1. America doesn’t get everything right- Roundabouts are just about the most efficient thing to ever happen to roads, and I always wonder how amazing it would be if they came to the US. The free healthcare thing is awesome, although they tax the crap out of everything (Road Tax, TV Tax, etc.). The amazing thing about taxes here is that the tax is included in the original price, so you don’t have to calculate it in your head or even notice you’re being taxed. 2. Their definition of ‘Customer Service’ is very different- England isn’t exactly known for their blooming customer service or hours of operation. Usually stores close at 6:00, pubs close at 12:00 pm and they are pretty much there to do their job and go home. It isn’t because they aren’t friendly (because they are!) they were just raised to value personal space and not be too overbearing.
3. Health is something people are concerned with- There is a theory among my American friends that Americans are so unhealthy because being sick is profitable in the US. If you’re unhealthy in the UK, it costs the government money. They have lots of regulations on foods to make sure their people are the healthiest they can be, thus saving tax money. Maybe it’s true, maybe it’s false. Regardless, there is a huge emphasis placed on foods being healthy and I think it’s a great step in the right direction. 4. Travel is WAY easier/cheaper. Using RyanAir I can fly to almost any country in Europe for less than $100. You can’t even fly between states for that amount of money. Many people in the US never even leave their own state, and only 1/3 of Americans have a passport. That is unheard of in Europe. There is a ton to see and it can be done over weekends. 5. There is still a language gap- Despite the fact that Brits speak English, there are a LOT of differences. Prawn means shrimp, garage is pronounced like “carriage”, and the word “fanny” absolutely does not mean rear end here. If you meet a European, be sure to sneak ‘fanny pack’ into a sentence. They’ll probably be dying of laughter or ridiculously embarrassed. The accents vary based on location in each country, just like the ones from different regions in the US. Surprisingly most British people can mimic a pretty good American accent- Americans usually cannot and probably shouldn’t try. These are just a few differences I have noticed living abroad for a few years. There are many more and will be included in a future series of blog posts. What was the biggest difference you noticed moving to the UK?