In 2001 Michael Harling took a two week vacation from his civil service job in Albany, New York, to go hiking in Ireland. Six months later he found himself married and living in a picturesque market town in Southern England. Although he assumed that changing careers, moving from one continent to another and getting married all in the same month was bound to bring about some collateral changes, but he really didn’t expect it to be so radically different. It was England, after all; America’s staging ground for sorting out European wars, where they speak the same language, watch the same TV and read the same books — it shouldn’t be much different than moving from New York to Arkansas, should it?
The differences, however, were plentiful and unexpected.
Bemused and bewildered, Michael began chronicling the misadventures and observations he encountered while navigating this unfamiliar world. Postcards From Across the Pond – dispatches from an accidental expat, is a collection of laugh-out-loud essays about life among the English, detailing his introduction to life in Britain, where every activity — from renewing a bus pass to shopping for shoelaces — pulls him out of his comfort zone and leaves him floundering in the deep end of cultural confusion.
Michael Harling is an author and IT professional who never envisioned himself straying very far from his childhood home of Kinderhook, New York. He currently lives in Sussex.