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.