I’m a Motown Girl in a Beantown World…
Over four years ago I made the move from my heart’s love, Detroit, to soul-nourishing Boston. I never thought I would leave my home town; I had visited plenty of American cities and liked them, but was always ready to return home. Boston was the one place that spoke to me in as meaningful a way as Detroit, albeit in a very different way.
Boston is the past and present in a friendly embrace; lively, diverse. Detroit is that dear, old friend, down on her luck; scrappy, tough as nails…but you know she’s going to make it big one day. Both cities make me feel hopeful: Boston for its present, Detroit for its future. So for now, I choose Boston.
Going from a place of familiar order to foreign chaos has been quite the adventure!
The fact of the matter is I had no idea what I signed myself up for, how intense the transition would be. After decades of knowing southeast Michigan like the back of my hand (no pun intended), in those first weeks and months in Boston I couldn’t believe what I was asking myself:
Where do I buy gas?
How do I get to the grocery store?
Why are there people standing in random groups on the sidewalk? (Uhhh, those are called bus stops, Branham!)
Will I ever learn my way around these crazy streets?
I felt totally disoriented. I later read somewhere that immersing oneself in a new culture is on par with taking psychoactive drugs. Well, I certainly felt I was wandering in a haze for a good month!
Fortunately my sense of direction only went on hiatus for a few weeks—I feared I could only sense the cardinal directions in a grid environment, but—hurray!—I can still find due North. Gradually the map-in-my-head formed, like a virtual 3-D puzzle; even now I still get a thrill when another puzzle piece falls into place.
I actually get around the region a lot. I love to explore, and I love history and architecture. I started an antiques business that helps get me out too, trolling for great old stuff…and let me tell ya’ there’s a lot of great old stuff in these parts.
I’ve accomplished a lot since moving here, acclimating to my new home, starting a business, and I launched a blog called My History Fix. I found I love blogging! What better way to share my Expat musings, and experiences in both my homes, Boston and Detroit (and points in between)—there are plenty of fellow expats out there who can relate, I’m sure!
So join me at the “edge of my comfort zone” and let’s see what this crazy life brings!