California Dreaming

Being almost permanently skint due to expensive kids and funding our holidays and lavish lifestyle in one of the Top Ten places to live in the UK (honest….look), our non working time activity tends to be dictated by whatever treats our £8 a month we give Netflix and my Amazon Prime membership can give us.

You’ve probably wondered in the past how on earth we have time to watch all the stuff we do as I have regaled you with reviews of all sorts from the unbeatable Breaking Bad to lesser, yet still entertaining shows. The trend, you may have spotted, is that they tend to be US shows. I don’t think this is a coincidence. There is simply something more exotic and exciting about watching a show set in the US than in Droitwich (apologies to the fine folks of that town).

I think it is burned into the DNA of many of us here in the UK, certainly those of my age, who were raised on shows such as Starsky and Hutch, The Dukes of Hazard and Knight Rider. Younger generations were raised on Lizzie McGuire, or whatever show was relevant to their generation too. None of those were outstandingly good of course but they just looked exciting and different from the grey Uk-ness of our daily lives.

Our latest binge watch sessions have revolved around the first two series of Ray Donovan and it has been great. This is set in (the very expensive bits of) LA, a place we haven’t been to and must, and it just looks great. Most of the most successful US shows rely on location to make them appealing to the eye. The sunshine helps, unless you are making some sort of Nordic Noir drama, then you go to Canada or Boston, but they still look great too.

It might be just me but I am a sucker for the TV non-reality of the States. All the traditions we try to imitate but fail, such as prom (ours just don’t seem the same having paid for two), the ball game and those leafy suburban streets with kids throwing newspapers from bikes onto freshly mowed lawns. Of course, those suburban scenes are those of the affluent upper classes and the gritty ghettos of the big cities might not float my boat as much.

My rational self knows that these cinematic scenes are not necessarily representative of real life. Having given emigration to the States more than a cursory consideration over the years I know that healthcare is a challenge, vacation time from work is limited, the politics are incredulous and sending your kid to school is only slightly less risky than deploying them to a war zone, but still, I can’t shake the dream from my mind. I guess America is a great place to live if you have money, much like anywhere, but I think more so.

Over the years of dreaming of such a move, our roots in the UK have been too deep and it never really was an option. Canada too has crossed our minds but family, jobs, schools and even bloody pets have meant it hasn’t ever come close to being a reality.

With Louise a nurse now our path into such a move may be easier than we might ever have found it. The kicker now of course is that with us in our mid-forties no bugger wants us, with our limited working shelf life and increasing health issues as we crash from middle age into our twilight years.

So I guess we’ll have to stick with Salford over Seattle and Leigh over LA, and whatever US scenery we can stream to our telly.

I know a few folks who sometimes read this blog have made big moves to new countries, so I’d be really interested to hear your thoughts and findings from your experiences. Don’t get me wrong we are not planning a similar move, I’d just be interested to know how you found it (and did it).

Till the next time…..

4 thoughts on “California Dreaming

  1. We did look into buying a business in Floida (a chocolate shop)! But was told that once the children got to 21(?) that they would have to buy their own business, or marry an American. As arranged marriages didn’t seem to be an option we moved to Malta instead. We stayed there for 5.5 years and I hated it! Now the children are older and we could just go buy that business in Florida without them we can’t afford to! TYPICAL.

  2. Another great blog and smart points about the States. My wife and I were very interested in moving to Canada having worked and lived in Toronto for several months back in 2007/08. Personally we found it very difficult to progress the visa having found to be eligible, we needed to meet certain occupations, none of which fit our careers and experience. There were also a very limited amount of visas per occupation that were snapped up in days. So having done a lot of preparation waiting for the categories to be released, we were left feeling disappointed and deflated. This was 3 years ago so it’s possible the system has changed again. Certainly with Louise’s nurse based occupation you would have a chance so well worth considering. Toronto felt like living in the United States and a great place to live with friendly locals and excellent public transport.

  3. We moved to Florida coming up to 2 years ago……I won’t say it’s been easy and yes there are times when you could run away back to “home” in the uk! We have made some great friends and the kids are fully settled in the school system. The opportunities are much better here and indeed my daughter has been tested for giftedness and as such starts middle school in high honors classes gaining high school credit from 6th. I reply as we have just returned from a weekend in the Bahamas….a short 50 min flight from Orlando, Life is good ❤️

  4. We moved to Melbourne, Australia in 2001 and love it here. Australia is a mix between the US and the UK; It looks and feels very American but doesn’t have the same crime rate, although it is following the US in healthcare unfortunately. The only downside (and it is a big one!) is the distance from family and the cost of getting back to the UK for holidays. My kids are 18 and 20 now, so 4 adult fares works out at roughly a kidney each. Florida is quite expensive to get to from here as well, but we try and get there every couple of years…although those evil people at Disney keep sending me emails tempting me and making me wish I had a few more kidneys!

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