Trans-Atlantic ties: Friends across the pond

In All Saints’ it’s hard to find someone who hasn’t lived in Texas their whole lives or hasn’t gone to school here since they were little. For me, it is quite the contrary. I grew up an Air Force brat and had the privilege of living in and having easier access to travel to other foreign countries. I’ve lived overseas for a total of 6 years of my life, and they were all wonderful. I began my journey with curly hair and circular glasses, too shy to go out into this foreign land and do what I needed to do. In this, friendships were hard work for me at first.

Friendships were both easy and hard for me. Since I changed schools a lot, I fell into a routine and it was easy for me to make fast friends. The issue with this is that I could not get too attached, because I knew that I would have to leave my new friends in 3 years, just like I always had to do.

My favorite place I’ve lived would have to be Fordham, England. The small village near Cambridge was one of the most influential and exciting places I’ve ever been. I went to school in the local village school, which is different than what most military children do. They usually go to school with other American kids on the Air Force Bases where their parents are stationed, but I got the chance to experience the British culture head on. I soon figured out that nearly all my friends lived in the neighborhood next to mine. This was exciting for me because I have never had the experience of being around the corner from most of my friends and being able to walk to school or to the grocery store. My brother and I like to explore, and when we explored “the moor” as we called it, it was nothing we had ever seen before. “The moor” was a plot of uncultivated land along the Snail River, although rivers in England are more like babbling brooks. It was a vast, hilly, damp, place that was great for discovery. Even though we were young, we were allowed to go by ourselves because it was so close to home. It was such easy access to the best place to explore, and it kept us occupied, which my mother loved!

Before and after leaving England, I have never been as close to everything as I was there. It took me no time at all to find a great bunch of friends, pick up an accent, and to grasp the fact that french fries were called chips. I remember on my last night in England, I had all of my friends come over for one last hurrah. We did not have  furniture in the house and all of my things were gone. It was really hard for me to say goodbye because in all my childhood, I had never made new friends so quickly or ones that meant that much to me. These girls are still friends that I keep in touch with today. As cliché as it sounds, we really will be friends for a lifetime.

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Interestingly, being a military kid made me a much more confident person. The shy little girl with curly hair and circular glasses had to try new things and ask for help instead of struggling on her own.  For this I am grateful. Now I am not afraid to ask questions, and I consider myself very open-minded. I understand that different people have different perspectives and opinions, and I respect all of them. I believe that living in different places helped me learn to be accepting of others, and, in turn, it helps other people accept me. These places have played an important role in my life, and if I left out this part of my life story, it would be utterly incomplete.

One thought on “Trans-Atlantic ties: Friends across the pond

  1. Way to go, Caroline! I love this and have subscribed to get all you write. I’ll look forward to getting to know my own granddaughter better than ever, this way. Goody! with love–Grandmommy

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