Sunday, February 09, 2014

Great Expat-ations



I was asked to contribute an expat tip for the HiFX Expat Tip page. And this got me thinking that actually I have a lot of useful info to pass on for peeps looking to move from UK to USA so here goes ....

10 things to bear in mind when moving from UK to USA

1. Your British accent will go down a storm. Some people even ask you to say a sentence so they can hear your accent. You will feel like a celebrity.

2. You will laugh at how Americans complain about the cost of gas as it is three times cheaper than in the UK.

3. The weather is a lot nicer.

4. I had watched so many episodes of Jerry Springer, Maury etc. I thought America might be awash with women who didn't know who the father of their child was! In fact, the reality is quite the opposite. Marriage is a huge deal in the USA with only 10% believing it is an outdated institution.

5. People in US are very sensitive towards race and religion to the point where I really don't really like to talk about it because I'm not sure if I'm going to offend people. Religion in the UK is for most people just a background murmur but many people here are religious and actually go to church. That religion should be mixed in with politics is something I still can't get my head around - they even have prayer breakfasts in the White House. Some people believe in creationism, showing that the bible can be taken pretty literally.

6. If like me you did not drive before you arrived here then you will have to learn. Public transport is dire in all but the biggest cities and people drive absolutely everywhere and by that I mean they often drive the kids to school even if it is a two minute walk. It is something that is hard to get one's head around.


7. You will not realize how much you love a decent cup of tea until you move to the USA. You rarely find a good cuppa at a restaurant and I once got steamed milk on a cup of tea - of course, being British I didn't complain and just drank it. But be warned - if you want a good cuppa you will have to make it at home. 

8. TV is a nightmare with commercials every five minutes. For this reason I no longer have Cable TV just Hulu and Netflix.

9. Don't try and do all the things you used to do back in England. You can't spend your time bemoaning the fact that in the USA people don't spend all Sunday in the pub eating a delicious roast. You have to get out and experience as much as you can of your local area. I am lucky in that I live 2 hours from a ski resort and 3 hours from the beach and that there is always something to do outdoors.

10. You will be thrilled at how much bang you get for your buck when you do buy a house. On average houses in USA are cheaper than the UK equivalent!

If you are an expat give me some of your tips!

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8 comments:

Iota said...

Moved to the US from Scotland in 2006, and back again in 2012. Yes, this list is spot on. That driving thing - that was the most difficult to get used to. A friend drove her daughter to my house once. We lived 4 doors away.

Molly @ The Move to America said...

I found the exact same thing when I moved. I too do not drive and the public transport is non-existent so getting about is all too hard right now!

Gorilla Bananas said...

A lot of Brits who live in America say the chocolate tastes like crap and the mean tastes of nothing at all. Any truth?

mother.wife.me said...

Ooooh I do have a secret yearning to live in the States, I love a good road trip when in your land of plenty. Not sure about the politics, but oh those vistas, that space... #AllAboutYou

Sara Murray said...

Oh, all so true! Someone said to me recently, when I used the word unruly 'oh, I wish I had an accent so I could use words like that'... The driving thing drives me mad (!) but I have to admit with a foot of snow I do drive the 10 min walk - if only because I'd have to walk in the road with the buggy/stroller :) #AllAboutYou

Jan Robinson said...

Interesting to see the difference you found. I find the strangest thing would be religion and politics. Aussies don't go in for that so much, or should I say they don't discuss it.

Zarouhi Zaz said...

I've always toyed with the idea of a stateside move, and we almost pitched our tent in LA a few years ago (ok, not a tent obviously, I'm more a hotel kind of gal), but I remember that leaving family behind and being obliged to drive everywhere ended up putting us off. I do love visiting yearly though, and we've done some fantastic drives, enjoying that "cheap gas"! Thanks for linking to #AllAboutYou x

Rebecca Kennedy said...

Ha Ha! Your list is very interesting! I didn't know Brits thought these things about us here in the States. We all say how wonderful it is that the countries in Europe are so close so you can visit so many. Yes, we drive and drive and drive. We must be the ones who coined "Sunday Driver". (Means going out for a drive, just to enjoy a drive! lol) And the British accent is FANTASTIC!!! I Love it! Yes, I will listen no matter what you say! It is music to my ears!