How I moved to America (from Moscow to small city)

Last time we talked about moving to anothe city for a job and I told how I moved from Moscow to St. Petersburg. Today I am going to share my story about moving to America in 2005.

I moved to America because I married American. I wasn’t planning for that but in a year after I met my future husband on the airplane I moved to Long Beach, California with 500,000 population (it’s considered a big city in America).

I lived in Moscow on Arbat Street and all of a sudden I had to live in one-story residential area — houses, gardens, back yards, no people on the street and you have to drive everywhere. Looking back I have to say that it was a great neighborhood but I felt weird.


How I moved to America

I thought I didn’t have cultural shock but I had it. My body was literally falling apart. The first year I had health problems and gained weight because of stress. I’ve got allergies I never had before. I had ear infections I never had when I was a kid. I had to spend a lot of time at the dentist office…  It took me a long time to get used to the water — I have long hair and I couldn’t brush it after shower no matter what products I used.

Then I got depressed. I was staying in bed all day and had no energy. I had medical insurance right away but during my first year it didn’t cover anything. They call it «pre-existing condition». It took us couple years to pay my medical bills from that period.

I also decided to start new career and it was a stressful time. I started to feel better only after we moved to the high rise in downtown (on the picture) — having ocean view and being able to walk on the beach and to the places made me feel at home.

For some odd reasons people often say that Russians and Americans are «very similar» but we don’t have much in common. Basically America is a provincial country and if you’re from a big city, you’ll have hard time to adapt. I live here for 9 years now and don’t jump in the air when strangers say «hi» to me but it took me a lot of time…