Advice for American Expats
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Quirky Advice for American Expats in London

More and more people are moving abroad and becoming expats. While there are lots of reasons for becoming an expat, I only have experience on going to London – understandably, as I live here!- so that’s what I’ll be focusing on today. There’s tons of advice for American Expats in London available on the Internet, so I’m jumping straight to the quirky stuff, Sunny friends. You’re about to hear the scoop like you’ve never heard it before…

ADVICE #1- Get Ready to See Ta-Ta’s and Who-ha’s

Have any of you been to a gym yet? Holy nakedness, Batman! If you haven’t been to a fitness center in London, brace yourselves for the X-rated Locker Room SHOW! I damn near bump in to the walls and trip over the benches every time I walk in to my local LA Fitness Ladies’ Locker Room because my eyes are nearly cinched close. The amount of bare naked ladies parading around the room is a bit jolting to this American girl, and I grew up in Daytona Beach where we practically wore our bathing suits to school! Check out this photo I snapped in the locker room…

Advice for American Expats in London

Yeah, right! Aside from all the pub crawls and champagne I write about, I’m keeping Sunny in London fairly G-rated. No nudey shots here!

But, big props to the body confidence European ladies have. However, I don’t know if I’ll ever get used to the amount of flesh skipping around that room.

ADVICE #2- The MAILMAN is not breaking in to your flat.

I have a mild heart attack every time my mail is delivered when I’m at home. In Florida, if someone comes up to your door step and starts messing about, you go in to lockdown mode and call 911. Therefore, when I hear the Royal Post Person shoving mail through that slot in my door, I always think I’m about to experience a home invasion.

ADVICE #3- Look both ways before you cross the street. TWICE.

It’s going to take a LONG, LONG time to figure out the roads. I’ve lived in London a few times, but I still can’t figure out where in tarnation cars are coming from. So, yeah, don’t even think about getting a driver’s license. It’ll be a year before you can cross a street and not be in sheer terror, much less operate a manual vehicle from the “other side.” Until then, stick with the good ol’ zebra crossings. Here’s me crossing Abbey Road, circa 199….

Advice for American Expats in London

ADVICE #4- Order a drink and food right, or do the barmaid’s job.

Advice for American Expats in London

“Can I get a Pinot Noir?” Every time I say that, Mr. Sunny cringes. Notice that when Londoners are ordering, they say, “May I have a London Pride, please?” There’s no “get”, and the request ends with “please”. As easy as it sounds, it’s an unnerving habit that us American foreigners need to break. When we say “get”, Londoners think “Sure you can. Get up and go GET it yourself, Yankee.” Sheesh.

ADVICE #5- The Rear of the Year sits at the bottom of the list.

Advice for American Expats in London
Photo credit to the Sun, because where else would “Sunny” get a picture? 😉

Most of us Americans discovered Pippa the day of the Royal Marriage. If you’re a celeb siting stalker like me, from that day forward you forgot Kim Kardashian and fixated on a new arse crush to motivate your workouts.

Heck, I even rushed out and bought her book, “Celebrate.”

Advice for American Expats in London

The truth is, British people don’t favour her too much. So, my advice is to keep your American infatuation with her to yourself. Better yet, ring me up, and we can spend 8-10 hours at a place she frequents in the odd chance she’ll show up and want to friend us.


Dickens wrote in Tale of Two Cities, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…”

Living in London can be both super fun and super challenging for expats. We miss the culture from our other city, but we love British culture too.

That’s my two pence worth of quirky advice for American Expats in London. I hope it helps you have the best of times. Please put your advice in the comment section below, Sunny friends. I’d love it if you shared this post somewhere.

You can read more about the expat experience on the blog.

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  1. Ahhh…. my sunny friend! This post made me laugh out loud to see the differences between us. I have to say I’m with you on the ‘locker room’ thing. My eyes remain firmly averted from the walls of flesh that surround me! As for the post box the difference never occurred to me cos we’re so used to it here. Now I lived in a flat I don’t get the post man rummaging around so much!! I do have a soft spot for Pippa though, I also have her book!
    Lots of love (your British chum!)
    SilverSpoon London

  2. LOL. My children who have grown up in London are completely at ease being naked too. Their American babysitter freaked out when she took them to the pool and they needed to change and they just dropped their clothes poolside. I’ve since had a discussion with them about ‘modesty’ as defined the American way.

  3. This post is hilarious!!! I so remember my daughter wanting to try on a few outfits in a London department store and how dumbstruck she was to find no individual “stalls”, just a large room filled with other women, young and old, disrobing. Crossing the streets was a nightmare for this American. The “can I or may I” question always reminds me of high school English class and I try to always GET it right! Thanks for the memories, Sunny.

  4. So. Much. of the Naked. I was at the gym last night and a guy dropped his trousers (see what I did there) to change in the hall. I’m just never ready for what comes next. Never ready. Haha

  5. This is so fun reading about London from an American’s point of view! As a Brit I guess I never thought about what it’s like when the postman arrives and starts shoving mail through your door, but I can definitely see why this would seem alarming if you’re not used to it 🙂 Great post!

  6. YES! You hit the nail on the head, especially with the first two! I’ve been living in this same flat for almost a year now, and I KNOW the mailman comes every day at 8:30 and yet every time I hear the metal rattling on the door, my adrenaline starts pumping and my fight or flight instincts kick in. I don’t think I’ll ever get used to this.

  7. this is mad brilliant, I myself have gotten so used to the whole “can I get it” phrase I really have to alter that when I’m visiting my mum in London, the waitresses really do give u a funny look but in some places they’re just like whatever, ah well do enjoy london my dear!

    1. Thank you for reading and commenting! I have to admit that on my recent trip back to the US I noticed I was using more ‘please’ and ‘thank you’s’ with American servers. I don’t think they noticed, but it is amazing how a new culture does shape you after you’re submerged in it long term.

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