What is it really like to live in England?
England is a country I spent a total of about 3.5 years in (one in 2006, three and a half over 2009-2012. My parents were still living there until recently, and to be honest, it felt like "home". Out of everywhere I have lived, I think I've enjoyed England the most, and I really miss it. My best friend and I always talked about going back to the UK for grad school, or ending up there when we are 50 years young. Who knows. Let's see. :) #EnglandFanGirl (#NoShame)
When I moved to England, I was pretty surprised by their accents and their vocabulary. I was 11 years old - so I didn't really know what to expect, but I just thought "Harry Potter" type accents. No strange words. Nothing different than the typical American words I was used to. Nope - I was totally wrong! When I moved back to England when I was 16, I was much more prepared, but even then I learned so much more about their accents and language.
That typical British accent we all think that British people rock isn't actually what they sound like! Well, some Brits do sound super-posh like that, but the average person does not. You'll hear a ton of different accents just walking down the streets of London. Here's a video with some of them! (Just watch the first half):
It's literally almost like learning a foreign language, to a certain degree, hahaha. They spell differently than Americans (I grew up with the American spellings of words).
When I was 16, a friend of mine (British) called me to catch up. Then... He asked if I want to link up in London. I was like, "Um... :l" because I thought 'link up' meant something more than just "meet up" or hang out, haha. I'm pretty sure I hung up on his face, consulted my best friend Zain (who is technically British, and spent part of her childhood there) and she explained to me that link up didn't mean that. Sorry for hanging up on your face, Saad! :D
Some basic words that I might randomly use that are different than American words:
Cupa: cup of tea
"Link up": meet up/hang out
2. Culture (Fashion, Diversity, Food, History)
British street fashion is easily my favourite street fashion in the western world. Almost everyone looks so beautiful, all the time. And it's so effortless. The fashion style is relaxed but exceptionally classy. Pair that with the British accents from above and start daydreaming.
England is really diverse, too. Of course, some people hate this - immigrants are often looked down upon, regardless of which country/culture they're migrating to. I'm an exception to that thought-process and I think the most beautiful cultures are the ones that are most diverse. One of the best things about how diverse England is, is that you can find any food you are craving. Want some kebabs? Thai food? Chinese? British? American? Desi? Japanese? You name it - you can find it, and you won't have to go too far for it either. That was one of my favourite things about England, particularly the London area. I never felt like an outsider, because there were always other Desi people around. If I ever craved my Mother's food, there was always a desi restaurant nearby. Or if I ever craved Middle Eastern food (since I spent 14 years there!), there was always a kebab place open nearby. I would do anything for some yummy kebab right now!
Though British people may complain about travel, traveling in the UK is a breeze. Talk about amazing public transportation, and one of the best airports in the world.
I suppose this is kind of linked to culture, but hey. There are so many attractions to visit, regardless of where in England you are. You can always find some tourist destination or a nice park to visit. It's impossible to be bored.
One of the best things about England is the continent it is located in (Europe). Travel is seriously cheap! It could always be cheaper, of course, but if you fret about paying about 100 quid (sometimes less) for a flight to basically anywhere in Europe, you need to loosen up a bit! Go ahead and live everyone's dreams - backpack through Europe!