Monday, February 26, 2024

From Grays To San Antonio

Blog By Heidi Goodsell

When my husband and I made that final decision I was so excited. Embarking on an adventure I had only dreamed about as a child. As the date to leave grew closer however, the enormity of what I was doing started to hit home.

I realised that I was leaving my family. I was leaving my family home. I was even leaving Law School in Kingston London to come to San Antonio. I remember that I got cold feet a few days before we left, so badly in fact that I wrote a Pro’s and Con’s of leaving list. I think the Pro’s went something like “Once in a lifetime opportunity” and “Better opportunities for us” to list a few. The Con’s were something like, “Hurting my family by leaving” and “The chocolate is horrible.”

I had visited Texas about three times prior to our decision to leave. We had flown back and forth a few times to apply and obtain my husbands’ visa to live in the UK. My longest stay was for almost two months, so I had a pretty good idea as to what life here in Texas would be like. I also had a pretty good idea about the things I would miss. Of course I would miss my family.

We are very close and I was used to spending almost all of my time with them. But I would also miss walking up to my local shops on Lodge Lane, Grays. Going to Lakeside with my mum and bringing my dad a hot cup of tea when he was out in the garage working on a car. I would even miss fighting with my bother and getting yelled at by my sister for making our room a mess.

Before I left for Texas, I had a lot of boxing up to do. To this day the attic is full of my stuff. I could only take two 80lb cases with me on the plane so after my shoes and handbags were packed, that didn’t leave room for much else. My cases were overweight at the airport and I had to give some of my coats to my parents to take back which we had a laugh about. It was a very tearful goodbye but although I was so upset to be leaving, I was also so excited to be getting back to the Lone Star State.

Texas is very different to the UK. The whole of the UK could fit into the State of Texas. It is the largest US state. It is very hot and humid during the summer. From April to the end of October is it usually around 90-98 degrees Fahrenheit which is about 32-38 degrees C. The winter months are December to February and we can get some icy days but they don’t last long.

San Antonio, the Texas city I live in, is known for the Alamo which is a historical building called a mission and is famous for its battles between the USA and Mexico. San Antonio also has a beautiful River Walk where a river winds through Downtown lined with restaurants and bars. San Antonio also has a strong Spanish/South American culture and you are never far from a family owned Mexican Restaurant, most of which are amazing.

I have been home a couple of times and my family has visited here a lot. I am a five minute drive from Seaworld San Antonio which truly is an amazing place. Every year my family and I buy season passes as they have a huge water park as well as the amazing shows with Shamu the Killer Whale and the bottle nosed dolphins. We also have a theme park here called Six Flags Fiesta Texas which also has a water park, so my family is kept very busy when they visit.

I have adjusted very well to the San Antonio lifestyle and I do feel like a local. That being said, I will never lose my accent nor will I lose the love I have for England. The journey I have taken from the day I moved to Texas to where we are now has been a long, exciting and difficult time that I will share with you in my next entry. So as they say in Texas,” Ya’ll come back now.”


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