Thursday 29 May 2014


Reader Hazel is home schooled... but she didn't expect to be finding out quite so much about life in the USA! She tells us what it's like to move from the UK to California...
Hazel says:
I've been home-educated all my life, along with my younger brother. My mum always felt that she learned more outside school, and felt that learning what you want, when you want, was a better way. There are so many good things about being home educated - no alarm clocks, no homework and we can study the things we want to, when want to. There's lots of spare time to read and play musical instruments and it's easy enough to make friends through Scouts, Young Rangers, choir, dance and badminton classes.

My mum is American and my dad is British so I have dual nationality, but I didn't expect I'd ever actually live in the USA. Then my dad's job sent him to work in California, not far from San Francisco, for a year. We came out to take a look in November so we'd know what to expect when we moved. I was pretty tired after the ten hour flight, but I do remember that our taxi from the airport to the hotel was a stretch limo - what a welcome! Our first night in California was spent in a hotel overlooking the Pacific Ocean... we didn't just see the sun set over the Pacific, we also saw the moon set! Finding a home proved very hard - I lost count of all the places we looked at, but we've found the perfect house now and have just moved in. Before that we were staying in a hotel, and that was great... like being on a long holiday! The hotel had a pool and I could swim whenever I wanted. Bliss!

We are really just settling in right now, but there's so much I want to see - we're hoping to go Mexico and the Grand Canyon soon, as part of a road trip to New Mexico, Utah and Arizona... it all feels so exciting! My first impressions of California are good. As with all of America, it seems like everything is so much larger than home. I mean, isn't it a bit worrying when you have ten lanes of highway running through your town? And there's so much selection of everything! When it comes to food, the only major difference is the portions - most American portions are huge. We've eaten out a lot, while staying in hotels and trying to find a place to live, and I've found most American restaurants great. As for the books... the libraries here are huge! Within a day of being in California we joined the local library and there's a great selection of books... I am looking forward to discovering some new American authors!

I can't wait to really settle in and make some American friends, but right now our American adventure feels pretty amazing!

Cathy says:
Hazel's adventure really does sound fantastic... wow! COMMENT BELOW if you've ever visited California or have questions for Hazel - or message me here if you'd like to talk about where YOU live in DREAMCATCHER!


  1. Ah...Hazel's so lucky to be able to move to California! I've always wanted to visit America, but living in Australia doesn't help... xxx

    1. I live in Australia too, and I've been to the US, but in some ways I prefer the peace and tranquility that comes with living here. The US is very busy and noisy, and while some people prefer that, i don't really enjoy it. however, hazel, I hope you will settle down happily!

    2. Amelie, we drove thousands of miles through Nevada, Arizona and New Mexico and hardly passed a single car, never mind any homes. There are many quiet places in America, so long as you avoid the cities.

  2. Wow,Hazel has a dual nationality! How I admire her!

  3. Thanks Chloe! It is pretty cool having dual nationality. My mom is dual as well, ( American and Irish), so whenever we go abroad, there are seven passports to carry! But going into America with an American passport is a lot less wearing on the feet... All those emigration gueues... Shudder!
    I've always thought that Australia would be a cool place to go to, Kaze. I'd like to see a kangaroo in it's natural habitat!

  4. My family went to America last year, it was awesome! It's just like Hazel said, everything is so much bigger, the buildings, the roads, definitely the shopping centres. When we arrived in Los Angeles, our hotel was a road away, but the trip took more than half an hour! It was a bit overwhelming for me, but I loved the food and American accents!

  5. My dads Scottish and my mums Irish we live I. Ireland but I LOVE Scotland we have a holiday home there so its quite cool



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