When I decided to move to London, I was eager to get to Europe to explore, learn about it’s history, languages, and cultures. I thought moving to London would be an easy transition because in the UK because in the UK, they speak English and share a lot of similarities to the US. What I didn’t take into consideration were the things I’d miss.
One of the first things people ask me when they learn about my background is which city/country is my favourite. My answer is always that I can’t pick a favourite. What I can tell them instead is what I miss about living in the US and what I love about living in London.
What I Miss About the US
When I lived in North Carolina and Washington, DC, life was easy. I had an air conditioned apartment, a car, and going out to eat a good meal didn’t have to cost too much. Going to the store after work wasn’t an issue, they were always open late. Getting an appointment at the doctor or dentist was never an issue, it just happened. Finding a gym with a membership below $70 was a cake walk.
I miss buying food in bulk. I miss going to the driving range without having to take my golf bag on the tube. I miss getting up early to drive to the mountains for a hike. I miss my regular lunch special #2 Burrito, Rice & Beans. I miss having a really good washing machine and dryer that doesn’t put holes in my sweaters.
What I also miss (and recommend you bring with you in bulk to the UK) is the following:
- Toll House Chocolate Chips
- DayQuil & NyQuil
- CoverGirl Makeup
- Hershey Kisses
- Neosporin Antibacterial Cream
- Clorox Wipes
- Mexican Salsas
Life in London
While I miss several things about life in the US, life in London is indescribable in the BEST of ways. There are countless new restaurants to try every month, festivals and markets to explore on the weekends, and people from every nationality to talk to and learn something from.
You’ll commute by walking, taking the tube, riding a bike, or even running to work and showering in the basement locker rooms. You’ll find any excuse to have a beer at the local pub after work to celebrate that it’s Thursday or complain about the weather. And, as soon as the sun is out, you’ll flock to the park to have a picnic and sit by the river drinking Pimms or an Aperol Spritz.
You’ll plan your weekend getaways like you planned for fantasy football and start buying clothes in shades of black, grey, and blue. You’ll also quickly learn the many definitions of ‘sorry’ and appreciate the unique charms of each neighbourhood.
I had been to London twice before I moved. Both times just for a few days. Back then I wasn’t as charmed by London as I am now. When I initially decided to move, I thought I’d save a ton of money by cooking more at home because British food has a terrible reputation and that I’d rarely go out because it would be drizzling every day. Now I cherish the drizzly days I spend at the pub because that’s when London is as it’s finest.