When Benn Edwards came to America in 2002, he wasn’t planning on staying, just on gathering himself. He’d gone through a painful break-up, and felt he needed to start fresh with no baggage from the past. Fourteen years later, here he still is, and it has changed him in every way. “I was in my mid to late 20s when I arrived,” he says, “having really no responsibly for anyone, just myself and learning to master the art of making Ramen noodles with everything.” Now, he is married, with a house, and green card.
Benn comes from Wells in Somerset, England. For him, this image means, “this is where I am from, the history of my family, and the magic it holds for me.” He misses walking on the vast history everyday, seeing the American tourists in shock overviewing the ancient lands. “That keeps you from taking it for granted,” he says.
The reason that Benn landed up in Baltimore is that his sister has been living in the U.S. for some time, and she happened to live in the city. As their parents get older, that means more responsibly for the whole family unit, and that’s another thing that has changed him. The most difficult part of it all, he says, “is being away from friends and family in times of sadness and happiness, remotely viewing from my social media sites.”
Since he came to America, Benn has been working for BMW as a client advisor, and he says the best part of being here would be the financial aspects of this country. “It has provided me a lot more than I probably could have in the U.K.” Meanwhile, one of the strangest parts of being here has to be that we have to drive everywhere. “Back home,” he says, “you tend to walk a lot more to get to places.”
And that phrase “back home” brings up the question of where home is for Benn. “Home will always be Britain,” he says, “but my house is in Baltimore.” That part of it seems quite clear-cut for him, but he feels a bit conflicted about his green card status. “I know at this point I should get my citizenship for the U.S. But, I may feel I’m letting go of my Heritage … even though I can have duel citizenship. There’s a part that feels like I’m turning my back on my country.” It’s the eternal immigrant dilemma.