Home of the Brave

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I found this to be true:

The further you go from home, the longer you are away, the more proud you become of your roots.

No America is not perfect, but for all the work we have to do, we do get a few things right.

One of the hardest things to describe about my experience abroad has been my changing perspective of my home country. I’d like to think I have a more objective viewpoint of the US, but it is impossible to divorce bias, and I have learned that this is OK. As Human Beings, we naturally look for similarities, and point out differences between each other. (As long as we spend more time focusing on what brings us together, I think we’re on the right track.)

Early in my adventures I listed a few of the negative critiques of America: the superficiality, entitlement, obesity, and political shortcomings, but I heard plenty of positive observations as well.

Again and again, I heard my non-American friends and coworkers talk about the competitive nature of American, how hardworking we are. I guess if we have the reputation of the worst vacation/parent time  (see #6) then we better be hardworking!

I also heard how positive Americans are. In work or otherwise, the can-do attitude is encouraging and refreshing, and maybe more then anything else I heard, I embrace this aspect of my identity.

We also have some of the best food options. As much as my friends chided me for saying “… it needs a little more sugar,” after tasting anything they made, we really do have some of the best tasting food, at least compared to UK/Ireland standards.

I’m not going to try to write everything that I experienced, and you wouldn’t read it anyway! If you run into me or happen to have my phone number, let me know and I would be happy to share more.

Ultimately I discovered that for its strengths and flaws, this country is still my home, and I’m proud to be an American.

Cue Lana Del Rey

 

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