For myself, one of my biggest fears about moving to Wales was the idea of being and feeling accepted. I remember knowing nothing about the culture or history or the quirks of daily life in this small (and proud country).
Would I fit into my new homeland in Wales? Would I always be the American that stands out?
In the first year of living in Wales, I made countless mistakes. Mostly silly, like not knowing how to pronounce a Welsh word (hint: I still don’t) or weight of certain current or pop cultural events.
[For any of my lovely readers who are about to embark on an expat journey here to the UK, I’ll give you a clue– making mistakes are all part of the expat journey.]
Over time, I have gradually found Wales to become like a second home. And sometimes even feeling more like my first home. A place where I feel so incredibly connected and grounded, more than I’ve ever felt before. Here in Wales, I have the constantly opportunity to get out into the big open spaces, and I can clear my head, gain perspective and find my balance.
And I will say, my fears of feeling welcomed were simply based in fear. Fear of the great first few steps as an expat, and really the fear of the unknown. Wonderfully though, I have been welcomed here in Wales. Welcomed by the people…. warm and genuine and caring. Welcomed by the history the runs deep. Welcomed by the land that has inspired generations.
But this feeling of being welcomed, came at me being open to learning…to adapting and to growing into life here. I make a point not to stomp around and compare Wales to America. I embrace the differences, and that has allowed me to find myself creating deep roots in this incredible new home nation.
I am also wonderfully inspired. During our adventures, I still find myself feeling at a loss for words when I catch a stunning green vista or stunning rolling hills.
Tell me, if you’ve ever moved to a new place, how long did it take for you to feel welcomed in your new home?
PS- In case you are wondering, ‘Croeso’ is Welsh for ‘Welcome’.