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Just to set the record straight for anyone who is wondering, Americans who live abroad are still Americans. We still care about America. We have the right to vote and we do. I am an American. I live abroad. I love my country and I vote.

I live my life, daily, as a living representative of America. Every time I open my mouth I am no longer a person, but the American. People don’t know my name but know me as the American lady. I am fully aware that I may be the only American the person standing in front of me has ever met, or possibly ever will meet. It was more intense when I first move abroad then it is now. Its still there. I speak, the response is always… you sound American.  Yes, I am an immigrant. I am a foreigner. I am American.

Because I am the living representative of America I have gotten the brunt of the anger from people. It has come as passive aggressive with under toned comments, or plain aggressive. I have had people glare, snarl and tell me to my face that they hate F-ing Americans. I have had people follow me, get excited, and tell me that they love Americans. It evens out. But the anger is there. America has lost its respect from the people who once held it in respect.  The world expects more from us, and frankly, so do I. More so now then ever. Fellow Americans, you may think it doesn’t matter what the world thinks about us, but it does. Very much so.

Right now I am feeling pretty blue about my homeland. This election is a pretty remarkable time. Its fantastic that a black man and a woman are running. Its fantastic that we have progressed. It looks fantastic on the surface. But what I am seeing from way over here, an ocean away isn’t so great. From what I am seeing and hearing are some pretty nasty comments, and disgusting lies.  This election is bringing out the lowest side of us. People are saying and doing things that they would never do. On forums or social sites, they are saying things they would never say to someones face. Its ugly. Its disgusting. Its un-American.

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Another 4th of July has come and gone. No great fanfare. No fireworks. No BBQ. No celebration feel. I even had to work last night and only one guy asked me if I was celebrating…um, no. Hard to celebrate when your the only one in miles who knows what it is your celebrating. The worst bit is when my husband turned up the radio while he was listening to Steve Wright on BBC radio 2 while Steve Wright wished all us Americans here a Happy Independence day and then played a bit of the national anthem, which always brings tears to my eyes. It makes me so very homesick. Easier to just think of the day as any other day. I will just have to wait until next year when I can take my British husband to see his first full on celebration.

Living abroad really brings out the American in you. Strangely, I feel more American now then I ever did back home. Maybe because that it has been added to my name… the American. Maybe because I can see all the things that I have taken for granted all my life. I do know that I have been at the butt end of some American bashing in the last 5 years. When I first moved over I was pretty timid about it all. Its easy to get the mindset, like some do, that we suck. 5 years on, I know better. I know that even though America has its problems its goodness, grace and beauty out weigh all those problems. The problems can be solved. Americans will give the shirt off their backs. Americans are open, giving, caring and overall honest. I have heard Europeans and Brits say that we are unaware of our world and don’t know what is going on. But I have found the same back at them. I come from a country that is comparable to the size of Europe. We don’t need passports to travel. We manage to get along and have only had one war amongst ourselves. That settled, we have been pretty much untied since. Europe has been in conflict with each other forever. See, after 5 yrs I have a comeback for all the stereotypes that have been thrown my way. And there have been many Stereotypes that have been. No place is perfect. Funny enough, people are pretty much the same… even the French. 🙂 I have seen enough of the warts of the world to know America is not alone with those warts.

It is strange though, how much more patriotic I feel. I am very proud of my homeland. I was surprised to see that in the UK they only fly the Union flag on special occasions. That you only fly the English flag when the football team is playing, and you can fly the Scottish and Welsh flag if you live in Scotland or Wales. Where I am from we have flags everywhere. We hang them from our front door. All public offices and schools. Its a representation of our pride in our country. I had to giggle when I was told that it freaks travelers out, reminding them of a dictatorial state. I hardly think that the US could be said to have a dictator running it, or even be compared with some place like Zimbabwe. We just have Spirit. School spirit, State Spirit, and Country spirit. We are just very proud of what our forefathers created. The freedoms we have are something to be proud of. The country that has grown is something to be proud of.

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