The 1988 Eddie Murphy classic, Coming to America, remains one of my favourite comedies. Fittingly, I have always felt the need to make a pilgrimage to the US of A at some point in life. NBA basketball, Hollywood, mushu pork, cheap shopping, impressive landscapes and landmarks, powerful cities, some of the world’s leading Christian thinkers, Disneyland, this place has something for everyone. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine some point in life to look like this - unemployed, married and with 2 young boys in tow. Trying to make it happen for a year, no less. No plan, no agenda, no worries?
It’s been 3 weeks since we left the safety, comfort and convenience of home and started our temporary new life here in Chicago. Here’s an obligatory pic of the famous Chicago theatre.
For friends reading this blog post who had no idea this was on the cards, I apologise. We didn’t do a farewell party and we didn’t inform the Facebook. One of my recent mantras has been “not everything needs to be on Facebook”. That’s a separate post altogether. We were however, simply too busy trying to pack up the house and prepare ourselves for leaving. For those of you who made time to see us before we left, we treasure those moments greatly.
Why take this year off? I could make a list of things I’m tired of seeing & hearing in Perth, but I won’t. I will say that we needed a break and I’ve been feeling this need for the past 2 years or so. Phe and I intend to spend time bonding as a young family, in a way that we can’t back home. By ourselves, in each others’ faces, 24/7! I’m please to report that 3 weeks in, the marriage is intact.
We want to travel, explore and play tourist. It’s a long way to come and I’d much rather live in a place and experience it as the locals do, rather than spend a few short weeks and rush through everything. My rule of thumb is that doing anything with young kids takes 3x as long. Also, holidays aren’t much fun when you have to go back to work!
We want to broaden our spiritual horizons. The Christian church scene in America is rich with both history and progression. We look forward to the opportunity to connect with different people groups and be exposed to fresh, real and dynamic ways of being the church that Christ intended us to be.
Why Chicago? All roads pointed to it after much pondering and deliberation. Now that we’re here, our first impressions of this city are hugely positive. People are so nice and the city has much to offer. It’s a fantastic place to be, although we’re not sure if we’re tough enough to be here for the peak of winter! Every big city has its dark side though, and over 30 shootings on the Saturday just gone was a stark reminder of that.
For now, it’s a happy time for our little family with many new adventures to be had and new memories to be made. And as I write this sentence, baby #2 has been screaming for over half an hour and it’s time to go sooth the little guy. With a harp … oon.
First time standing in snow!!