What’s in a name?
There is one fact I should probably state right from the start. I am a Yank. Born and bred Americano. I look like, talk like and walk like one. And by that, I mean that I walk on the right-hand side of the street, of course. Thus the name of this site, KEEPLEFTLOOKRIGHT, came about pretty quickly after my arrival in Australia. Not only was it painted on the sidewalks as a handy reminder, but it was repeated in my head like the droning mantra of a Hare Krishna so as to avoid incident on the way to work. (Showing up late to a new job having just been hit by a car because you looked the wrong direction? Could be an awkward moment.) But KEEPLEFTLOOKRIGHT is about more than street safety. It is about all the little compromises we have to make as individuals when adapting to new surroundings. This title quickly sums up what I believe people need if they choose to move elsewhere – an adventurer’s streak, a significant level of flexibility and the willingness to accept that the way they have always done things may not always be the right, or the only, way.
I will talk more about what it is like to be an American living abroad. Certainly our experience is different (and sometimes less pleasant – thank you very much for that, Republican party) than that of other cultures. I will share advice with those of any culture who may be looking to make a move to somewhere new and different. But for now, just clearing up the story behind the name.