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Hello from the United States!

The month of August was my last month in the UK for a while. I had an incredible time, learned so much, and really enjoyed feeling like a Brit.

My last month was spent in Manchester, and my Airbnb was in a newer area called The Quays. Quay (pronounced "key") actually means a platform near the water, and it was a beautiful place to spend a somewhat warm summer month. The Quays were built around 2010, so the buildings are modern in architecture, with plenty of walkways, bike ways, foot bridges, green spaces, restaurants, and bars.

My Airbnb stays in Leeds and Liverpool were in more traditional, older residential areas that felt authentically English. Since the Quays are a new development in the last 10 years, this stay didn't feel at all like England. But I loved it!

Media City

Media City is a mixed use development that was within walking distance of my Airbnb. It was mainly developed as a media center, and the main tenants are Quayside MediaCityUK shopping center, the BBC, ITV (a British television network), and the official filming studio for Coronation Street, a long-running soap opera that began in 1960.

I spent almost every evening here. In addition to the stunning architecture and media presence, it has great restaurants and bars, with nice outdoor seating and music. Everything is connected by quaint foot bridges and canals. To me, I felt like Oz.

Five Ways The UK Is Different From The US:

Even though it seems like we're sister countries (given our history and all) there are some real differences between the US and the UK. Here are my top five!

1. Beer

When you think about alcohol in the UK, you probably first think of the pub. The pub culture in the UK is iconic, and I don't think anything compares to it. But going into a pub for a pint is different in the UK compared to the US for one big reason - a UK pint is larger than a US pint because of the difference in measurement systems.

The British Imperial pint is 568.261 ml (20 fluid ounces), while the US Customary pint is 473.176 ml (16 fluid ounces.)

Believe me, if you drink enough during the course of an evening, that extra four ounces adds up!

2. Housing

If you live in the city, you'll likely live in a block long, brick constructed connected flat. You probably won't have a backyard and swing set for the kids - and very unlikely to have a garage. Fortunately, there are many parks to play and relax.

3. Parking

Given the efficient transportation system in the UK, you probably don't need a car. But obviously, some people do. Finding a parking space isn't easy (again, no garages), and if you have to park on the grass or sidewalk - well, so be it. Roads can be narrow.

4. Betting

Betting is quite common around the world, but they've made it a retail business in the UK. You can walk into Ladbrokes, Betfred, or Paddypower and bet on horse races, dog races, and of course, the lottery. It's so much easier (and much more fun) than popping into the nearest 7-Eleven to just buy a quick-pick lottery ticket!

5. Hello?

Every country in the world has a different way of saying hello. In Portugal, it was "Bom Dia." In Croatia, it's "bok."

In the UK, it's "you okay?" Or, "you alright?" This caught me off guard, because in the US, when someone says that, a logical response would be "Good. Why? What happened?" Here's a text exchange with a friend that is a good example of that! 🤣

Goodbye UK, Hello US!


I haven't been back in the US for almost three years, and I'm sure it's going to be a bit of an adjustment. When I think back to all the places I've been and experiences I've had, it's clear in my mind that it's been an incredible ride.

But now it's time to reconnect with family and friends. It's all part of the journey. I can't wait to spend the holidays with family, because I haven't had that since 2019.

My airline ticket is round trip. I flew from Manchester to Paris, then Paris to Minneapolis. My return flight is December 31, 2022 - and I'll be back in Europe January 1, 2023, when the journey keeps going.

I really appreciate those who have been reading my travel blogs. Thanks for following along!



Bob Tapper

Outside US: +01 9494846275

Inside US: (949) 484-6275

Hello from Manchester, UK!

There are three major cities "up north" here in England. I've now lived in two of them - Leeds, and Liverpool. These two cities are very different from each other, yet geographically very close. The third major city is Manchester, which is where I'm at now. Yet another city to explore that I'm sure will have its own unique feel, charm, and history.

Liverpool certainly draws more tourists due to the music history and closeness to the docks and boats. The people of Liverpool are also known as Scousers, and there is a very pronounced "scouse" accent here which can be a bit difficult (for me at least) to understand. Scouse is also a stew made of biscuits and fish! The name is actually tied to immigration from Ireland, and some will tell you about their roots being forever associated with Ireland rather than England.

Leeds, on the other hand, isn't known for tourism. It's only the eighth most visited city in England. But having lived there for three months, tourists are missing out on visiting this charming city. A bonus is the short train rides to nearby cities with equal beauty and appeal. The River Aire and the canals tie it all together. To me, it feels a bit more like a working class city, with a strong manufacturing and financial base. It also has five universities, so the vibe skews younger.

More on my Manchester exploration next month, but here's a bit more from my Liverpool experience in July:

Tate Liverpool

It was an easy walk from my co-working space to Tate Liverpool, so one rainy day I walked on over. Tate Liverpool is one of the four Tate Museums in the UK, with the others being Tate Britain, Tate Modern (both in London), and Tate St. Ives.

I must say though, this one was quite exceptional!


I love my day train trips. A quick, 40-minute train ride from the Liverpool docks, and you're in Chester - a small cathedral city which was originally a Roman fortress. This city, like York and others, is known for the Roman walls that surround it. It is also known for their clock tower, which is the second most photographed clock tower in England, behind Big Ben. The University of Chester is found here as well.

It's a scenic little town with a great vibe, some good food, and lively street scene. You can also walk around the top of the walls and see some nice views!

The Cavern Club

The Cavern Club is the most famous rock and roll club in the world! The Beatles played here 292 times between 1961 and 1963 before heading to bigger venues throughout the world such as The Ed Sullivan Show in early 1964. What other major bands have played here? Well, how about: The Rolling Stones, Queen, The Kinks, and The Who - just to name a few!


I can't believe how fast this summer has gone. Actually, the last six months have flown by. Anyone lucky enough to get to England must see London, but if you're fortunate enough to come back, exploring "up north" is something many don't think about, but definitely should.

Now I'm ready to spend my last month (for now) in England in the city of Manchester. I've never written about how popular European football (soccer) is to the Brits, but they are passionate about it. There is a real rivalry between the Leeds, Manchester, and Liverpool teams. There's even a inter-city Manchester rivarly between Man City and Man United.

When August comes to an end, I'll be heading back to the US for a few months. I haven't been back since I left December 31, 2019. So much has changed since then. I'm really anxious to reconnect with family and friends that I've missed very much.

I'll keep posting and keeping my blog updated from the US. Luckily, there's no end to the amount of blogs that I can post, because my European journey will continue as of January 1, 2023!

Thanks for following along!



Bob Tapper


Outside US: +01 9494846275

Inside US: (949) 484-6275

Hello from Liverpool, UK!

This month has been a bit of an adjustment. My routine fell into place quickly in Leeds, but for some reason it's taken me a quick minute to get used to things here in Liverpool. The bus ride into the City is a bit longer, although I generally don't mind bus rides as long as I can listen to a good podcast or music. I'm in a different AirBnb with a different room, different hosts and flatmates. But I know I'll adapt and get on with things.

When I think back to all the co-working spaces I've joined, some were better than others, but all of them were productive environments. My Avenue HQ Mann City co-working space is right on the docks, right by the water. I love the location, and it's a great place to spend my days.

Liverpool attracts many tourists (obviously due to The Beatles), so I did partake in some "touristy" things which were actually quite fun. There are many UNESCO World Heritage Sites here, and I'm right in the middle of them!

The Food Truck Scene at The Docks

Canning Dock on the River Mersey here in Liverpool has become a food truck haven! It’s the perfect place to grab some creatively good eats and sit and ponder the river, boats, and history. The dock was opened in 1737.

I haven’t tried any of them yet, but I will. If you could only pick one, which would you choose?

The Beatles Museum

Spending a couple of hours in this museum was well worth it! It really takes you back. You start out at the very beginning with John Lennon's first band, the Quarrymen. There's a replica of The Cavern Club here in Liverpool, where The Beatles played in their early years. There is also a re-creation of Abbey Road Studios (and the Studio Two room) where they recorded most of their songs.

Later in the tour, they dedicate space to each Beatle and their solo achievements. It ends with the re-creation of the White Room, where John wrote Imagine.

The museum is full of history and great music. It's really well done!

Beautiful Places

You don't have to go far to see and appreciate the architecture, history, and overall beautiful places here in Liverpool. The life-size statue of The Beatles always attracts a crowd.

The Royal Liver Building is one of the most recognizable landmarks in the city of Liverpool. At the top are two Liver Birds that watch over the city and the sea. Legend has it that if these two birds were to fly away, the city would cease to exist.


It's been four months now since I've been in the UK. By far, it's been the most active length of time I've spent since I began my journey. With Covid not being much of a factor, my life has greatly expanded.

I do believe in terms of weather and temperature, it's the best place to be in Europe. I've needed a jacket most days, but I am expecting a bit of heat at some point this summer. But I know from being here in 2020, the heat waves don't last long.

One more month in Liverpool, then I'm heading to Manchester for the month of August. This will mean I've spent a significant amount of time in the three larger cities in north England - Leeds, Liverpool, and Manchester. When I come back, I'll understand the cities better and know the best place to spend my time.

In the meantime....summer continues!

Thanks for following along!



Bob Tapper


Outside US: +01 9494846275

Inside US: (949) 484-6275

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