When I arrived in the US late in 2011, I joined the wife in a little apartment she had organized for us on campus at Fuller Seminary in Pasadena. Tanya had flown across to the US a few months before me as I waited for my visa approval and finished up what I was doing at Streetwork.

I arrived in the US determined to make the most of my 6 weeks of waiting for “approval to work”. I had dreams of writing and recording, of baking and crafting. I was going to change the world, volunteer with charities and see America all in six weeks.

Sadly the majority of those six weeks I spent doing menial little tasks and most of my grand schemes were put on hold. There was also the issue that neither Tanya nor I was drawing an income during this time. I had quickly discovered money you don’t have, was best not spent so I lived simply by sitting on our balcony watching America pass me by.

It was here that #timsamerica was born. My whole experience in the first 3-6 months of living in the US happened in a 2-block radius of Pasadena, including everything I needed to survive and to be entertained. From our balcony alone I could watch the domestic disputes at the bus stop, the relationship breakdowns on the pay phones next to my bedroom window, let alone the fact that our apartment over looked the 24-hour gas station/convenience store full of local cops on their break.

#timsamerica became that unique perspective of the US. Not clouded by the glamour of the tourist attractions like Disney land, but my view on a real country from a unique perspective. I decided then and there I wanted to blog and vlog that perspective. I built video introductions and I tagged pictures. Anything that to me was uniquely American but nobody would notice I had to draw attention to.

Time has moved on and I have since moved into an amazing job outside of that 2-block radius. Tanya and I have moved to Fullerton in the OC and we are seeing another side of America. Still full of the touristy American experiences but for me the exciting things are still the little quirky items in the super market or the funny worded sign. The kind of things you only see in America but only people outside of the US would think was funny.

Tanya and I just jetted home to renew visas and we have another couple of weeks before flying back. During this time I started to think about #timsamerica. I started to wonder whether I had missed the point of my own misadventure. Was I just keeping a travel log of my back streets tour of the US or was there something more that could be gained from this experience.

To me #timsamerica has become a place caught between the tension of a world in love with celebrity but craving something real, chasing a distant dream while enduring today, a place where we can see the significant in the mundane and enjoy the sacred moments that too easily pass us by. #timsamerica is that place of discovery, you’re welcome to join me for the ride, no pressure but I think I need to share more of what’s happening in #timsamerica cause stuck in that tension is where I’m starting to call home.