You begin to realize you’re actually not that friendly a person back home.
In the UK, it’s easy to put your headphones in, divert your eye contact and exchange very few words with strangers or sometimes even people you know quite well, while still fitting within the realms of British social norms. Over the pond, the culture couldn’t be more different, people are FRIENDLY here, there won’t be a part of your day that involves contact with another person where you won’t be asked how you are, and fully conversed with before being told to “have a great day!’ by somebody with a huge, gleaming smile. On reflection, it may be time to put in some more effort with your acquaintances back home.
Your accent is LOVED
A perfectly normal American will strike a conversation with you, but after just a handful of words exchanged between the two of you will be overcome with the overwhelming urge to let out a loud squeal followed by ‘I just LOVE your accent!”. There will be times where you question whether the interest and friendliness of Americans you have met is completely genuine or whether it could just be a ploy to hear your adorable British accent for as long as possible.
The difference in TIPPING
Back in Britain, it’s really not always necessary to leave a tip. After all, the waiting staff are all paid a set wage in the UK, and Brits know the personal value of their hard earned cash. Still, if service has been good, particularly during the evening time, it is normal to leave around 10% to show some appreciation. The change over in the States can be confusing to Brits, we’re used to getting served our pints at the bar, now we find ourselves sophisticatedly being shown to a table where we’re served by a member of waiting staff that consequently must spend the evening singing and dancing in the likening of a performing monkey in an aim to win our affections, just to earn a basic wage. It feels alien yet necessary to reward these people with 15-20% added onto the bill.
You don’t feel quite so bad about your diet anymore
When travelling in Europe, the British diet can seem shamefully unhealthy and un- cultural in comparison. However over in the states, the colossal prevalence of Burger Bars, Pancake breakfast bars, Donut stalls and fast food chains that form the majority of American dietary culture seems to ease away your national guilt. After all, you now find yourself in lands where a burger and fries meal from a fast food stall can be purchased for $2.99, yet a standard sized packet of spinach from Walmart comes in at over 3 bucks.. it becomes understandable as to how these guys come top of the charts when it comes to heart failure and obesity.
You find yourself turning a little more ‘American’ with every day you spend here
It’s hard to understand why exactly Brits find it so easy to pick up ‘Americanisms’, whilst visiting the States, whether it’s the years spent growing up watching Hollywood blockbusters, American TV shows or being obsessed with American celebrities, or whether it could just be the easily ‘rolled off the tongue’ twang to Americans speech but Brits returning from the States will obliviously find themselves greeting their friends as ‘dude!’, telling ‘y’all’ to ‘have a great day’ or at the very least changing a few words around to the American way.. for at least a few days pop is now soda, courgettes are zucchinis and the toilet is the restroom.
Your lifestyle back home seems dull in comparison to the one you experienced in the states
Of course this notion is common of all travel, yet for Brits returned from a land of almost parallel culture, the change can feel particularly amplified and hard to adjust to; the better weather, amazingly diverse landscapes, majestic wildlife, and the happy, outgoing nature of the people you met in this vast nation can feel a little hard to let go of. Sitting in the pub on a rainy English afternoon, it can seem all too easy to find your mind wandering back to your time in the USA, and fantasising about the great times spent in those majestic lands.
Still, that’s just the way the cookie crumbles…