Before I answer that crucial question, welcome to the first Pick’n’Mix blog post. I will attempt to post something at this same time and on this same site every week. And rather than having a specific topic, this will be whatever seems tastiest – as suggested.
Anyway, when I announced that I was attempting to emigrate across the pond to Idaho, some people questioned that choice?
“Why move there?” they asked. “There are better places for your MS – Switzerland or Spain.”
True. My multiple sclerosis gets worse in damp, cold weather, and in humid, hot weather. And sadly Wales has ticked the first box, this year. The second rules out many places in the more distant East, like India or Singapore. However, the key thing is having family and friends that can be supportive. A non-starter in this park home estate, where I seem to have a communicable disease, and when my family show no sign of caring what happens to me.
But I have another family that does care, and they are in Boise, Idaho. They may be step-kids and step-grandkids, but they are ready to be there for both of us. In fact, they have already showed they care, both in words and deeds. For instance, when my wife, Juanita, and I were with them in 2010 and 2011, they did everything for us from putting us up to carrying me when I couldn’t walk.
So that’s why we are moving back to Idaho, even if the move is complicated – especially by my brother. I need to get the right US visa and as well as copious documents, that includes a medical, which means an eight-hour drive to London. Then a few weeks later an interview at the US Embassy, again in London.
We need to buy a house, which is why we need my brother to guarantee the finance, which is mine for life. Then we have to sell our home in Wales. There is the shipping to arrange, and four pets to fly there, when the weather is right – they can’t fly when it is too hot or too cold. And I’m in a wheelchair so flying is a nightmare.
Before you ask about the culture shock, I should say that I escaped to Canada for three years and had Landed Immigrant status there. Yes, the US is not Canada, but it meant leaving home. And haven’t I already done that when I moved to Wales? This is not the country that I grew up in. The familiar haunts have been left behind. I’d already taken steps away from the equestrian world that I worked in, and I haven’t established similar contacts here.
So I’ve left home, and we are already in another country. Another country where the first language is not English, and we hear Welsh when we go places, even during the tourist season. Yes, the Americans do things different, whether it is driving on the wrong side of the road, or they arm their police. But it was the same in Canada, where I first passed my driving test, and almost joined the RCMP.
The 10 Best Cities to Move to in 2015 – No 2 Boise. Image courtesy Bob Young
Oh wait, American-English is not the first language spoken in Idaho. It was either Coeur D’Alene, Nez Perce, Kutenai, Northern Paiute, or Shoshoni, depending on the area. Around Boise it would have been Shoshoni. So I guess we need to learn that.
And those that said Spanish, go stand in the corner. The name Boise has French origins, French-Canadian fur traders travelled the territory in the late 18th and early 19th century. Boise may be from “La rivière boisée”. And any settlers from the Iberian Peninsula of significance were the Basques. Even a Brit knows that.
Well that’s enough of the history lesson from this Brit imposter. More of course next week. But that might be totally off the subject.