In 2015, I was brave and decided to move to the US. After living in Germany for 14 years, I was excited about what I would experience in a new country. Fortunately, I visited the US every year for four years before moving here.
In this blog post, I will share the eight things in the US that still surprise me. Check out a post I wrote over five years ago about the 10 things I wish I had known before I moved to the US.
#1: The Diversity of People & Cultures
One of my favorite parts of living in the US is meeting people from many countries who now call the US home. I get very excited when I meet people from a new country. Going to the doctor and seeing the instructions in multiple languages always warms my heart. Also, the ability to access delicious foods from different countries makes me feel very fortunate to live here.
#2: The Size of Things
It happened again this past week. I bought a box of cereal online, and the size shocked me when it came. I kept wondering why we needed a box of cereal that was so big. Every time I travel outside the US and see the size of regular fruit, it all looks small.
#3: Measurements and Temperature
Every time I go to the grocery store, and they ask me how many pounds of meat I need, I ask myself and the merchant how much two pounds is. It is easier to eyeball the amount I want than remember the pounds or ounces. It's the same with figuring out how warm or cold it is. I have figured out that 72 degrees Fahrenheit is the most comfortable.
#4: Building Credit & Spending Money
Buying things on credit is promoted in the US, so you have a good credit score that allows you to buy more things, which is something I'll never fully understand. Knowing that I made a large purchase on my credit card makes me very nervous, even when I know I can afford it. Growing up in Nigeria, owing money was not a good thing.
#5: The size and beauty of this Country
The US is the largest country that I have ever lived in. If you take a flight in Germany for an hour, you could be in a new country. Flying for an hour in the US does not take you too far. You will probably still be in one state. In the eight years I have lived here, I visited six states and enjoyed some of the most beautiful places I have seen. Especially living in California, where you can go to the beach, climb mountains, and play in the snow within a few hour's drive.
#6: The Political Landscape
I moved to the US in 2015, right when the political campaign for the last administration was starting off. There have been many things that have happened politically that I could never have imagined living in Germany. I am still shocked when I listen to the news and hear some political debates. It's a wild world.
#7: Technological innovation and new ideas
Living in the Bay Area and working in Silicon Valley, I am amazed by all the innovative ideas and products people develop. There is something fascinating about hearing all the new advancements. Some of them are scary, like driverless taxis. I still wonder who asked for that. With that being said, I'm thankful to have access to a lot of cool things.
#8: The great possibilities and opportunities
About four years ago, I made a huge pivot in my career. I was inspired by watching other people chase their dreams. Coming from Germany, where people expect you to be an expert before you can do the job, it was a big mindset shift for me. I decided to take a leap of faith, and I am very happy that I did not let the fear of the unknown hold me back.
The last eight years have been an exciting ride for me. There were so many things that I never imagined or thought I would experience. I am very grateful for the opportunity to live here in this life phase.