I’ve spent most of the last five years living in the United States. Yes, I travelled from there – some times for large chunks of time – but I had always thought that ‘going home’ required me to place my index finger on the little screen and grin at the camera on the border. I no longer thought of England as my home, merely the home of my family.
And now I have returned to England. Despite picking the worst time to travel with oversize and excess baggage I have made it back to the south-west. When travelling back to England to visit I would invariably be hit by questions from well-meaning friends about America, some of whom had visited the country and others who have yet to. Some stereotypes are true – yes, many Americans are overweight (but hey, while you’re looking that way, take a look at our own children these days), but many ideas about America were grossly unfair.
I have found that my time in the States has afforded me a much broader view of the world. As a result my politics, theology, worldview etc. – my positions on many things have changed. I can see many more flaws in my own nation – which is a wonderful blessing of travelling – and realise that so much of the finger-pointing is an act of oversight from people not willing to look at their own nation’s issues!
I could write at length about this area, but my daily reading took me to this post from Peter Hitchens on his recent return from America. Mr. Hitchen’s skills of the written word far exceed my own and so I direct you to him to hear what another Englishman with a fondness for the old colonies has to say.