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No 10 thingsSo here it is then – my ultimate list of why the UK rules, and the USA sucks.

Ok, no – I’m not gonna do that. Do you really think I’ve learned nothing during me time year? (Don’t answer that!). Far from it, I’ve learned loads.

But when reading through every single post I’d written (and I do mean that I really spent about two hours yesterday when I should have been packing) in the last three and half years on my blog here yesterday, I realise that a lot of it was all about pointing out differences, complaining about things, and working out what was better in each country.

And I’ve come to a conclusion … the final ultimate answer when it comes to UK vs. USA. And it’s quite simply this:

There is no Utopia.

There are quite simply good things and bad things about each country, and I am quite quite sure that if you were to travel the entire world spending time living in different places and environments then it would also be there the same there and equate that really, truly, no one place is better, it’s just what you get used to and what you make of it.

As human people that we are, we can actually be more adaptable and versatile than we reliase. Even the biggest sloth in the world could adapt if they they were thrown into a different reality, it’s just that it rarely happens to them.

Whereas I’ve been most lucky to have had the fortunate experience to take away with me forever of what it’s like to be removed from everything that was stable and routine, and have to to work out how to exist in a new world instead. And of the many emotions I can think of the five that I can pin it down to is that it was painful, upsetting, tiring, then challenging and eventually fun. Oh, and of course completely ultimately rewarding.

I remember being a little offended a few months into my time here when someone left a comment on my blog here that “I wouldn’t want to return to England anyway”, and they listed a whole bunch of reasons of why they didn’t like it anymore. Well, I can list a whole bunch of reasons (most of them which I pointed out at the time could apply to both countries) why living in the USA might be just as bad. So it is of course what you make of it, and what you decide you’re going to get out of your life.

The great stereotypes that exist about American and Americans (fat arses, no passports/untravelled, drive-thru-everything culture) certainly do exist – because a stereotype wouldn’t exists if there weren’t that fact for it to originate in the first place – exactly in the same way that what the Americans think of us in a certain way (bad teeth, England rains all the time, no space left in our ‘tiny’ country), but it does not mean that it applies in the majority – it’s just a small number of people, and there and many more that don’t fit the stereotype that you want to label them with.

So there’s no lists today. No final ‘10 things I love…‘, or ‘10 things I hate…‘ which is what I thought I was going to do when I planned this final week of blogging a while back.

Just accept that in everywhere you go in life and whatever you do, some things are better and some things are worse. And it’s up to you to make the most of it, even if you are hopelessly out of your depth and feel that there is nothing you can do about it.

‘Farewell’ video coming on Sunday.

5 responses to “Utopia”

  1. Tina (Geoff's Mum) says:

    That last paragraph says it all really, you do seem to have grown up. Welcome back!

  2. Edward says:

    Thanks Geoff.

    While in general I think I’ve had a very different experience of moving here than you, I’m right with you on this post.

  3. Mark Garth says:

    True, life is what you make it.

  4. JM Kostiha says:

    Grew up as an only child, somewhat isolated, with a deep appreciation for nature nonetheless fascinated by people. We moved often, which was always an adventure. Must say that being stationary in this last town for fifteen years has been somewhat of a soul-sucking experience however, I think fate forced this semi-permanent existence onto me in order that I could temporarily provide my child with the illusion of stability while preparing her for the real world (she is more fixed whereas I think I’m more mutable.) It has paid-off because in addition to strength in character, a strong work ethic, with a passion to help others, she is bi-lingual and has used her passport, the latter of which is more then I can say for myself. She’s been away at college for years and while she continues her growth I find mine has become stagnant. [some things mentioned in stereotypes]

    My family roots are in England, France, Netherlands, Austria, Poland, Native America, Germany, Scotland…. Although travel to all of these places would be rewarding and enlightening, reading books on their histories has been more affordable. It is time for me to pick myself up and get back into the game. For the first time in a long time I can change the rules by which I’ve played in the past. It has caused much need for meditation.

    For as many flaws as I find with my country, some of it’s people, and a portion of our government (and in myself), there is much that is good and precious. I have always believed that it is the same everywhere. I was raised to see beauty in the most horrific corners of the world, be it the soul seen in the eyes of a survivor struggling for human rights to the selflessness of a homeless person sharing what little food she has with her dog, her best friend. I applaud the conclusions you’ve drawn in a world so full of opposing views and conflict. There are few things more beautiful then witnessing the human spirit on a path toward oneness with the universe. Kind Regards, aka Ga6riella

  5. Les says:

    Thank you for not making a list of things that may or may not be true about the States. Most of us know the small kernels and large mountains of truth that exist in our stereotypes. Honestly, some of us are trying to be better. I will miss your voice and insight as to what goes on here, but look forward to the occasional post from England.

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