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 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!
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!
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.
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.
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!
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!
ACTOR // CREATIVE // VOICE TALENT
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Inside US: (949) 484-6275