It Must Be Tuesday originally started as a way to show off our life in Europe to friends and family we left back in the United States. Then other people found it. Fellow world travelers. Fellow expats. Fellow geocachers and Navy wives and Harry Potter fans and Belgian bloggers. If yearly stats are to be believed, 67 different countries sent readers to find out about our travels in 2015. (a big Hello to the one visitor from Trinidad and Tobago!)
So, the question becomes, now that we’ve left Europe behind (for the time being), how do I continue? Suburban United States is clearly not as full of adventure possibilities as, say, France. Or Sicily. Or Romania. Do I continue It Must Be Tuesday when we are, sadly, no longer in Belgium?
I might have to change the name, but yes, I’m going to keep going. For three reasons.
1. I take lots of pictures and where else am I going to put them?
2. My country deserves some love, too.
3. I’ve come to realize, from spending time with people from outside the United States, Americans have a reputation we don’t (always) deserve.
I just spent three years living among so many different nationalities, not just Belgians. SHAPE is a NATO base and, as such, is home to people from dozens of countries. And each one has an opinion of America. For instance, I got to spend Thanksgiving with some British friends. When they arrived, we commented on how nice they looked. They responded that they didn’t know how they should dress for an American holiday as they figured we’d all be wearing sweatpants and drinking canned beer out of coozies while sitting in recliners, watching football.
For three years I was told to hide my American-ness. No flag flew outside our house. We never wore clothes that hinted we were from the US. We stripped our car of anything that implied we were not from Belgium. We tried to speak English quietly when we spent time in areas with lots of people. But that ends now.
So, let’s show off America, for a change. Let’s see how our United States experiences compare to those we had in Europe. Let’s prove that we’re not all stereotypes from John Cougar Mellancamp songs. And, perhaps most important, let’s see what Columbus, Ohio has to offer.