Cornfields, tractors, friday night football, guns, soybeans, trailer parks, fried food and family.
This is what comes to mind when people ask me what it was like living and going to school in America. It may seem like a giant cliche, but I can assure you I am not exaggerating.
Let me rewind for a minute though and give you some context. When I was fifteen years young, I begged my parents to let me go on an exchange year to America, and they obliged. I ended up landing in a tiny Indiana town near the border of Ohio and Kentucky, living with a big, happy, typical midwestern host family.
Although overwhelming at first, I quickly fell in love with the people, my new routine and new way of life. Being the only Australian most of them had ever encountered, I was a pretty big novelty to the sheltered kids of my new hometown (much to my dismay), but they quickly got all of their obscure questions out of their systems and I made an awesome group of friends. After two weeks I felt like I’d been living there my whole life.
The year flew by, with highlights being joining the soccer team and meeting Johnny (yeah that happened!), parties, bonfires, shooting guns, travelling the state with the swim team, friday night football games and food.
The year ended just as quickly as it began, and I came back to Australia, followed not long after by Johnny boy. We’ve been back to rural Indiana three times and little to nothing has changed. The landscape is made up of cornfields, soy bean fields and tractors. There are trailer parks, and then there are upper class country clubs. Any old local will proudly whip out their gun collection and let you fire at anything from empty beer cans or gas bottles to squirrels and raccoons. You’ll be served biscuits for breakfast, baloney for lunch and skyline for supper.
Moving to this place from Brisbane at such a young age was like flipping my life upside down, but one of the best things to ever happen to me, and I’ll always consider it my second home! Here are some photos from our most recent trip back to visit Johns family.
We can’t wait to go back.