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Advice for an American in London?

So, what’s it like being an American in London? If you have read my Quirky Advice for American Expats in London, from a few months ago, you know I love living here. And since I love all my Sunny readers just as much, I’m sharing more info about my London adventures with you.

Let’s get right to today’s topic then, shall we? I’ve put together a few more fun tips for those of you that made the leap across the pond like me…

Advice American in London

1. Tips for an American in London- Fah-get a bout it!

When I was preparing for my third move to London back in January, my friends all had one question. ‘You aren’t gonna develop one of those fake British accents like Madonna had, ARE YOU?’

Of course not. No sense pretending to be someone you’re not. However, I’ve noticed I’m much bettah off if I drop the ‘R’ at the end of a word. British accents just don’t have it. So, for the times I need to be understood fast, I talk like the natives and drop that final R. ‘May I have a tap wahtah, please?’

2. Tips for an American in London- Turning Tricks

Even though sometimes I’ll say words in ‘British’ just to get on with my day fastah, I mostly stick with my American tongue and lingo, y’all. That also means feeling like a circus monkey sometimes.American in London

If I had a quatah or dollah for every time a Brit asked me to say ‘Banana’, ‘Tomato’ or ‘Aluminum’, I would have no need to consider monetizing the Sunny in London blog. Cha-ching!

If you’re an American in London, just get used to people laughing at certain words you say and making you repeat them incessantly. Face it, you know before you moved here you asked all the British people you encountered to ‘talk on command’ in order for you to hear their accent. So, now it’s royal pay back. Deal with it.

3. Tips for an American in London- Niagara Falls

There’s some serious watah issues in London. I’m not talking about rain, Sunny friends. What I mean is water pressure. Get ready for Niagara Falls each time you turn on that faucet. Advice for an American in LondonExcept, you probably won’t be feeling any rainbows.

Advice for an American in LondonWater bursts out of the tap so fast, you’d think you just went over the falls and hit the bottom in a barrel. Advice for an American in LondonIn fact every time I do dishes, I feel like I’ve just been on this ride at Islands of Adventure in Orlando.

Advice for an American in London

4. Tips for an American in London- Your CV will be Bagged!

It’s tough for Americans to crack in to the professional work force in the UK. If you aren’t one of the lucky buggers who receives a job transfer from the US to the UK, you’re in a boat like me waiting to prove your skills.

But, have no fear. There’s definitely one skill you can master while you wait. That’s bagging your groceries! Yep. Ever tried it? It’s not so easy.

I get nervous every time I go to Sainsbury’s. It’s bad enough I don’t know where anything that I need is located. But, I also have an extra tough time when it comes to checking out. You pretty much have to bag your own groceries in London. Slowly, I’m developing a talent for guessing how to stack and pack my items.

5. Tips for an American in London- You’re getting POUNDED!

It’s a losing battle with the American dollar. Have you checked the exchange rate recently? The dollar is worthless against the almighty pound sterling. Last year there was a time when it was $1.49 to £1.00. This past weekend the rate was almost $1.70 to £1.00.
Advice for American in London

It’s a nightmare! My advice to you is to hold off as long as you absolutely can on transferring your American funds to your British account. Also, if you have to use an American credit card while you are here, use one that doesn’t charge any additional international change fees. It’s at least one small way you can keep some of your American weight. 😉

A Question from an American in London-

Hopefully some of that advice will be useful to my American mates. But now, this Sunny girl from Florida needs a bit of advice.

This Friday is going to be really awkward. ‘Why?’ you ask.

It’s July 4th.

‘Oh,’ says the British person. ‘That day.’ Or, as Mr. Sunny teasingly says, ‘The day we got rid of you people.’

What’s this American in London supposed to do on Friday?

I’m guessing it would be rather cheeky to gather up some Yanks and go raise hell somewhere. Much less set off fireworks.

Should I just sit at home Friday night and watch a Kardashian marathon? Maybe I can eat some banahhhhhhnahhhhhhhs and to-mahhhhhhhh-toes?

Kindly leave your thoughts below, Sunny mates.

You can read more about the expat experience on the blog. Be sure to see the review of an international shipping company, which includes a discount for you. You can read more about the expat experience on the blog. Be sure to see the review of an international shipping company, which includes a discount for you.

If you’re planning a visit to London, the Sunny News YouTube channel has regular updates of advice for things to do and what you’ll need to know about London. This includes safety tips, pub advice, and a shopping guide.



  1. Haha! Love this! I make my British friends try and speak with an English accent and they love it 🙂 Oh, and we are known as “the Americans” in our town, so everyone comes up to us to hear us speak. I watch for their reactions when I say words that I know they like to hear us speak!! And as for the 4th….I met a British lady who hangs up the American flag on the 4th because she is very happy that we have our own country lol.

  2. Wow, this is seriously bringing back some memories! There were a lot of little things that I missed when I lived in England, a few of them being having someone bag my groceries (trying to pay and bag at the same time is awkward), and TARGET! I can’t believe there isn’t a decent Target equivalent in England?! Target would make a killing if they opened stores over there.

    I think it’s really great that you have such a positive attitude about the job search. I was in the same boat. I had about 5 years of experience in Marketing/Advertising Management but had to start from the bottom when I landed in England. All of the head hunters kept telling me I wasn’t good enough for jobs that I would have been overqualified for in the states. It was incredibly discouraging but 300 applications and several months later I finally landed a job. A crappy one, but hey, it was a start!

    All the best to you!!
    V @ Life+1

  3. This post made me laugh. As a Brit I can’t really say that I have appreciated the differences but when in the States I certainly love the service, having my bags packed at the supermarket and the wonderful attentive service at restaurants. I promise that when I next see you I won’t make you try out different words to test the accent, do people really do that! As for Friday the 4th, you need to celebrate and as us Brits say paint the town red. St Patrick’s over here is huge, yet St George’s day passes in a whimper. You could be a trend setter and in a couple of years we could all be joining you for celebrations. Whatever you have planned enjoy Lucy x

  4. I love this! 🙂 I cracked up at the part about bagging groceries at Sainsbury’s, and then quickly lost my good spirits when I read about the exchange rates. We BADLY need to move some money over, but we’re waiting in hopes that it’ll get a little better. It makes me sick to see how much we lose. Booooo for not getting paid in GBP!

    Last year there were actually quite a few Fourth of July events going on – you know, the type of stuff Brits think we do on Independence Day – hot dog eating contests and such. (Okay, some of us probably do do that…) Just Google it – I bet you’ll find something that looks interesting!

  5. Hello!

    We’ve lived in London since November, and our kids are picking up the accent at school, especially our 5 year old. Bagging your own groceries is the worst since the cashiers tend to scan things one at a time while (whilst?) you bag the previous item.

    For our first 4th of July away from the USA, we’re having a good old BBQ with another American family in town. I look forward to some lemonade and sunshine. Hopefully I’m not asking too much for some sunshine!

    1. Hello Holly! Thank you for reading and commenting. I hope you had a fabulous July 4th! We have been very lucky to have such a nice streak of solid sunshine in London.

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