I was a teenager in the 80s, in rural Pennsylvania, in the USA, being indoctrinated by early MTV. New Wave, Punk, and Goth bands (as well as a dash of Monty Python that played on late-night tv) brought me as close to England as I thought I would get at the time. These bands dictated my fashion, style, and musical tastes for years afterwards. I was starting on my path to becoming an Anglophile.
My first international flight was to London, as a college graduation present, with two friends. They “knew people”, and that was enough at the time to find places to sleep and eat in between all-night clubbing.
Circumstances changed, and I didn’t get the chance to come back until I visited for a cousin’s wedding, and then a few years later, visited with my then boyfriend, now husband, who happened to be from Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Fast forward to now, 2021, after living here for 12 years.
Enough time has passed that I can look back objectively to my first experiences on your island, not as a tourist, but as an immigrant. In these letters, I want to record my experiences while living here, travelling abroad, and living in the in-between (that delicate place of not quite fitting in, in both the US and the UK).