Living in London American Expat RANT

After living in London permanently for four years as an American expat, I’ve had enough time to identify what I don’t like. Yes, it’s my favourite city in the world, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t a few things that make me mad. And some of them on a daily basis.


In the YouTube video below I share the things that make living in London tough compared to life in America. One of the things I don’t mention is what the hard water has done to my hair. I know – sounds a bit odd. It seems like hard water is just sort of accepted her in London. So, although I don’t mention it in my video, a question I have seen surface in the ‘American Expats in London’ Facebook groups I belong to is often about this phenomenon for girls. Most popular is visa advice, but then there’s the more finite concerns like where to find certain products we like from the US, etc.

This is what my hair looked like when I moved here…



You can see from those pictures that whether I would style it through a blow out, or through beachy waves, it was fairly glossy and soft looking. Now, not so much. I never used really expensive shampoos and haven’t changed how often I wash it. So, I can only attribute the changes to my hair texture and appearance to the hard water from living in London. I’d love to know your thoughts on that if you’re an American expat girl living in London too.

So, here it is (an occurrence that doesn’t happen often on the Sunny in London blog!) my little London rant.

As you’ll see, it’s received some interesting comments so far, both from life long Londoners like my husband and from American expats making the adjustment too. I’ve heard of some American expats renouncing their citizenship due to tax reasons to make the financial adjustment easier at least. If you’re an American living abroad and renouncing your citizenship is something you’d be interested in, make sure you go through the proper channels so you can stop paying tax for 2 countries.

The Sunny News YouTube channel, shares advice for things to do and what you’ll need to know about visiting London or moving to London. This includes safety tips, pub advice, and a shopping guide. The blog also has a Guide for Americans Visiting London which is a collection of the top experiences I recommend. You’ll definitely want to bookmark it and visit the Pinterest boards created to help trip planning too.

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One Comment

  1. Growing up in Canada I should be pretty good with the dates and metric system when I get to the UK, although for the first little while living in the US I had the same struggles as you do but it was when people talked miles and Fahrenheit with me. I’ve eventually worked it all out, well unless it gets below freezing because in Texas that just doesn’t happen often so I didn’t get any practice with it.

    My tip I always give to people are three benchmark temperature to help with conversions (at least to get you in the right ballpark) – 16°C is 61°F and 28°C is 82°F and 40°C is 104° F so it’s easy to remember them since they are just the inverse of each other (I just pretend the inverse of 104 is 40.1 and it’s close enough. And that is an important one to remember in TX! 🙂 ) Once my dad pointed those out to me it’s been much easier.

    The dryers though…I am SO not looking forward to that. I’ll definitely be getting a clothesline for my backyard but I know it’s going to be a never ending hassle with clothes around the house constantly in some state of drying.

    I am bummed to hear about the hard water. I have hard water where I live and was really hoping that was going to improve. Darn it all!

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