Would you believe something as simple as doing laundry can be harder in London? After 10 years of living in London as an American there are some things about life that just don’t get easier through time.
Through these years I have really had a chance to form opinions about life in a different country. However, I wonder if there is a chance now of being so far away from life in the USA that the recollections of what I experienced and what it’s like now could be blurry?
Keep this in mind as you read through the ‘hardships’ I am listing and please write in the comments whether or not you think the facts I’m presenting about my experience are becoming cloudy.
If you would rather watch what I have to say about my experience living in London as an American, you can see it in this Sunny News YouTube video.
And- remember- just because I’m indicating that some things are harder doesn’t mean I’m not happy. You will always find pros and cons about a change in your residence. No place is perfect.
Living as an American in London- Doing Laundry
I’m coming clean with my first con- and that’s laundry! Americans, if I listed all the steps I had to go through just to do laundry, you would be shocked.
Most places in London have washer/dryer combos. This elongates the process and puts you at a one load per day pattern. For this reason, coming home from a holiday gives me a lot of anxiety because I am really OCD.
Additionally, the dryers in London don’t work at the same capacity. It takes like 3 hours to dry stuff and when you take it out- it could melt your hands. Or- you can let it hang for a day. To me, having all that laundry hanging around in a space that’s already smaller than where I grew up is suffocating!
There are dryers that work better in the UK and are closer to what we have in the US. British people please list in the comments what type of dryer that is because a lot of Americans moving here will want to know.
Living as an American in London- Getting a Job
Next- you will struggle to get a job unless you are moving here on an intra work transfer visa or a visa through the Skilled Workers list. Once you do get a job- know that the salary you made in the US will likely have been double. And that’s after calculating the currency exchange.
Living as an American in London- The American Dream
The American dream is true and I didn’t really understand it until I made this move. Mobility both professionally and socially is not as fluent. Maybe this is due to English history and culture? Again, give me your thoughts in the comments.
Living as an American in London- Making Friends
Making friends can be hard. If you’re in any of the American expat Facebook groups, you will see that there are often posts from people inquiring about how to interact with their neighbours. People as a majority aren’t overwhelmingly open when you first move. I think the English are curious but initially cautious- so it does take time to establish yourself. I’ve certainly had an advantage with a British husband and all of my experiences have been lovely.
Let’s take a quick pause to say that if I didn’t love London and my husband, I wouldn’t still be here. I actually even got my UK Citizenship in early Spring of 2021. If you follow me on social media, you’ll get daily doses of all the pubs, restaurants and events we visit. But, the best way to make sure you stay informed about London is by subscribing to the Sunny News email.
Living as an American in London- Getting Wifi
Of course- all that involves a high use of wifi, so if you’ve recently moved in London you might not have any. A true con of living in London is that it takes FOREVER to have your wifi connection installed. Like you could literally wait 1-2 weeks. So- boost that data plan before you relocate.
Living as an American in London- Seasonal Allergies and Dust
And- you might want to boost all your prescriptions around April and May too. I have never had seasonal allergies until I came here. Many Americans experience this too. Hayfever season is brutal!
This leads me to the amount of dust I find in my house. What accumulates here in a week seems like what you would see in 2-3 weeks in the US. I attribute this to the fact that there are no window screens here. British readers- what do you think?
Living as an American in London- Do You Know What I Mean?
Finally, it is tough to understand what British people really mean. Americans are often criticized for being too confident or rude. However, British people speak with a lot of hidden meanings. For example, when they say something like ‘Oh I’m sure it’s my fault’ they are actually thinking, ‘It’s entirely your fault. I’m just being nice’. So it is literally harder to understand people in the UK.
Living as an American in London- Final Thoughts
Whether you’re American or British, I would love to know what you think. Ha!Ha!Ha! Now did I mean that as an American or a British citizen???
Either way- please be respectful and nice in the comments. And if you’d like to know more about behind the scenes of London’s food, life, events and culture- below are the most recent articles on the blog.
Thank you for reading, Sunny friends!