy of Gone With the Wind in which she wrote: “To Tessa, On the eve of her American adventure With love from Mummy.” 2008 was, of course, six years ago, so why start writing now?
I guess this project began three years ago really when my Mum and I blogged about our two month roadtrip across America. This made me realize that an American adventure could make a good read. Also the blog gave me great personal benefit as I love to look back on our thoughts and writings, so even if I am the only one to read this blog it is worth it. Although I have been here for several years, 2014 marks a few important landmarks. Firstly, I became a US tax resident in March. While this might not seem to mean much, it does mean considerably less paper work, and being entitled to refund benefits which makes me feel much more established and less alien. Then In May I completed my PhD comprehensive exams, and so months of stress, reading and revising have now ended, and I’m entering the home stretch of my degree. As I begin to work on my dissertation I thought a blog might be a good way to get some of my ideas down and share my thoughts with a wider audience.
Then there is today-7/7/14-the day my Dad would have been 65. It is so hard to picture the 49 year old I last saw 16 years ago in retirement age, but I suspect that he would be spending a lot of time in the US with my Mum living their own American Dreams. He loved this country, its music, and its spaces, so starting today seems like the right thing to do. He can’t have a retirement, but I can have a life here and share it with others.