I have lived in the UK for four years and a half now. Edinburgh, Glasgow, Manchester and London. And now, as you know, it is time to close that book and open a new one… in New York City! Before I go, though, I already know 10 reasons why I will actually miss the UK!
No, Brexit isn’t one of them!
1. Contactless payment on the tube
Using my contactless card to travel, whether by bus, train or tube, has been a game changer! So easy and convenient. No need to buy an Oyster card or pay into a monthly pass. I can just use my card and pay as I go, which is not more expensive than a pass. To me at least. It also depends where you live, I assume. To take the Subway in NYC, you need to buy a paper ticket or a pass. But also, I think London is the only city offering contactless in the tube anyway.
2. Cheap Mobile Data plans
Whether I lived in France, Italy, New Zealand or the UK, I never paid more than €20 for my mobile plan. I had texts, calls and data for £10 in the UK for example. Sure, I did not have 1GB of data but what I have was enough for my use and also, super cheap! Husband and US friends have all told me that a mobile plan usually is around $40 and you can’t really get something cheap. Not sure my bank account will like it!
3. Safety in the street
I am not so sure about this one, it is mostly here-say. The only way to actually really know is to live there and experience life in NYC, or any other big US city. As per my experience, I can say that London is quite safe. I have never felt afraid of walking home on my own, late at night, after a night out and wearing a short dress. I have felt much safer in London than in Turin or Lyon for example. But it is quite well-known that NYC is more violent and less safe.
4. Contactless in general
Again, this is mostly here-say from my husband and a friends who is from California. Contactless is not a thing in the US. Or paying with a card in general. There is always a minimum amount you need to spend to be able to use a card. While I’d use my contactless to pay £1 in Tesco! I will also miss free wire transfers to Europe. Turns out, transferring to a non-EU country is super expensive!
5. Affordable healthcare
I have not needed much healthcare in the past year but now that I know how expensive it is in the US, I’ll make sure I won’t need healthcare at all. Maybe I find it so shocking because in all the countries I have lived (France, UK, NZ, Italy), healthcare was either free or very cheap. Good thing we have an insurance but still… How do people who don’t have insurance do when they need healthcare?! (A good reminder of how privileged and lucky I am, in the end).
6. Good scones
Scones are my favorite English treat. They are my favorite part of an afternoon tea too. Not the ones with sultanas, no, just the plain ones. And how amazing are they with clotted cream. I know English folks add jam as well, but I don’t mix cream and jam. Maybe I will find good scones in the US, it might just be a matter of searching and researching. I just know that I never found scones in France, that’s why.
7. Cheap European breaks
One thing with living in Europe, is that you are surrounded with many other countries. They are either accessible via train, bus or plane. London-Paris or London-Brussels is a two hour train ride. Flying to Copenhagen, Amsterdam or Stockholm is easy as pie, and, most important, super cheap! The US is a massive country. You have Canada, Mexico, Jamaica, Cuba and other islands in the Caribbeans, but they are much further away, and probably much more expensive to go to. Flying inter-states could be a solution though. The US is so big, there must be just as many things to see!
8. Easy access to airports
Maybe this is just typical of NYC and not all US airports in general. Let me know. Tales from my husband and from some friends taught me that getting to NYC airports takes a lot of time and money. While access to UK airports in general, is very easy and not so expensive. There are also many options: bus, tram, train, tube, etc. Getting to JFK from Manhattan is either done by cab or by a very long train journey!
9. Prices VAT inclusive
I think this is something typical of the US. Prices very often do not include taxes. While in the UK and in Europe as a whole, prices are always inclusive of VAT, which makes it much easier when it comes to paying. In the US, you get to the till and realize that the bill is higher because of all the added taxes. I guess it is just a matter of getting used to.
10. UK Netflix
I watch a lot of TV shows. Mostly on Netflix. Some I have already watched, some I am watching for the first time, some other for the tenth time. But the pleasure is always there. However, I have realized that each Netflix is different depending on the country and that UK Netflix has a super nice catalogue of shows, including Brooklyn Nine-Nine. B99 isn’t available on US Netflix. And so many other shows I love.
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What do you miss most of the UK when you’re away? Have you lived in the UK and then moved somewhere else? Or moved there and then moved back to your country of origin? Anything else that you think is different in the US from the UK?
Thanks a lot for stopping by. Hope you liked this post.
See you soon.
*The dress featured in the photo is a gift from Shein (Use code 9TEA for 15% off at checkout) but all opinions are my own.
England makes life so easy, right? I can’t even imagine how you will manage with the healthcare system in the States. I do hope you won’t need it at all. Safe travels!
We lived in England for 3 years and I really liked it. It was such a pretty area. I mean, I wish there had been more sun, but we enjoyed our time there.
I’ve never been to England, but the access to affordable healthcare is a BIG plus. The US is behind the times in so many areas.
Oh, BEST WISHES on your upcoming move across the pond! We had the GREAT pleasure of tasting English scones with clotted cream when we went last summer. It was pure heaven. I feel your pain as I’ve never tasted anything quite as good anywhere in the U.S. Love that dress by the way!
I am a Brit myself and would miss a few of the things on this list if I moved abroad too – especially the cheap European breaks and things like a good scone with a cuppa – but I also can’t wait to follow your adventure into this new chapter in your life
These are really interesting reasons and you moving over to another country is another stress.
Wish you a safe trip.
Yeah i agree, there is a lot of things to love and miss in the UK but you’re gonna fall in love with NYC. All the luck.
I really enjoyed reading this post! I’ve never been to the UK but reading this makes me miss it too! I really want to go now and experience the UK for myself!
yes I remember that VAT in the US is not included and that is confusing. Honestly I never had any issue paying with credit card in the US, even with small purchases.
Corinne, you’ll love New York as it has things (like food) that you will not find in the UK. I am familiar with both countries and each one has unique things that you will like. I think it is great that you get a chance to live in a new country. The culture will definitely be different in NYC.
And you’ll miss my face of course :p
I’m so excited for your NY posts, I never knew they didn’t have contactless or anything there until you told me!
I have always wanted to visit the UK. My sister is going there soon and wish I could too!
Good luck with the move to the States. I have to say that I would totally miss the cheap Europe travels. I don’t think I would leave just because of this.
I only ever visited the UK, but I would love to live there!! I would miss it too!
UK is one of place where we want to visit asap and we are planning to visit may be in the starting of the next year. Thanks for sharing some amazing reason to visit UK
I can feel you girl! When it comes to cheaper data costs, I’m in! And the good scones too. Anyway, it is nice that in the UK, you’re confident about the street security. Isn’t that just so amazing?!
I’ve lived in the uk my whole life and would love to go to America to see how different it is x
What a wonderful adventure – moving to New York, you must be super excited! But I too would miss so many things! I had no idea phone contracts were so expensive in the States! I’m also an overuser of contactless payments! Good luck with the upcoming move! xxx